from Nancy - Friday, July 29, 2005
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Do angels sigh when children die? Do they pause for a moment of silence? Or do they welcome them back and set another place at the table?
On the morning of July 14, 2005, a little girl died. Where did her spirit go?
She was 13 years old. She was born in 1992, a year after I escaped from the Family for good. She had so much promise. She was born after most of the worst had already happened. Her parents left with her before she could be really scarred. That is what hurts those who loved her most. She had such a bright future.
I know what they saw in her. I see it in my little sister. She never knew the worst abuse. She had some portion of a childhood. There are light, happy, carefree memories in her past. Like Joanna, my little sister is tall and thin with those deep eyes.
Joanna was a dancer as well as an artist, who loved delicate things like porcelain painting and pottery. She would have made some man a lovely wife, her long brown hair, blue eyes and long, dark lashes. She was the embodiment of feminine beauty when the bud first opens in spring.
She was loved and adored by her sisters, brothers and nephews, especially for her impish sense of humor and quick mind, not to mention her orange and chocolate chip muffins. There was nothing about her that wasn’t youthful, creative and refreshing like the feel of fresh air on a sweltering day.
She demonstrated all that is precious about the innocence of childhood as it slowly combines and is replaced by the delicate mystery of womanhood. The seeds of motherhood had already taken root and demonstrated themselves in her care for animals and young children. Yet, her mothering was not fully developed due to her need to still play with the little ones for which she cared.
If humanism and appreciation of the beauty of humanity in its purest forms is a religion, then we would certainly worship at an alter filled with pictures of little girls like Joanna. In their untouched innocence, unique creativity and unselfish love, lies all that is precious about our race. When it is lost before it has fully bloomed, then like a ripple in a pond it reaches and affects us all.
That is why I wonder where the spirits of children go. My feeble mind cannot comprehend a world in which they are lost forever. Instead, I believe the angels simply set another place at the table. For Joanna, I hope the place is set with the finest painted porcelain china.