She was a little girl growing up in a poor family: poor in means, poor in skills, poor, poor poor.
She needed clothing and guidance and love and encouragement and care for her body and spirit. Her aunt and uncle stepped in offering help. Mostly, they hoped to offer her a chance to see a new path for her life. They loved her.
And through the years there were adventures in their home and across the country. Laughter and cookie-baking and travel and Christmas trees and celebrations and girl time and interesting people and a chance to get out of the cycle of neglect and apathy. Mostly, there was love.
She grew up. And chose a boyfriend, abandoning her own dreams. The first baby came, then another and another.
She walked away from the aunt and uncle and opportunities to follow her dreams. She stopped calling – and disappeared from their lives.
Last week her oldest child was killed. He’s dead. A gunman, a bullet. Tyler was 19, on his own, no mother in sight.
The bullet’s trajectory passed through his body and into the family, ripping open hearts, creating anguish and pain and questions and rage and sadness spilling out like blood – everywhere. A bullet that pierced memories.
News reports of anonymous victims evoke outrage, but bullets that fly into our personal lives bring shards of pain and grief that defy description and leave wounds, gaping wounds, deep and ugly. No logic, no reason. Only violence, exploding our theories of how to stop the madness.
There once was a little girl, bright, happy and full of dreams. She had a little boy, innocent and sweet. He was taken. One bullet, oceans of grief. I know this pain, palpable and deep. For I am the aunt to the sweet little girl, grieving her son, gunned down - and gone.
(S-R archives photo)