I didn’t know you, Anna Celeste Lowe.
I never heard your sweet voice or saw your wispy blond locks in person. I never held your hand when you were scared or watched your eyes light up on Christmas morning. I didn’t know about your tragic passing until at least a week after it occurred.
I never knew you existed until you were already gone.
But I do have two sweethearts in my life who are my reason for living. Every breath they take ensures my heart takes one more beat, and I know how much I cherish every moment with them. I don’t want to imagine how soul-achingly destroyed I would feel if anything happened to them, so I have not been able to get you off my mind since I heard your story. As I listened to what you went through, the nauseating sadness in my heart mixed with the reason-blinding anger in my brain and made me feel it was my personal responsibility to spare every child on Earth from a moment’s pain.
But I can’t.
I’m not a superhero. I’m not even a particularly super Mom sometimes. I try, but I’m not perfect.
Even though I can’t help every child in the world, I would’ve moved all of Heaven and Earth and universes beyond to try to save you. No one took the time to realize the fear and pain that were shaping your life while you were still among us. Neighbors say you were quiet and that you were always covered up. They should’ve asked questions when you weren’t headed to school at your usual time. They say they should’ve wondered if something was wrong.
But no one did, and now the flowers we give you are to be placed on your grave rather than to make your day brighter and bring a smile to your face.
If only the people who are now trying to save your memory had been able to save your life, you could’ve been a ballerina, a princess, a CEO, a pilot, a fashion designer, a mom or all of the above. You could’ve had your first kiss, first dance, first car, first home. You could’ve cried tears of joy instead of pain, and you could’ve known what it’s like to succeed, fail, laugh and live.
But, most of all, you just could’ve been. Here. Living. Breathing. Growing.
I’m sorry no one stopped to give you flowers while you lived. I would’ve. I would’ve wrapped you in hugs and love and hidden you away from life’s monsters until you forgot the pain you had known and learned that people can be compassionate, loving and trusted. You deserved so much more than the misery you faced in this world. I can only hope Heaven’s gates swung wide for you that day and angels were waiting to greet you with love and hugs and the restoring touch of everlasting life.
You aren’t with us anymore, and if there is an ounce of justice in this world, the demons who showed you no mercy will suffer a similar fate. It is my sincere, unashamed hope that they experience the horror of being trapped in a world of pain and knowing what it means to draw their last breaths with sorrow in their eyes and fear in their hearts.
I’m sorry for what you went through, and I would’ve loved to have been able to save you from the pain. There aren’t enough flowers in the world for you, sweet Celeste. You are among the angels now, and this world and its painful memories are behind you as you skip down the streets of gold.
Rest in peace, sweet angel.