|Yaya Bingyi (centre) leads a tiny Halloween hop-a-long.|
Her RL partner sent me a notecard stating that she died on July 5th, "from complications to her long illness."
Yaya was a tiny hippo in-world. She'd had a store on the Shire in the shape of a beehive almost since Raglan came into being. I remember it being there when I first visited the sim and was immediately drawn to it. Even then, it was already well-stocked with a range of beautifully made tiny wares. Most of it was made for females, but that didn't stop me from admiring the workmanship and envying the talent that had gone into making them.
Time zone differences aside, it seemed that for a long time our paths never really crossed in-world - that is until late last year when I was quite randomly teleported to a gathering of tinies on some remote sim where the group already there was inflicting their own brand of silliness onto whoever they could. Yaya was part of that group and welcomed me as though we'd been friends forever. I guessed that as I'd been around the Shire for not much less than her, she'd heard of me through mutual friends or by reputation (unbeknownst to me at the time, I'd already connected with her through Facebook and she followed my ramblings on Twitter, both under her RL name); and from then on, we chatted and chatted. I remember she was using Voice that morning and there was just something so enthusiastic about how she spoke that it made me have to plug my headset in to chat back to her. Normally I wouldn't have bothered, but Yaya's energy made me feel as though I wanted to be part of that conversation.
And then she wasn't around so much again. I'd occasionally see her drop a comment or two on statuses on Facebook, so I assumed she was OK. I'd never have known that she was unwell. I don't know what her illness was; I do hope she wasn't in pain. And I do though know that Yaya left behind a good number of friends who will miss her.