She was only sixteen, and I did not cry.
Wednesday, Mar. 26, 2003 - 9:04 p.m.
She was only sixteen years old. I don't know how, or why she died. I do know that hardly anyone ever expects someone that young to pass away.
I don't know her name, I never knew her name. At the time it happened, I didn't even know about her death. I would not have known what it meant anyway.
I do know that her family wanted to bury her about one hundred miles away from where she had died. I know that it would have cost them a lot of money to take her body to where her burial was.
I know that they put her casket in the back of our panel van. I know that her mother and father and grandfather and a couple of her uncles got into that van. I know my mother was driving, and I was not allowed to go.
I know that they left Mobile Alabama at around ten am. They went north on US Hwy. 45. Somewhere around Citronelle, according to the police reports, the van dropped it's right side off of the pavement. They say my mom tried to turn back onto the road, and the drop off was about three or four inches at that point.
When the van came back on the road, it went all the way to the other side. I guess they know that from the marks it left there. It was when she turned back to the right that it began rolling over.
I don't remember how many times, though I think it was four or five times.
I imagine the police were surprised when they came upon the scene. They found the girls father already dead having been thrown from the vehicle and crushed by it. The same with the uncles.
The only ones who stayed inside were the mother, the little girl who was already dead, and my mother. The girls mother was only slightly injured, broken bones and such. My mother had massive injuries to the back left side of her head.
At the time, I was playing at the edge of a woods, in the back yard of the place they had left me for the day. And my dad was at work. And neither one of us knew the changes that were about to take place in our lives.
And a mother was about to face the loss of her husband, and father, and two of her brothers. And I never saw her, though I think about her from time to time. And about how no matter how bad she felt about the loss of her daughter, she probably had no idea how bad it could get.
I don't remember much about playing outside that day, except for I found a snake. And it got dark and my mom had not come to get me yet. And when I asked Mr. Kennedy about it, he cried, and he told me my dad would be coming to get me in the morning, and I was going to spend the night there.
It was the first time I think I ever saw a man cry. It scared me. But I didn't cry.
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