Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Complicated Birthday Celebration

I turned 31 on September 8th this year. My housemate Susan wanted to gather some folks for dinner on Sunday the 7th to celebrate and chill in the backyard enjoying the break in the heat. On Saturday night, Susan was home (I was out) and she heard this shooting from our living room. She gathered with others to find out about this young man's death. This is how the paper read in the morning:

Ronell Davis, 29, was shot in the head and the knee at about 8:30 Saturday night on Franklin Street near Wingohocking, in Hunting Park, police said. Davis was pronounced dead at Temple University Hospital at 9:05 p.m.
Walking to church in the morning, I realized it was the same house that recently had the banner of those who have passed from our neighborhood (see past post). The irony was painful. Today, there's a memorial out for Ronell:
It was a quiet day on Wingohocking Street. We decided to go ahead and have dinner with cake and slowly the word got out. Soon after we started eating, the kids called from the front, "Can we come back yet?" So we opened the gate to the backyard and let the flood of children flow in from the block that heard that it was Miss Michaelanne's birthday and there was mention of a cake. When evening came, the heaviness of Ronell's death was so present and there in the midst of it was the joy cries of our kids playing tag and tossing the football. It is really, really complicated... this whole life thing.

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