Whisper a prayer

Published 7:43 pm Friday, May 10, 2024

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When a child walks through the door and it closes behind, mothers whisper a prayer.

No matter how old a child is, once that door closes, all a mother can do is pray for a safe return. The night Kenyatta Snell left to go to a party, her mother, Pamela Snell, cautioned her to “be careful.” When the door closed, Pamela Snell said a prayer for her daughter’s safe return.

The date was June 3, 2023.

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“Kenyatta was going to a party in Louisville with a friend,” her mother said. “I’m not sure she wanted to go. Young people like to go and have a good time with their friends. But, I just had an uneasy feeling. It was going to be one those field parties with no supervision, Freaknik, I think it was called.  It was a mother’s intuition. I would be uneasy until ‘Turtle’ was back at home.”

The mention of Kenyatta Snell’s nickname brought a smile to her mom’s face.

“Kenyatta enjoyed life. She was a happy young person. She loved her little daughter, Kassady. Being with her daughter brought her much happiness. But, Kenyatta was young and she liked to go and have good time. But, I was uneasy and anxious to hear her come through the door.”

Around 9:30 p.m., Kenyatta face-timed her mom.

“She was at a gas station and was going to bring home snacks for Kassidy,” her mom said. “It was a such relief. I had felt uneasy but she was on the way home.”

Just what happened and why, Pamela Snell said she will never know.

“For some reason, Kenyatta decided to go back to the party,” her mother said. “She was on the way home. Why did she go back to the party? If she had just come on home.”

An hour later, around 10:30, Pamela Snell go a call that someone had been shot at the field party.

“Then came the news, my baby had been shot,” Snell said. “My baby had been shot.”

Kenyatta Snell died in a field in a small Alabama town. She was 25 years old.

As the family received the news, they begin to gather to console and support a most distraught mother.

“To lose a child is heartbreaking and losing Kenyatta broke my heart in two,” Snell said. “Her death was….she was shot at a party. How could a young person be shot for no reason; by someone she didn’t know and someone who didn’t know her.”

Pam Snell said she cannot get the image of her daughter being shot and killed and left lying there on the ground with people running all around her.

“In that one second, Kenyatta lost her life. In that one second, Kassidy lost her mother and, in that one second I lost my daughter.”

No one was shooting a Kenyatta Snell. She was at a party and then she was gone forever.

There are a thousand ifs that could have changed what happened that night in a field somewhere in Louisville, Alabama.

If Kenyatta had stayed home; if she had come home with snacks for her little daughter; if she had not been in the path of a bullet that was not meant for her.

“There were about 900 people at the party. But, my baby was the one that didn’t go home.”