Charlotte was 6 years old, and she loved pink. On her last day on earth, she had convinced her parents to let her wear her new pink dress and boots that her parents had gotten her for the holiday season. I love her fashion sense and the fact that we share the same desire to wear new togs the second we get them. My heart breaks a little more knowing that this is a kindred spirit whom I'll never have the chance to meet.
Charlotte's was the first name I saw when the list of shooting victims was released. I'm not quite sure why her name jumped out at me so. I have always loved the name Charlotte, and I have often thought that if we'd had another girl, I'd have liked to name her Charlotte.
Since Charlotte also wanted to be a veterinarian, I started off our run asking her if she'd like to hold Zooey's leash with me. I explained that Zooey loved to snuggle, and invited her, if ever she gets cold, to come visit us - Zooey will curl up into a coonie ball next to her and keep her warm; all she asks in return is for her ears to be stroked. I also told her about Frye Guy, the kitten who had been living in our backyard (and neighbor's backyard) for a little over a month. We had to take him to the Humane Society today, I asked Charlotte if she could watch over him to help him find a loving forever home. If anyone can help him find a home, it's a sweet girl who loved all animals and who strove to be a vet, even at such a young age.
Then I turned my attention to her family. I asked her make sure that she helps her parents know that she's OK, that she is resting peacefully. I hope that, somehow, Charlotte can take her mother's hand and hold it next to her heart, even if just for a little while.
There was a point at which I could barely see through my tears. But I was grateful for the company that Charlotte provided me this morning, and I remain thankful for the place she now holds in my heart.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8)