Green & White (For Sandy Hook)

Kathrine Schmidt was a fifteen year old student at the High School down the road from Sandy Hook Elementary School. On the Friday of December 14th, 2012, all she and her six year old sister, Perrie, could think about was how close they were to Christmas. Before Katherine kissed her baby sister good-bye and walked her to the first door on the left, she forgot to tell her just how much she loved her. Two hours later, the shooter stepped in. It wasn't until after the mad man left that Kathrine watched her baby sister being wheeled away, never to be kissed good-bye again. It wasn't until then that she truly knew what a blessing Perrie was.

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1. Perrie & Barbie Dolls

Perrie, smiling at the camera, galloped her Barbie dolls across the mahogany coffee table in the center of our living room. One, the blonde headed one that she called 'Alyssa', was completely naked, but that didn't bother her, or Ken for that matter. "Daddy, Daddy!" She exclaimed, dropping Alyssa to the glass tabletop with a loud smack and plucking the auburn-headed one from beside it to show off. My father turned his head with a smile, looking into Perrie's almost-lime-green eyes. He nodded, wildly, making Perrie giggle. "I named her, Daddy! Her name is.. Her name is, um.. Kathrine!" She pointed a sticky, chubby finger in my direction. I was leaning on the door frame of the brightest wall in our home, the color of a ripe fall squash. 

Although I went by Kat with most of my friends, I always insisted on having Perrie call me Kathrine. I never knew why, but I did. I was beaming, reminiscing on my own Barbie doll adventures as I watched her force the plastic perfection talk to each other. "Like me?" I asked, rhetorically, to her back. She was busy making Barbie and Ken fall in love, which I missed. I watched her little ringlets bounce up and down as Ken swooped from the sky, grabbing naked Alyssa from the coffee table. "Alyssa!" She boomed in her best manly voice. Of course, it made her erupt into precious giggles, her head moving from side to side to be sure everyone in the room saw. When she looked back at me, I waved, the same goofy grin on my lips. She mimicked me and motioned me over. "C'mon, Kathrine. Play with me. You can be Naked Alyssa." A smile pushed her dimples into the deep 'craters' as Perrie called them, as I crouched down next to her doll house perched atop a corner of the table top.

My Mom walked in with the glass of milk Perrie had requested a few minutes before. She set it down on a coaster, careful to put it in the middle of the table so that just in case she knocked it with her arm, Perrie's milk would be safe and off of the carpet. "Thank you, Mommy!" She said, picking the glass up with both of her tiny and pudgy hands slurping as she chugged the contents of the glass down. When she set it back on the coaster, carefully, a milk mustache trailed the white peach fuzz above her pale lips. She rubbed her stomach, letting out a huge smile, much to the delight of everyone around us. 

That was the thing about Perrie. She made everyone in the room light up and smile, whether you were having a bad day or were just upset. You could talk to her, and she'd just listen, even if she didn't understand what your problem was. She'd hold your hand and wrap her tiny arms around you, warmly, letting you know that everything was going to be okay. She was an angel, we always knew it. We just never appreciated it. 

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