What kept me tossing & turning in sleepless wonder for many months after my sister was murdered was how sickeningly normal that day had started out. How horrifyingly clueless & unsuspecting I was that morning, Monday, Dec. 2nd, 2013, of events unfolding that would forever divide my life into two unspeakable, unimaginable, forever separate parts, known only as Before This and After That. I awoke that day to a gray, grimy, chilly Monday morning, fall in NY weather…nothing unusual in that. I got up at 6:30 to roust my two youngest sleepyheads outta bed and on to school (5 year old silly, happy, chatterbox Christian & 7 year old chatty, dramatic, singing princess Ciara). Both squabbled over tooth brushing and which snacks they would take to school…again, nothing out of order there. Spent the rest of the morning as many do: handling chores, laundry, appointments, cooking, worrying about bills and a silly argument I’d had w a close friend, all normal little details of Life…until it was time to pick up my tiny terror tots from school. Then it was up and in motion, checking the clock, grabbing my coat, phone, water bottle, keys, and out the door and on my way. Poor fool that I was…So sweetly clueless and blissfully unaware that this was the last hour of peace I would experience for a very, very long time. Now, looking back on that last hour of innocence, I savor those moments like the last slice of my favorite homemade pie. They were precious, those last few minutes before my world tipped, swerved, crashed & shattered into a thousand tiny, little pieces.
So there I stood with 2 or 3 hundred other tired, anxious, overworked parents…straining to hear over the roar of excited kids screaming & running around, eyes restlessly searching back n forth for my two brats…when my cell phone began humming & trilling over and over again, and a shiver & slight frown raced through my body as I noted the caller. It was my oldest child, then 17, who, together with my 15 year old son lived with my aunt Dee, the matriarch of our tiny, widespread, scattered family. At the time, my aunt and I were not on the best terms due to a family dispute, so the sight of 3 missed calls from my daughter and the phone continuing to ring off the hook told me instantly that something was not right. Though my oldest two and I loved each other dearly, phone calls never came in from them with such relentless dreaded repeat calls over & over…unless something terribly out of the ordinary had happened. As I stared at the phone, debating if I should call right back or take ten minutes to get the kids first, the phone lit up again as another call came in back to back,and without warning, I already dreaded picking up to answer and hearing whatever it was. My neck began to tighten with tension as I dragged my suddenly heavy finger to the SEND button to connect the call. Something deep inside my soul was already tightening up into a ball of unreasonable childishness, hollering out four words silently in my head over and over again…I Don’t Wanna KNOW! DO NOT Wanna Know!! NO! Don’t Wanna Know!! But that damn buzzing & chirping phone couldn’t be ignored anymore, so I answered with all the strength I could drag up in those last few precious moments, before being dragged down into the swirling pool of quicksand waiting on the other end of the line. I would have given anything to have been able to avoid the car crash I was quite suddenly yanked into. It was very much like being sideswiped on the freeway by a big rig, in a compact car with no airbags. Just because it wasn’t your fault, that didn’t mean that you weren’t going to pay in full, anyway. So I tapped the Answer button and reluctantly dragged up a worried sounding Hello?
“Something’s happened to Sheryl!” were the first words I heard. “She’s in the hospital and she’s had some kind of accident. They said you need to get there right away!” “What? What are you talking about? What the–? What happened?” was my response. An instant headache began pounding in the back of my head…and that ball of tension in my neck buried itself in deeper and settled in, like it knew it was going to be around for a long while. My first feeling was utter dread…followed by annoyance, confusion, then icy cold panic and fear. If they had called for me it had to be very, very Bad; as I had not seen my younger sister in six years, due to her freespirited, party hearty lifestyle. As her older, slightly more responsible sister, it galled me no end to bear silent witness to her careless attitude and happy go lucky, up today and down tomorrow and who cares either way lifestyle. Sheryl and I were a case study in contradictions. Like the sun and the moon, we were alike only in contrast. Sometimes it seemed that the only thing we shared in common was our mother’s bloodline. My only sister had reached awesome heights in her professional life that I could only marvel at and brag about (working for a huge investment firm with her own office and a personal secretary to screen her calls)…and yet sank into the depths of darkness and despair in her personal life (partying too much, picking men who often used or abused her, and eventually losing herself and losing custody of 3 beautiful children along the way). Though I was one of the few who knew that Sheryl laughed and joked and smiled away all the pain in her life as a defense mechanism, much like a happy go lucky puppy; and I could not and would not live like that. Thus we had gradually become different, distant, alienated, and then completely separated, following several arguments we had about how she was living and the effect it was having on her children. Party lifestyles and full time parenting don’t mix very well, much like oil and water. Now, years later after being cut out of her life here I was, being yanked back in to face another train wreck.
