She was on the staff of A New Way of Life Re-entry Project in Los Angeles that many of you supported with your gifts on Christmas. A New Way of Life helps women who have served prison time to transition back into a useful life upon their release from incarceration. Upon her untimely death, this was circulated about Evelyn Ayala.
It is with great sorrow that we share the news of the passing of our dear friend and colleague Evelyn Ayala.
Evelyn join A New Way of Life as a social work intern in 2009. Upon earning her Bachelor Degree from California State University, she was asked to join the staff of A New Way of Life.
Evelyn wasn’t really a loud person, but her voice carried. “It’s OK Sweetie. I know. It’s all right. I love you.” Her social work office was in the back of the building and she took client confidences seriously. However, we could all hear her when her door opened. That was the public Evelyn. She wasn’t trying to impress, her voice just carried.
Less known is what she did quietly. If unorthodox assistance was called for to expedite access to ANYTHING, Evelyn would deliver. She was committed to meeting people’s needs; not only from her vast knowledge of resources, but at times, from her own pocket.
She never gave up on anyone. If darker paths were chosen, she wished all well with warm regard, “It isn’t your time.” However, she was hopeful. Evelyn believed in never-ending chances and the power of human potential.
It’s mostly after people die that we gather and hold on to the best of the good in them we remember. With Evelyn, her charity, kindness, selflessness and pure sweetness was known and acknowledged consistently by her family, clients, friends and co-workers well before she moved on from us. Because of what we knew her to be, the pain of her loss has pierced our hearts with a wound that will never fully repair. Perhaps the best we can do to honor her is to commit to be a little more like her.
Evelyn Ayala’s legacy is truly that of a wise woman who always led with love.
I am most amazed at this statement: “If darker paths were chosen, she wished all well with warm regard, ‘It isn’t your time.’” This would take a good deal of grace and a good understanding of what it took for us to respond to God’s grace. I’m afraid I would be a lot more judgmental towards someone choosing “darker paths.” I don’t think I would have the patience. Yet isn’t this grace turned outward — an understand of what it took for God’s grace to reach me, so that I will extend that same chance to someone else?
We cannot make others choices for them; we can only stay with them and love them unconditionally. In this regard, even though I didn’t know her, I can tell, just from her eulogy, that I want to be more like Evelyn. Never give up on anyone.