She was a bright spot on a cloudy day.
She was full of joy and love and laughter and mischief.
She loved her family and her country and her friends.
She was a baller, a dancer, a gymnast.
Our town, our neighborhood, our families weep.
We feel powerless and empty and the need to do something anything grows and grows and grows.
Some of us took steps to make something wonderful happen, something that would honor and celebrate her life, something that would put the smiles back on our faces.
She would want that. We know that she would, because her father told us so. Through his grief, through his tears (held back, perhaps, because he knew that we would all follow him down that drippy path) he reminded us that she wouldn't want to see long faces. And so we smiled. It wasn't easy, but if he could do it then so could we.
We walked under a balloon arch - a red white and blue arch because she was a patriot who lost her life while participating in American democracy. She wasn't in Tahrir Square; she was at a grocery store on the northwest side of Tucson, Arizona, USA. She was supposed to be safe.
Our President asked us to join together to create the America that she saw every day. This was a small step in that direction.
There were cameramen and reporters because this is the 21st century and people need to know... right now.... everything.... anything.... it has to be recorded.
Her parents spoke to them. I spoke to them. TBG watched it all, being certain that nothing went awry. There wasn't a dry eye amongst us.
Dignitaries made dignified remarks and her church's children's choir made their eponymous Joyful Noise as they sang America the Beautiful and This Land is Your Land and missed their little friend.... who would have been singing along with them.... had she been there.
Her brother cut the ribbon with the largest pair of shears he'd ever held
and then the park was open
The Christina-Taylor Green Memorial River Park. A place for running and bicycling and strolling and dog walking. Three point two miles of landscaped pavement, going under the roads and next to the wash with an overpass designed by the brother of the woman who staunched my wounds as I lay on the concrete, holding the hand of the girl for whom we were all gathered, trying to be as glad for the sunshine as she would want us to be.
The children grabbed them first, but there were enough balloons for all of us and one-two-three we let them fly
pink and purple, like her Peace and Justice sweatshirt she left on the front seat of my car
(sorry, Mom, she just didn't want to wear it)
flying together, the slackers racing to catch the leaders
each with the same card which adorned the cookies on our chairs
It was really a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
Mr. Rogers would have been proud of us.
I know that I was.
I'm pretty sure that Christina-Taylor is, too.