Maybe this latest mess will be the thing that motivates her to get her life back in order, I thought. Maybe we can finally become sisters again. Just maybe she’ll be ready to get rid of whatever bum ass boyfriend she’s hanging out with and start fresh. I thought. Looking back now, something quite cold & harsh inside laughs at my hopefulness that day…because nothing on earth could have been further from the truth. I might as well have been whistling my way past the graveyard, trying to convince myself I wasn’t scared; because harsh reality was preparing to sucker punch me right in my face. It started when I called the number for the hospital emergency room my daughter gave me. She had no answers and no idea what had happened to Sheryl, so I figured I could get some info from the medical personnel. Wrong…wrong again. After identifying myself as my sisters next of kin, I spoke briefly with an obviously overloaded, overworked ER nurse, whose anxious tone sent butterflies leaping and twirling in my stomach. “YOU NEED TO COME HERE RIGHT AWAY, MISS! RIGHT AWAY! YOUR SISTER HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT! WE NEED YOU TO COME RIGHT AWAY! RIGHT AWAY!!” was all she would say, despite my repeated questions and verbal pressure. By the time I got the directions and hung up with her, I was frantic inside. Hurrying home with my 2 small kids in tow, my mind was a whirlwind of horrifying scenarios. Was it a car accident? Had she been beaten up? Shot? Stabbed? In a coma? What? What?? WHAT WAS IT? What Now? Then the phone rang again, my aunt calling this time, and the confusion began to clear up at her next words, while my world began to cave in. “Sheryl is dead, Crystal” she said, in a hushed tone of finality that left no room for denial. “Im sorry to tell you but she’s dead. I just got a call from the NY Organ Donors Association…Im sorry…but Sheryl’s dead.” For a long moment my throat closed up, and I could barely speak above a whisper. Again I asked what happened, and again received no reasonable answer. No one seemed to know what had happened…and I knew the only answers left were waiting for me at the Emergency Room. I phoned my dear neighbor and told him that I had to get to the hospital immediately because my sister was hurt bad and possibly dead, and I didn’t know what happened or why. Goodhearted as always, he volunteered to go along with me for support. So we dropped the kids off at my aunts house to avoid taking them along to the horror show, and took the long train ride out to the Queens hospital where my sister lay waiting.
Along the way my mind was swirling in agony. What had my sister gone to Queens and gotten herself into? Who had done this to her? Was she shot? Beaten to death? Tortured? By who? Why? What the hell kind of nightmare was I now about to face? Knowing nothing, I was terribly glad to have not made this horrible, final trip to face the unknown all alone. When my stop arrived, I shrank back and had to force myself to stand and exit the train. My legs were literally dragging, feet being forced by command to move forward, cuz I was dreading finding out the details and having to identify my sisters body. If I could have blinked myself into another part of the world, I Dream of Jeannie style, I would have. Already, the huge hole in the pit of my stomach told me this was going to be very, very bad. In a few short minutes we were inside the Emergency Room, talking to a couple of busy medical staff and ER nurses. The looks on their faces when I told them I was the next of kin made me feel no better. It was a look that said, Brace Yourself Cuz I Feel Sorry for You. All they would tell me was that she had been brought into the ER that morning, terribly beaten up, and died there shortly after. Inside I was alternately numb, frozen, frightened, angry and filled with dread. Finally they escorted us to the basement morgue. We were directed into a side room with a viewing window that made me cring inside. Suddenly I couldn’t quite breathe right, and wanted to scream and pull my hair out, cuz I knew what that terrible little viewing window was for. This was where I was going to see my sister after she had been beaten to death. Oh how I wanted to not have to do this…how I longed not to have to be the Responsible One and face my only sisters body in the finality of death. Anything…anywhere…anyhow, would have been better than this. But I knew better. No matter how much I dreaded it someone had to do it…and that someone horribly, terribly had to be Me. So when they finally wheeled a covered stretcher out and up to the window and unzipped that awful black body bag, I summoned all the strength inside me though I hated every minute of it, and forced myself to step up close to that death window and take a long look. Everything inside my mind was screaming NO NO NO Don’t Do It…but I knew I had to.
