a facebook matchmaker experience-a return to detroit

i enjoyed my time with f2fb friend #312 marguerite joseph and for those of you who have facebook, i hope you’ll look her up and send her a birthday greeting!  she is one hundred and four years old but doesn’t look a day over seventy five.  oddly, facebook doesn’t recognize its users as ever being older than 99 so i guess she can take that to the department of motor vehicles and get a new license.

it was back to detroit that i was heading, with matchmaking on my mind.  i revisited f2fb friend 301 brenda jeffries because i believed i had some unfinished business.

across from brenda's home is a vacant lot, not an unusual circumstance in her neighborhood. she has created a shrine to her daughter raven, who was abducted while playing there when she was six years old. three days later, the amber alert went into effect and raven's body was found. i brought three baby duck statuaries and a mommy duck to the shrine to represent brenda's family. the city of detroit owns the lot and is willing to sell it to brenda for four hundred dollars.

in some neighborhoods of detroit, there are so many abandoned lots that city services like garbage pick up, fire protection and police patrols are inefficient.  if there’s only one house occupied on each of ten blocks in a neighborhood, it really stretches resources.

the city is implementing a program where there are "zones" where city services will continue to be offered and residents of detroit are encouraged to move into those zones or to face life with only their own resources. some corporations are purchasing land outside of the zones with an eye towards developing farms, industrial parks, etc. but what about brenda, who definitely doesn't want to move? what to do with the land that includes what is for her the sacred place of her daughter's spirit? well, it got me thinking. . . about the christmas box angel memorial i visited with f2fb friend #310 julia kovach. . .

both of these friends, julia and brenda, are members of a club nobody ever wants to join–the club of those who have lost a child.  in southgate michigan is the christmas box angel surrounded by the healing bricks that memorialize the lost children.  but don’t you think brenda’s neighborhood could possibly carry that grief and turn it into a positive?  maybe the synergy of julia and brenda together could do that!

julia is also a writer and when i told her the story of raven’s abduction and murder, i realized that she could approach the story with uncommon sympathy and so i have put the two women together.  a story, a memorial park, something good is going to come of their friendship!  on this easter, i think of renewal and i think of the shrine on brenda’s block as the first part of that renewal.

however, i hope she doesn’t throw out the ducks when she’s renovating.  i have become fond of the shrine because it represents the greatest of loves.

brenda's granddaughter paris is adorable and i love holding her and spending time with her! she is a great comfort to brenda!


3 responses to “a facebook matchmaker experience-a return to detroit

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