Dee's Journal



Entry #16: And the next minute...


My sister told me that she heard about some little girl who was walking with her parents across the Golden Gate Bridge the other day and fell through a nine and a half inch space between the walkway and the curb. The kid, a two year old, fell 150 feet onto some rocks or something below and died! When my sister told me the story, she was like, "Hey did you hear what happened?" Like it was something funny or weird, but when I heard it I started to cry. No kidding. I didn't know the family or anything but I just kept thinking about what a nightmare that must have seemed like to them. I mean, there they all were, just doing this cool thing... walking across the Golden Gate Bridge on a sunny Sunday. A mother and father and two little girls. And the little girls are holding hands and laughing. (I'm imaging all of this 'cause I don't really know what happened, but it could have been like this) and then maybe the older one runs ahead and says something like "Try to catch me." And the little one loves this game 'cause she and her sister play it all the time and she takes off and starts chasing her big sister. And the parents watch the two girls as they run ahead. And the parents feel all this love in their hearts for their little girls and they are thinking how pretty and happy both of them are and how lucky they are to be a family together on a sunny day on the Golden Gate Bridge. And then the little girl stumbles and falls into a gap or something. A place right on the bridge that unless you bent down and knew where to look, you'd never even see it. And this little girl disappears. Forever.

One minute she's running in the sunshine, laughing and trying to catch her sister and the next minute she is gone, through a hole no one knew was there, falling through space and crashing below. Dead.

Wow. Unbelievable. It's one thing to be an old person at the end of your life, like Grandma Webster, and fly away like a bird on a peaceful morning breeze. But it's a whole other story to be two years old and fall through a hole.

The names of the parents were in the newspaper. I looked them up in the San Francisco phone book and found the address. I wanted to tell them how sad I was to hear about what happened. But I didn't exactly want to write them a letter, so I instead I did a small painting, on a three by five card. It was a picture of a flower growing in the middle of a forest. I have no idea where the image came from, but I liked the idea of it. That even in the middle of a very shady dark place, a little bit of light could come through and make a flower bloom. Maybe like a little bit of happiness or hope can break through sorrow and let something in your heart continue to live. I put the picture in an envelope and mailed it to that family. I thought maybe it would make them feel a little better to know that someone cared. I hope it did.




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