My first thoughts upon seeing my sisters face was: “THATS NOT MY SISTER! What the hell is going on here? Who the hell is that?!” The person lying on that stretcher couldn’t be MY Sister…Oh no, no no…they must have made a terrible mistake, this dead person was NOT, COULD NOT be my once vibrant, full of life lil sis. NO F—KING Way!!! “That’s Not MY Sister!!” I screamed at the medical staff hovering over the body, hating the awful look of pity in their eyes. “How do you know that’s her?! That CANT BE HER!! That’s not my Sister!!” Thinking they were making a terrible mistake, I began to argue with them. Suddenly I understood why they did this from behind locked doors and a tightly sealed window…cuz something inside me wanted to beat the hell outta anybody telling me that this lifeless log on that table was My Sister. Wanted to smash their fucking faces in till they stopped saying it and then beat a retraction and an apology out of them too. How dare you call that nightmare on that table my little sister. My mind refused to believe it. This bruised, hollow, broken shell of a body could not possibly be her. No, no, no. No way that this swollen, bloated, beaten, silent, bloody horror show could be my happy, laughing, smart, smiling,playful, life loving little sister. The person that I had known and loved was gone, gone, entirely gone, and nowhere to be seen. This could not be Sheryl. This had to be a terrible, terrible mistake, an error on someone’s part. Not one part of my mind or body could accept that this was my little sis. Someone was pulling a horrible, mind cracking, brain shattering and deadly joke on me. No, this could not be my little baby sister, whom I had babysat alone at age 7, when she was barely one years old. Who had cried for days when I moved out at 17 to live with my boyfriend and complete high school in peace away from our mothers self destructive domestic violence drama and drug addiction problems. Who had come to the birth of my first child and sneaked in a pastrami sandwich cuz I was so hungry prior to giving birth…then lovingly held a bucket under my head as I threw it up later on the birthing table. No this could not be my sister. Something inside my head cracked wide open and I realized that I was now standing on top of the table to get a closer look at the monstrosity these people kept saying was my sister, arguing with them to the point of insanity because I SIMPLY DID NOT BELIEVE IT. Could not believe it. There was nothing there that looked one bit like Sheryl at all. Not one bit.
