Our small community suffered a heavy blow last night. This lovely, strong, active young woman, our next-door neighbor, not yet 17, had a congenital heart valve defect for which she'd already had several open-heart procedures. She was due for open-heart surgery this summer, but then she was expected to need only one more, at the age of 21, after which the repair was expected to be permanent.
That's her on the left, in her party dress, just last night. In the middle of dancing at the ROTC Military Ball, she dropped like a puppet with cut strings. Her young dance partner had only time to break her fall and lay her gently on the dance floor. She was gone before medical help could arrive.
Cheyenne Turner had lived since she was quite young with her grandparents, our neighbors across the south fence. She was a brave young woman. She also had one of the loveliest, purest, most unaffected sopranos I've ever heard. This afternoon I said she sang like a bird. My neighbor reminds me that when I first heard her, that's not what I said. I said she sang like an angel.