The little shrines stand out for me, and I write about them for my audience to read. I begin with a hope of pulling out a story from a simple shrine, and maybe placing in words its lesson. She was probably a recent graduate of the Class of 2011, and my guess her car was heading northbound when she slid off the roadway and crashed into the bridge wall or into a lousy acacia tree, hardly worth allowing to grow. She might have come home from college for her first Thanksgiving after leaving the family's nest. It's going on three years of the anniversary of her death in the traffic accident,and the bare ground has been kept clear of grass. A pair of fuzzy leopard print dice hang from the acacia tree, as does a prom queen crown and a foil streamer, all items that should have fallen in three years of exposure to snow and wind. "Look for the Angels in your life. They are everywhere", advises a plaque placed in the earth, recently guessing from the cleaness of the stone surface. A jar of items I left unopened.
Doing a Google, I see our lost friend survived for several days after the accident date of November 9, 2011. I see she was driving south, not north, and her car slammed into a northbound car. So her vehicle never left the roadway, and the tree never caused harm at all. Maybe she fell asleep at the wheel, driving after two in the morning, when a green driver should have been home sleeping rather than testing her limits.
It impresses me that a plaque recording the young woman's birth and death facts was engraved on shiny plastic, the engraved lettering black. That plastic label might last ten years. In Portsmouth, Virginia, I saw graves of limestone three or more centuries old, and time had worn the lettering flat and illegible. It's as a Shakespeare Sonnet predicts. Time wears out legibility. I solve this problem by adding this picture to the internet, where it will be present forever on the Wayback Machine.
Accident summary was printed in the Muskegon Chronicle:
As of today, her obituary still remains online.