My sister’s face was so swollen from the beating she had suffered that there was absolutely nothing there that resembled the vibrant, full of light person she had once been in life. In death she looked like a middle aged overweight Jamaican woman, nothing like herself at all. Her face was many shades darkened, almost blackened…filled with debris and dirt and blood and pain and suffering. Her mouth was shattered, lips bloody and swollen, cuts and bruises and savage marks of the beating she had suffered all over her once pretty, smiling face. She looked like something straight out of a horror movie. Like she was going to sit up on the table with that monster face and tell me “See, Crystal? See what happens to little sisters who don’t have their big, bad big sis around to protect them? See? If only you had protected me from myself better…this never would have happened. YOU are to blame too, for not being there to stop this. Now u see what happens. Right? Right. Remember that it’s your fault too for not being there and never forget that for the rest of your life. Look at how badly you failed at protecting me. Now you pay the price. Look at what you let happen. Right? Right. Now you take a good look at how bad you let me down. Remember that.” My mind was a whirlwind of desperation and panic and despair. Feeling like I was breaking inside, I searched that terrible face for some sign that this was indeed my own sister. How could this be? Was somebody trying to drive me insane, playing a terrible trick designed to drive me right out of my mind? Everywhere my eyes searched I saw nothing that reminded me of my sister, not one thing. She was beaten down, battered and swollen, with horrible black and blue bruises covered in drying blood everywhere and huge lumps and bumps on her head. And inside my own head I was screaming and screaming, wishing I could wake up from what had to be a horrible nightmare. Please, someone tell me that this is some kind of devilish prank…tell me anything. Cuz that horrible dead broken woman could not be my sister. No, it could not be true. Suddenly very angry, I began recycling the argument with the morgue staff, demanding they tell me how they knew for a fact this person was my sister. One said something about the Benefit card they found in her pocket, identifying her…and my heart sank. Sheryl was always known to keep her card on her pretty much at all times. When she was not working, it was her only financial lifeline. Still I did not want to believe it. Again I forced myself to search that nightmarish face, seeking something, anything that would tell me for sure that this was indeed Sheryl. Then I noticed that beneath the blood and dirt and savage remains of the terrible beating she had suffered, there was my sisters hairline. Though the hair was a little shorter than I remembered, and clotted with blood and dirt…it was indeed my sisters hairline. Something only a sister who loved you dearly would know and notice. Then I jumped off the table, screaming “Take It Away! Take It Away!”…and instantly felt filled with self loathing, hating myself inside for having called my sister an IT. Cuz I knew at that moment beyond a shadow of a doubt…yes, that horrible nightmare on that stretcher in that bodybag was her. It absolutely definitely was Sheryl. Something shattered and broke inside my head, leaving behind a horribly cold, numbing space. Suddenly it felt like the walls were closing in on me, and I could not get out of that terrible room of death quick enough. Yet my body and feet did not want to obey me, and I could only manage to move very slowly, with the broken gait of a very old person. I suddenly felt older than the hills, and like I wanted to do nothing more than lean against the puke green paint on the hospital walls and become a part of the wall. Anything was preferable to having to think or move or even live through that day. Eventually my friend gently led me down the hall and out into the cold, fresh air. Without his calm, steadying presence I might have passed out, so overwhelmed was I at what I had just bore witness to. Within a few minutes my despair began to turn into boiling hot anger. I needed answers, and I needed them now. This awful nightmare visited upon my sister could not go unpunished and unanswered. There was no room left for anything else except finding out what had happened to her…and why.
It didn’t take long to get some answers from friends and family. As with all bad news, the gossip and rumor mills immediately began working overtime…but this time there was plenty truths there to pick and choose from, and pretty much all of it was bad news. After calling Aunt D to give her an update (Yes, its Sheryl, for sure…and yes, its very bad…worse than u could ever imagine) I called Sheryl’s best friend, Nicole. If anyone on the planet would know more about what was going on with her at the time of her untimely death, it would be Nicole. They were close as two crossed fingers, always had been as long as I could remember, going back to teenage years. No one on the planet knew more about what was going on with my little sis than she did. They shared each others lives and held each others secrets. Whatever had happened to Sheryl, my gut told me that Nicole held the keys to finding out more…and in the end it only took two phone calls to find out the ugly truth of what had happened to her. Nicole was in deep mourning, as I knew she would be. She and Sheryl had been so tight that they were thought to be sisters, and in fact they were like sisters in every way possible. It never bothered me because anyone with two eyes could clearly see they loved each other like sisters and always would, no matter what. Now that closeness gave me instant access to who and what had been going on in my sisters life prior to her death. Between fighting back tears and sobs, Nicole told me the awful truth of what had happened the night before my sisters death, and who she had been involved with. Sheryl had been living out in Queens with some bum ass guy, though all she had ever mentioned to me years ago was that she had “a boyfriend who lived in Queens”. Now I was finding out that it was a whole lot more going on than that. Allegedly there had been a threesome type relationship going on between him, Sheryl and his live in lady during the so-called “good times”, and plenty physical and verbal abuse in between the bad times. As I listened to Nicole talk it finally became Crystalclear to me why I could never get the truth out of my sister about what was going on in her life, during our few brief phone calls over the years. Who in their right mind would want to admit to their older, disapproving sister that they were involved in a silly fantasy relationship with a man and his live-in woman? It was a ludicrous, alternate lifestyle choice that could only end in bitterness, anger, and problematics for one, two, or all three persons involved. Anyone with two eyes could have seen that coming…but how had it all ended in my sister’s death? Then Nicole dropped a bombshell or two or three on Me. “It was her boyfriend that did it!” she yelled down the line into my ear. “I know he did it! Cuz he called me last night, screaming and cursing about her! Told me to say goodbye to your sister, cuz Im gonna kill her!! And now the next day, Sheryl’s dead? He really did this to her, too…” and she broke down sobbing again.
