From: April Wolfe-Scott
Received: June 21
A pastel spray of flowers topped Angel’s casket.
I chose a pink one, her favorite color. I didn’t take it home to press away in a Bible.
I wasn’t ready to put Angel away, her story wasn’t over. Still numb by my friend’s unexpected death I walked across the cemetery and placed her flower on the dash of my car, where it remains today.
It reminds me as I drive to work, or elsewhere, that I feel safe, something Angel hadn’t felt for eight years.
Angel lived in fear everyday as a victim of domestic violence/stalking.
She also feared for her children, and loved ones.
The predator that made her life a living hell robbed them of any peace as well, so she repeatedly moved, eventually living in a remote setting several states away.
Angel was not her real name. She always feared her name and image would end up a captive of garish headlines.
She knew victims of this crime include children, who are remembered in those same headlines, as well as haunting videos on Nancy Grace, pinwheels on lawns and by laws written in their name and memory.
She only wished for her and her children to peacefully live out their lives in their own names.
I spoke to her that night just before she lay down to sleep.
She had spent the past eight years in a fear drenched world looking over her shoulder.
She was so beset by battle fatigue that her voice was barely audible when she said, “I don’t know how much more I can take.”
We had all begged her to return to Columbus to best protect her. She promised that night she would, and she did.
As dawn broke the next morning her spirit entered the peace of eternal light and her battered human vessel was returned to her loved ones here in a pink lined casket.
Her beautiful young face was to stun only readers of the obituary page as to why death had called, so soon.
The autopsy revealed a blood clot ripped through her heart, but she died a victim of domestic violence and we knew the culprit.
When I first met Angel she was pulling a suitcase which beheld years of police reports, court records and broken protective orders from multiple counties.
The bulky weight of its contents not only distorted the case’s shape, but exposed the fallacies in an equally distorted system that fails to protect.
Her predator was “textbook” with his wish to control the lives of others.
He had a history of abuse to the animals, humans, and property in his path.
He committed crimes on drugs, in jail and on probation.
He walks today among us and all are venerable.
Change is needed, lest we forget, pinwheels were designed to be placed in a child’s hand to elicit wonder, not in the Earth in their place to wonder, — why?
Angel’s other name, was Mommy, and she had every right to it, but was denied the full benefit of it, as were her children.
The memory of Angel’s tiny daughter slowly climbing the courtesy steps placed alongside her mother’s casket to say goodbye is forever seared in my mind.
When she stepped down to ask a relative to “Wake up Mommy for me,” I gulped down the hardest breath I have ever taken.
If his early steps in the wrong direction hadn’t been validated by his dysfunctional family and the silence of others along the way, and if those whose duty to protect our Angels had taken the appropriate steps in the right direction in time, her daughter’s steps up those stairs would not have been necessary.
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