Our Angel baby, the second of three beautiful girls, was going to be named Cherokee Delaney but her father and I couldn’t decide on her name. Just minutes after she was born, the doctor said, “Look at this beautiful child! You should name her Angel because she looks just like a little Angel.” And so she got her name. She had big, beautiful blue eyes and perfect rosebud lips that formed a perfect little “O” that looked just like an angel singing praises. She was the happiest, funniest little girl and always smiling.
Angel was born in Pascagoula, Mississippi and was a total country girl, she loved every living person and living thing. As a kid, she loved to play and get dirty, and I (as her mom) loved to dress her in frills and ruffles. She was happy to oblige me, always knowing, somehow, that this was something momma needed. She had a perfect innocence about her.
She loved to help people less fortunate than herself. She was a peer tutor throughout school and loved to help the children with disabilities. She wanted to be a therapist for them. She spent her high school years as a typical teenager. She overcame many learning disabilities and just blossomed into an amazing, beautiful butterfly. During her senior year, she was a cheerleader at Ben Lomond High School. Angel did anything and everything she could to participate in all of the dances, games, and school functions. Then came her graduation. She was the first girl in our family to graduate in such a long time. The pride that I had that day was overwhelming. After that, Angel just tried to pack a lifetime into her last three months on this earth. She got her own apartment, a good job, and her first car. Oh that car…
On October 9, 2014, at 2:35 p.m., I came home from work to find two State Troopers at my door asking what my relationship was to Angel Stringfellow. I knew at that time that my baby was in trouble, I just didn’t realize how much trouble and that life as we knew it was now over.
My daughter and her very good friend decided to go to St. George and check out Dixie State College. They were on their first-ever road trip through southern Utah. I don’t know a lot about what happened. Did my baby suffer? Was it immediate? What really happened? So many questions that may never be answered.
From what I understand, Angel and her friend were going southbound on I-15 and when she went around a bus, her tire blew out. She over corrected and went down an embankment, rolling her car. She and her friend were ejected. Angel lost her life due to head trauma and blunt force trauma to the lower extremities. Her friend has permanent trauma to her body that she will have to live with for the rest of her life, but she survived. In a matter of seconds, so many people’s lives changed. The only thing we have left are memories. Though we treasure every beautiful memory we have, we can’t get past the feeling of loss and the hole that is gaping in our hearts with no way to heal the pain.
As parents, we love you! We truly only want the best for you. It’s not just lectures, rules, and controlling ways. You don’t always know when something bad is going to happen. When I read the stories about the other children who left us so suddenly, they were all taught to wear their seat belts but for some reason, on those days they didn’t. One simple decision to put on a seat belt could have saved my daughter’s life… and it will save yours!!! FOR GOD’S SAKE put on your seat belt, go the speed limit, and pay attention to what’s going on around you! Don’t let your family lose you. Your life is so precious. You hear all of this every day, apply it. There is a reason why we tell you things—we love you. I’ll never see my daughter get married, have babies, or grow as a woman. I’ll never get to say “I love you” to her again. That’s something I think of everyday. There isn’t a day that I don’t cry and miss her. I get angry. I scream. The reality is, my baby is never coming back. Never is such a long time. Please think about not only your family, but think about your FUTURE self and know that you have a future, so protect it.
All of our love,
The Child Family
(Brett, Angela, Megan, Ashley, AuBree & Kyle)