She was strong, young, beautiful, and very talented. She was a gospel singer, something of a child prodigy, who started singing with her brother in church when she was quite young. Eventually, he on piano and she on primary vocals, they began touring churches in the south Georgia area. They had an amazing future ahead of them.
And then she met a boy, an athlete, at school. However it happened, whether he pressured her, raped her, or duped her into thinking that she was nothing without him, he managed to become a father. At fifteen years old, she rushed into marriage, disgraced in her community, church, and family. She had a difficult labor that produced her son, her pride and joy. Her career as a gospel singer was over. No church wanted an unclean woman (but her new husband? No worries there. He didn't bear the shame). She continued to be a fervent believer and member of her small, local church, but eventually she went to school, got her GED and then learned accounting. A bright career was snuffed out.
In late July, 1982, just after her 24th birthday, her life was snuffed out, too. She died two days before my father did. Two great losses in one week. She was, you see, my first cousin. She was found sitting on the floor of her bedroom with a shotgun in her lap. Apparently, she had propped up the gun and pulled the trigger with her toe.
- She was terrified of guns.
- She was maybe 5' tall, maybe 100 lbs. Strong but not that strong.
- She was a secure Christian who knew the wages of suicide.
If you find that I am MIA a day here and there, it is because I'm writing the fictionalized novel about her life, death, and justice. I have a solid start and need to tie it all together. I loved my cousin and miss her terribly. It's been nearly 26 years, but I still think of her often. Someday I'll see her again, and I'll want her to know that I did what I could on earth to tell her story. She was a quality soul.
I am still often stunned by how beautiful she was. What a waste.
Peace - D