My mind was a whirlwind of toxic knowledge I had never known about my sister and her relationship, now I had to know more. Despite her grief, I pressed Nicole for answers, and got more than I ever, ever wanted to know. Allegedly the abuse of my sister had been going on in the relationship for years, during much of those long years that she had stayed away from the family. That sounded exactly like Sheryl. Who would want to show up around their nosy and inquisitive family beat up and beat down, having to dodge questions about how it happened and who did it? Over the years her abusive boyfriends had blackened her eyes, wrenched her arm out of the socket, and slapped her around…but that abuse was taken to the lowest and highest heights possible when she became involved with Bish–. Apparently, though his woman did not agree with the arrangement, she reluctantly participated, secretly hating my sister all the while. When she complained, according to Nicole, he told her in front of my sister that “She could leave if she wanted to, but Sheryl was staying no matter how she felt about it.” Then my sister got a tattoo of his wifes pet name for this asshole to celebrate her birthday, Oct. 27th. Somehow that tattoo became the boiling point of the whole toxic relationship, incensing both Bish–and his nutty lady. “They kept shouting on the phone that ‘This is serious!’ Nicole recalled…”And he kept saying how she was out in the street disrespecting him with that tattoo on…and a whole lot of other nonsense and shouting and stuff. When I asked to speak to Sheryl he put the phone to her ear, but I couldn’t hear her at all or get any response when I spoke to her”. Now I finally had a clear picture of what had happened to my sister. The remaining details were equally appalling, which I got in the next few days from the police and further conversations with Nicole and the media. Allegedly, after hanging up the phone on Nicole, these two horrifying morons had taken turns beating Sheryl to death with their fists, a bottle, anda long metal paint roller, throughout the night. She was even burned with a cigarette on her body. They then went to sleep, leaving her unconscious and unresponsive. The next morning they decided to take her to the local hospital, and told the medical staff that they had found her in the street like that, a stupid story that instantly fell apart when detectives showed up and began questioning the woman, who had been left behind at the hospital like trash by her “man”. Upon going to the street where they claimed to have found her, dectectives realized that there was no sign of a struggle or a fight there…no blood, no broken glass, no nothing. So they took the woman into custody, pressed her for more details, and her story fell apart like wet tissue paper. Two weeks later they took him into custody too, catching him after he had fled to Pennsylvania. None of that made me feel any better…cuz no matter what, my sister is forever gone.
