In school, Cherice often excelled. Her teachers described her as gifted -- both academically and artistically -- and an energetic hard worker. She was insatiably curious, and if she didn't know the answer to something, "she was the type who was going to look it up," her mother said.
Yet despite her intelligence, her grades would occasionally flag, not because she couldn't grasp the subject matter but because it didn't interest her, her mother said. The arts, thankfully, always intrigued her, whether it manifested itself in dance or her abstract doodles.
She also enjoyed poetry, and Hanlon described her daughter's style as "darker," reminiscent of Edgar Allan Poe. But that wasn't always the case.
Hanlon recalls Cherice's last gift to her. Her daughter asked what she wanted for Christmas, and Hanlon replied that she'd like a poem. Cherice scribed an ode to her and her mother's relationship.
Asked to describe the sonnet, Hanlon hesitated before finding the words.
"We scrap. But in the end, we love, no matter what -- that sort of thing."