The year was 1946, Amelia Douveux was getting ready for her special day. It was a huge celebration down at the bayou just for Amelia. Her mother picked out her favorite white gown with pink and gold flowers on the trim. "I picked out these pink colored pearls just for you my baby" said Mama Douvoux. "Oh, mama, I am so excited! I cannot wait to see all of my family. Especially the ones I haven't seen in a long while", said Amelia.
Daddy had a horse and carriage ride waiting outside the building for us. It even matched my dress. It was white with gold trim and it had two white horses pulling it, just for me. We were having a grand party to celebrate a few days before my 16th birthday. "My sweet sixteen, as my big sister liked to say." "A sweet sixteen party, fit for you my sweet Amelia", my sister said as tears rolled down her face slowly. "My dear sister, why I'm practically an adult now, but I'll always be your baby sister," I said as I touched her cheek.
As we rode through the countryside and cotton fields, I could see all my friends and family dressed in their best attire. Why it looked like a Kentucky derby. It looked like all of Louisiana was here. My daddy and uncle were like heroes here. They were the first black men to open up a successful businesses this side of the Mississippi. My uncle was the only preacher in our small town and everyone who was anyone attended service there.
In fact, that's where the celebration began right at my uncles church with a little singing and people swapping stories. After the sermon, we took to the streets again. I could see all the pretty dresses and sharp suits following behind my carriage. They were carrying umbrellas and napkins, dancing and singing. Mama and daddy always knew how to throw a party. I don't know why seeing all their smiling faces, sure made me sad because these were all the people I loved, and I knew they loved me.
As we pulled into the fields, I could see all my family waiting with gifts and flowers. As we pulled in closer I shouted, "Oh mama, look! There's Granny Mae, Uncle Timmy, and cousin Benny standing there waiting." We all got out of the carriage and I couldn't believe my eyes. Mama, sister, and daddy all stood there and looked at me in tears. "Why are you all crying? This is a joyous occasion," I said. Cousin Benny hugged me tight and said "welcome cousin! So nice of you to join us. We've been waiting on you." Mama, sissy, and daddy threw flowers in my direction as they walked back to the carriage without me. "Daddy....daddy.....where are you all going?!" MAMA!!!!!!!," I yelled.
"Relax child, you're amongst family, nah," said Granny Mae. "Look they made a nice sign for ya, so they know how to find ya when they come back." "What sign?!" I said, looking confused. "I thought this was a birthday celebration." "Child, indeed it was! It was a celebration of your life. You see, you caught pneumonia 2 weeks before ya sixteenth birthday and well........unfortunately, you passed on my dear" Granny Mae said. I turned around in dismay as I read the "sign"; "Here lies our dear Amelia Douvoux. Our Angel. May she sleep in peace."