Saturday, July 30, 2022


 My wife saw them first. The kids from across the street. We were on our way out for our first post-COVID excursion, when she spotted them. Except they weren't kids. Not anymore. Now in their twenties and thirties, they showed up as taller memories. I rolled down my window and they stepped off the curb to talk to us. 

"We were on our way down to your house," they began, "We have some bad news."

This is the family that had only recently lost their mother to COVID. Not too long ago. At that time, my wife reconnected with all those kids once again. They hadn't gone so far away that they were impossible to track down. Most of them live within a couple miles of the house in which they had grown up. 

Across the street from us. 

And now they were back. The news wasn't more COVID. It was their sister. She had been found in her trailer. Dead. Foul play was suspected. And suddenly her life was a tragic story that ended tragically. She was the middle kid. She was the one who wanted to be a pediatrician. She was the one who came over to our house when she was in grade school to help my wife with our little baby. She had plenty of experience with all those siblings. She helped teach our son to walk. She was a shining light of help in our new neighborhood. 

When she got a little older, she ended up having babies of her own. Some might say too soon, since she had to put her dreams of becoming a doctor on hold. And her relationships with the kids' father faltered along with that with her own parents. 

She struggled. And she worked. And she may have triumphed. If she had the chance. 

Our hearts broke, not for the first time, but in a way that was much more dark and final than all those other disappointments. Another sister. Another mother. Sacrificed to the ugly realities of life on these streets. Our street. I thought about Tolstoy's families, happy and unhappy. In their own way. 

Monica stomped on the Terra, but in the end the Terra won. She will be missed. Every time we go for a walk on our street. 


Louise Hart, Ed. D. said...

I'm very, very sad!!!
This is so wrong.
This is so painful....
I offer condolences to your family, and theirs.

Kristen Caven said...

It's so sad. She had four kids. Praying for strength for all of them.