Wednesday, March 2, 2011

In memory of Christina-Taylor Green

There was such speed in her little body,
And such lightness in her footfall,
It is no wonder her brown study
Astonishes us all.
-- John Crowe Ransom
"Bells for John Whiteside's Daughter"

I need the soul and words of a poet to tell of the grief I feel for Christina-Taylor Green, a nine-year-old girl I never met.

Christina was the youngest of six people killed in the Jan. 8 shooting rampage that also left 13 others wounded, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Gabby, who represents Arizona's 8th congressional district where I live, is recovering in a Houston hospital, smiling, singing, speaking single words. Miraculously, she is healing from a bullet wound through the left side of her brain.

There was no miracle for Christina.

Born on a day of horrific national tragedy, Sept. 11, 2001, Christina was fatally wounded on another tragic day as she waited outside a grocery store to meet her congresswoman.

She was a third-grade student leader at her school, a choir member at her church, and the only girl on her Little League baseball team. So much promise, until a gunman's senseless bullet stole it all away from her. Stole it from her family, and from all of us.

I am sorry beyond words for the deaths and injuries of all the adults caught up in that day of gunfire in Tucson, but I still grieve for this little girl. I think of my own two grandkids, not much younger than Christina. Actually tear up when I think of her, of the tragic ending of her life.

On Monday, Feb. 28, they renamed a northwest-side park where Christina used to play. The new, official name of the park, "Canada del Oro Christina-Taylor Green Memorial River Park," has as many words as poor Christina had years.

To residents of the area, it'll simply be "Christina's Park."


Anonymous said...

Amazing, touching, thoughtful. Thank you.

Diane Damewood said...

Beautifully written Tom, thank you. Words speak volumes sometimes, yours speak for all of us here in Tucson.

Jane said...

So lovely -- simple and heartfelt writing that captures the most complex of feelings. Thank you so much, Tom.

Jane Erikson

Jennifer said...

This is lovely Tom. That tragic day hurts my soul and I'm grateful that there is some honor is remembering those special people we lost.