total hearts received for Moments That Survive

Paul Douglas

In memory of Marjorie Ann

When I was 11 years old, my dad told me I had a sister. As it started out, I did not think much about it. Due to the surprise that my mom was pregnant, my parents knew that more money was needed. So mom went back to college and became a teacher. It took a few years. Because of the need, I was the one who took care of my sister. From changing the cloth diapers, and the innumerable times I stuck myself with those pins, to making formula and feeding her, my love for her grew as I watched her develop from a 18-inch baby to a speaking young girl. We were as intertwined as much as possible, and our love and respect for one another grew proportionately.

When she was a month away from her 17th birthday, she was upstairs, finishing her homework. She had gotten up to go downstairs and taken a few steps toward the stairs when she was struck in the left hip by a bullet fired from a Lee-Enfield rifle. This bullet traveled through four walls and then struck her. The house was empty, and the blood trail was showing that she was heading to the phone. She died in a few minutes. She died alone, bleeding out. When my folks came back from talking to the neighbors, they found this beautiful young girl lying on the stairway in a pool of her blood.

That bullet killed three people that day. My mother gave up the will to live and died not long after, and I never saw my father laugh again. The irresponsible 17-year-old boy walked away, never owning up to the fact he murdered my sister. I am still saddled with the burden of losing more than words can describe. Guns kill people, and the guns are operated by people. So I think that there should be changes to the law. And if asked, I believe I could offer a way.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.