By Kim Russell
She was a Happy One.
A Gift from God with a smile that could light up a room.
The Dark Beauty dancing among the roses,
Singing along with Guns N’ Roses – Sweet Child O’ Mine
Well-mannered beyond her time,
And much like the magic of unicorns & the Royal hue of purple,
She was so Worthy of Admiration,
Written in reverse, her presence was Heaven on earth,
An angel was born, the day of her birth,
if only her early wings didn’t come with such hurt…
And, He shall add fond memories that will linger,
From counting ten toes & kissing ten fingers
To being ten years young, assisting with his sister,
Protective of his brother
Ironically, he wanted to be a police officer to someday serve & protect others
There was a brightness and splendidness to this child who
Held a dance in his heart for Colombian music,
When the beat dropped, he loved to move his body & feet to it
The Star of the Sea,
Saving a jar full of cash to take her family to Disney.
Of all the prayers prayed, the families will never receive their most precious “Request,”
Restore their life & erase the death,
Lead them not to lay their son to rest,
To shatter a piece of a mother’s heart whilst beating in her chest.
For when they were born, God Answered their call,
But now they’re left with questions…
How could sorrow prosper when God said no weapon formed against thee shall win.
All Things feel possible at the tender age of ten,
A quinceañera dress is what she pictured herself in…
A little league game with family to cheer her on,
But in honor of her memory, her team played strong.
She was Grace, Beauty & brains as an honor roll student
Almighty from the womb, as her mother felt her movements
Must have been an Angel in the making, during her 1st Communion.
For God is Strength and will carry these families in unison through their dark times,
as they find it difficult to appreciate the Sunshine.
The Moon is a Healer…
Absorbing all tears.
Soothing all fears.
Keeper of all secrets,
Told both sparingly & frequent,
The spiritual connection when physically apart
It’s the “Grandpa, I still love you” of light words echoed from the dark;
It’s the glow of Love etched in the shape of a heart,
Much like the one hand-drawn on her lime green Converse,
Future marine biologist, with a passion for art,
It’s a cruel day to be told,
That her smile will now become an ache on the soul
And her knowing eyes a memory to behold…
Too soon, she was called to Ascend… but I hope that there’s comfort in knowing the soul has no end…
Though dearly departed,
Her Spirit life just started.
She reflected what it is was To Be Whole, from outside to within,
In love & life, she was radiant,
And in her absence, some couldn’t piece themselves whole again
We overstand why heartbreak lingered in the wind,
With the loss of his high school sweetheart, what husband could win.
A Giver of Life; she is survived by her husband & dutiful daughter,
Vowing not to waver in the life lessons her mother has taught her…
The tick-tock of 4:30 pm will never be the same, but she’s gone viral as a Martyr,
TikTok put some respect on her name.
Rest in Bravery & Power,
Baby girl fought until her final hour
At the tender age of 10, she was braver than 10 men
Defender of mankind with dreams of becoming a lawyer,
The ambitious life before her will not lead to an Esquire Sir name,
But she deserves justice all the same.
No stretch of imagination could explain how it must ache
To lose the warmth of their embrace & The melody of their laughter
To muster the spirit of Truth & Faith & draw a new chapter
How does the phoenix rise again after a tragic disaster?
You may be questioning God or even who the Pope is
I want to speak life into your spirit until you remember what hope is
And after the grieving stage is done, you remember your purpose
Let your tears cleanse you,
And your screams release the anguish,
May words of affirmation & acts of service become the world’s love language,
As we cover you in loving words and give aide to help you heal through the pain.
There is no preparation for such an abrupt change,
And there is no expectation that Uvlade’s community will ever be the same
So with these words, the victims are memorialized for more than just their names
They will be more than just an addition to the ever-growing “Say Their Name” list
For it is the life behind the name that survivors & the world will miss.
This is part of a series of Love Letters written by poets that Love Now Media is publishing through The Poets’ Press. The people of Uvalde and other cities are experiencing immeasurable pain and suffering. Many of us refer to the tragic assault on life in these communities as mass shootings. But the loss, the injury, the trauma and the pain is personal to the families and communities. It is personal to us. We want Uvalde and other communities to know that our hearts are with them and our commitment to push for change is steadfast. At this printing, there have been lost and wounded lives in more than 300 mass shootings across the US.
Byline: Kim Russell is a poet, writer, and storyteller.