roxanna's gem

Last night I opened an email from my dear Californian friend. Yesterday, she had read my blog post titled hold fast about two of the victims in the massacre at an Arizona grocer’s parking lot. She told me that the little girl who was shot and killed at the Congresswoman’s meet-and-greet was her childhood friend’s daughter. While reading these words my heart sunk deeply and my body began to shiver—so close to home now.

I replayed the news video of the girl’s parents recounting their daughter’s life and interests. Sure enough, there was Roxanna, who I had met years before, speaking with such grace and balance, describing her daughter, her precious, her gem.

Roxanna and I had been bridesmaids in my friend’s Valentine’s Day wedding over a decade ago. We had spent the morning having our hair done up in beautiful, shining, sprayed curls that looped like petals of a chrysanthemum—the bride’s yellow, mine auburn and Roxanna’s deep ebony. We helped primp the bride, cracked jokes, sipped water, and perhaps some bubbly, from clear plastic cups amid hot radiant bulbs of the peach-painted mirrored vanity. We stepped into our satiny champagne-colored gowns—sleek, strappy and backless—and then helped our friend fasten her bodice, her lovely bare shoulders glowing above an exquisite d├ęcolletage. She was a dream to behold—a knockout—the perfect bride in her simple elegant alabaster gown clutching a tight bouquet of flawless white rosebuds. The image of our trio, three pastel painted lilies, gorgeous and giggling in the happy nuptials of our dear friend, and softly etched in my mind now comes into sharp focus.

In years to come we would all be wed and have children of our own to love. My friend has a lovely daughter and son—a fiery fashionista and a little athlete. I have my sweet Calvin who fills my days with joy and sorrow. Roxanna has a son of her own, but her precious nine-year-old daughter, Christina-Taylor, has just been taken away.

What would she have become, Christina-Taylor, who favored her mother’s refined features, poise, and rich shining brunette hair? Whose lives would she have touched beyond the many she has thus graced? How would the world be different with her in it, this incredible child with the empathy, compassion and wisdom of a sage? Having never met her—Roxanna’s beautiful gem—I miss her.

Christina-Taylor Green

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