The next few days were like taking a weekend trip and making a wrong turn that landed me in the waiting room to Hell. Suddenly I was dealing with all sorts of responsibilities I’d never dealt with before. Organ donation workers kept calling asking for permission to remove and use my sisters body parts and organs, family kept calling not to console me, but to insist upon their own personal beliefs regarding my sisters final placement, and then the worst of all, I had to go to the funeral parlor to handle paperwork and funeral service details. Thankfully a close friend of my sister took it upon herself to handle as many of the details as she could, and even brought me to the parlor in a car she rented, but the worst was yet to come. As we waited for the funeral parlor staff, I told her that I wanted to see the picture she had taken of my sister when her body had arrived at the parlor. Warily, she took out her phone and asked if I was ready. I said yes, steeled my nerves and looked at the picture of my sister in death…and immediately regretted it. The vicious, violent damage she had suffered was overwhelmingly clear to see, and worst of all the swelling had gone down, and it was clear to see that this was my sister…horrifyingly clear. I could no longer hold it together…I lost it. Asking my sisters friend to call Nicole, I took the phone and began screaming insanely down the line, demanding that she give me the address of that house of horrors so I could burn it to the ground. I was jumping up and down in the street in front of the funeral parlor, screaming at the top of my lungs at her, cursing, crying and alternately begging and demanding to know where it was located. At that moment I was almost psychotic. My sisters friend came out and grabbed and held me until I came back to myself….and when my mind cleared I realized to my horror that I had actually peed on myself in rage. In fact I was so angry, that one man crossing the street nearest to me as I exploded stood completely still and then shrunk back with an expression on his face like he expected me to attack him at any moment. Remembering that photo, which I kept so that no one will ever forget what happened to my sister, still haunts me to this day. My hands still shake whenever I touch the file folder I keep my sisters keepsakes in from her funeral in….including that horrifying picture.
Now months later I look back on my sisters’ untimely death with a whirlwind of mixed emotions. Sometimes I’m boiling mad…angry, vengeful, disgusted, disappointed in her bad choices, and hurt too, because we will never ever have another chance to become closer than we were. Other times I feel numb and lost…adrift in a sea of disbelief, floating by in a cocoon of warm blankness that cushions me from the awful horror of my sisters death. I gave grave and serious thought to murdering the two clowns responsible for her death had they ever been given bail and released…but that never happened. Both were denied bail, and I never had to take that road, which could have lead me directly to a Life sentence. I thought the horrifying drama was on its way to being over but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I did almost have a breakdown exactly one week after my sisters death. The following Monday, Dec 9th, 2013, I was awakened by an emergency phone call from my best friend Sam (name changed). Still groggy, I almost fell out of bed when she hollered down the line that her boyfriend had just choked her out in a fit of rage and completely destroyed her apartment, after she told him she didn’t want to see him anymore. He then demanded that she give him money, and ripped her fanny pack off her waist when she refused. Scared for her life, Sam agreed to go with him to take money off her debit card, fooling him just long enough that he stepped out her front door, at which point she locked it. Then he began kicking her door in. Terrified, she called me while leaning against it on the other side, desperately trying to keep the door from caving in…and with my heart in my throat, I begged her to call the police, before he could break the door down. Unbelievably, I also had to call the police on her behalf, because it took more than 30 minutes before anyone arrived to help her. By the time they showed up, he had calmed down, and according to Sam, the two officers (who appeared to be from India, where women are abused and beaten regularly) took the whole situation very lightly, and laughingly advised her attacker to “go take a walk”, dismissing his brutal attack and making no attempt to arrest him. As soon as they left he returned to the front door, demanding to be let in. Sam called me again, we called the police again, and by the time they arrived he was gone…but in my gut I knew he wouldn’t stay gone for long. I directed Sam to take a cab directly to my home after the 2nd set of officers left, which may have saved her life. As soon as she arrived, we began discussing what she should do. Sam was reluctant to call her boyfriends parole officer and make a report, but I insisted that she do it. After all, with no report, how could she be safe if he ever tried to hurt her again? It would be a case of her word against his. Eventually she reluctantly agreed, and we made the call together. Thankfully, his parole officer took the situation seriously, and within a short while appeared to take an official report. During