In Memory of Kay


~The free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wings in the orange sun rays and dares to claim the sky—-Maya Angelou

“I know what’s different about you,” I said to my sister on our last walk.

“What?” She looked at me and smiled.

“You don’t need me like you used to. I like that. I like that you’re finally coming into your own skin. It’s about time, Sis. When do you sign the divorce papers?”

“In a couple weeks.”  She grasped my hand tightly.

“LIBERATION!” She squealed. “I can’t wait to get away from that man, get my own house, begin a fresh life.”

My sister never got the chance to sign those divorce papers. Her soon to be ex-husband killed her two days after that walk.

We were going to have a surprise shower for her.  An “Emancipation Shower.” A “New Beginnings Shower.”  Candles & Cosmopolitans. Salsa & Sangria. Sushi & Sex and The City.

We were going to fill her new home with love, love, love.

We talked about painting her living room some funky color like bubblegum pink or crazy cranberry.  We talked about how nice it was to see her smile again.

He left work early on May 26th. He sat on the couch like a demon- devil and waited and waited.  He was never a man, so I shall call him “the murderer” or “the devil.” 

Nevertheless, he was not what she deserved, or for that matter, what the world deserved.

He was nothing at all.

The Beretta pistol was so small, the devil could conceal inside the palm of his sweaty hand. I imagine he rubbed the iron between his fingers anticipating her absence, his absence, his final control. I imagine he tasted the metal upon his toxic tongue. I presume he was prepared to go strait to HELL.

She came home from work about 5:00, ran upstairs to put her walking clothes on, and hoisted her hair in a ponytail.  She texted our dad.

“I’ll see you on the trail, Pop.”

Her last words. The last time she’d walk down the steps. Her final beautiful breaths.

And mine.

He locked the front door, lingered like a predator.  Perhaps he said a prayer to whomever murderers utter prayers to. Perhaps he gave last rights to himself.

I wonder why God didn’t intervene. Why He’d allow the cage to remain closed.

There were two alternatives.  She stayed with him or she died with him. 

He placed the gun to the back of her head. He shot three times to make sure. He had to make damn sure my sister never gained consciousness, had to make certain she couldn’t fly away.

Maya Angelou was wrong when she said the caged bird sings. That’s just not true. The caged bird cannot sing until she is set free; she cannot form a pleasing melody of verse until the cage is swung wide open.

Only then will she sing her sweet song of freedom.  Only then will her wings reach the orange of the sun’s rays.

Sing, My Sweet Sister.

Sing.     Sing.     Sing.


Never Released.  Never Forgotten.  I Shall see You Soon, My Dear.

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