the interview the boyfriend kept calling her phone over and over, demanding that she meet up with him. As they spoke, Sam was horrified to realize that he had managed to break into her apartment and was now calling from her own home. She and the parole officers listened in as he claimed that he had gone back into her apartment to “clean up” the mess he had left that morning while destroying all her belongings. Following the parole officers instructions, Sam pretended that she was on the way back to her apartment, and the parole officers went instead. About a half hour later they called Sam, and I watched the color drain out of her face and she began shaking. “They caught him in my apartment…” she said, her voice dripping with horror and fear. “They found him hiding in my closet with a huge knife.” Worst part was, only an hour ago I’d had to convince Sam not to return to the apartment while she was waiting for the parole officers to arrive. She wanted to go back home and clean up the mess, which I was dead set against until he had been caught. Had she ignored my warnings, Sam probably would not have made it out of that apartment alive. Shaken to the core by the very real possibility that my best friend could have been killed by her boyfriend, just one week after my sister was murdered by her boyfriend in an abusive, self destructive relationship; I could take no more of being a part of other peoples wrong choices. After a couple of months of watching Sam dismiss the whole situation and floating along in denial, foolishly determined to hang on to the apartment where she was almost killed, though the owners wanted her out because (according to the parole officers) she had been inviting a child molesting predator into a building that was a safe haven for abused women, we ended our friendship of over 30 years. Sam was completely dismissive of the fact that she had almost lost her life and unknowingly put her mom and myself in danger by introducing us to the monster she was too foolish to see right in her own bed…but I could not go through another round of insanity and violence for her or anyone else. This was not the first time Sam had been in a dangerous, abusive relationship, and I could not stomach witnessing another one down the road. In years past, her mother had rescued her from a violent relationship, and her sister and her sisters best friend had rescued her from other abusive men as well. Now it was my turn to play Rescue Ranger, and one week after my own sister’s death I was in no shape to continue being a part of anyone else’s self destructive relationship patterns and life choices. When Sam began to act as though she was angry at me for being right all along about her choices in men (since I had told her after my first introduction to her guy, Hakim, that I saw “danger and craziness in his eyes” and that she needed to get rid of him immediately before something very bad happened), it became clear that our time together was pretty much over. Why she could not face the fact that she had brought yet another predator into her life, and risked not only her own life, but all of ours too, by introducing us to him, I don’t know…but the truth can sometimes be hard to face and I had definitely had enough of it all. Those who fail to listen and remember are doomed to repeat, but Sam was lucky. Sometimes foolish folks don’t get another chance…like my sister.
Now, neither my sister or my best friend in my life, and I have no other choice except to go on, looking towards a brighter day and trying to create something good out of a very bad, nightmarish situation. After all, there are my children, and my sister’s 3 children to keep moving forward for. Hoping to find a means to bring big smiles back onto these innocent children’s faces. They are the only ones left who count, now. One thing that all of us who knew my sister personally knew was how much Life Sheryl had within her. She was troubled, she had many personal problems, and didn’t always make good choices…but that wasn’t all there was to Sheryl. She was also a whiz at mathematics, a self taught speed reader, and an excellent cook. She was always lighthearted, fun and funny, and full of jokes and comic relief. Sheryl lit up a room when she walked into it…her smile was brilliant and silly and beautiful, and it will always be missed. No matter how bad things were in her life, she always tried to laugh it all away, and downplay her pain. What I miss most about my sister is seeing that bright eyed smile and hearing her joyful, silly laughter filling the room. Though we were as different as night and day, that was the one thing I always wished I had that my sister owned…the ability to enter a room, a space, any place…and light it up with her larger than life personality and 100 watt smile…and I will forever miss that. And her. Most important, remember her horrifying fate if you know anyone in an abusive relationship, and what happened to my best friend…and pass this word to the Wise on to them. You might be called a nosy know-it-all and told to mind your own business…or you just might be saving their life..
Exerpt from the upcoming true life saga “SLIDING DOWN SUGAR HILL”, by Crystal Outerbridge
THOSE INTERESTED IN DONATING ANYTHING POSITIVE…Contact Sheryl’s Smile @www.sherylssmile.gmail.com THEY DESERVE IT, THEY ARE GOOD KIDS WHO HAVE SUFFERED A TREMENDOUS LOSS. GOD BLESS AND KEEP YOUR KIDS SAFE…