Remembering Georgia Lee Moses: My Angel on Earth, My Sunflower
Updated: Aug 14, 2020
In this life, you have to fight to be relevant... #JusticeForGeorgiaLeeMoses
Growing up, my family fell under the low income category. Despite the things we lacked, I never had to worry. From a young age, my sister took on the burden of ensuring I was well cared for to the best of her ability. Georgia did my hair, fed me, looked after me... she taught me about life.
"I used to live next door to your family in the spring and summer of 1992," said Debra Townsel. In 1992, Georgia was seven. She often played with Debra's daughter who was the same age as her. "Georgia had you with her all of the time. When we would see Georgia, you were there. One time, she came over and you were taking a nap and she said, 'I have to go get my little sister, I know she's awake by now.'"
In my mind, I had two moms - my actual mom and Georgia. We were like two peas in a pod. I didn't understand the burden Georgia took on due to my mother's mental state. I just knew I could always depend on her. Georgia was my protector, my teacher, my rock... my everything.
"It amazed me how much she loved you and how she was there as a little mommy to you," said Townsel. "I had never seen anyone so young take so serious the welfare of her baby sister."
I can vividly remember Georgia sitting me down and teaching me how to tie my shoes. At first, she tried teaching me the two bunny ears method. For some reason, I couldn't figure it out. After struggling for some time, she had me practice using one bunny ear and wrapping the shoe lace around it. Almost immediately I mastered it. I was six years old. Georgia was 11.
"She loved you a lot," said Enorina Gonzalez, one of Georgia's close childhood friends. "You always tagged along with us when you could."
Many of her friends co-sign on the "baby sister tagging along" narrative, but majority of my memories of Georgia come from the times we spent together, just me and her. I think over the years, I subconsciously held on to my sister by constantly replaying our personal time together.
I remember her teaching me how to swim. She had such confidence in my ability learn. I was scared and fearful of drowning, but Georgia believed in me. She yelled out to me to doggy paddle and demonstrated in the air how to do it. "I can't," I yelled. "Yes you can," she yelled back. Her encouraging words helped me doggy paddle to her and from that day on I knew how to swim. I actually grew to love swimming and often reflect back on the day my sister taught me.
When I was younger, one of my favorite things to do was go to the park. Georgia would do the best underdog. For those of you who have never heard of an underdog, it's when a person gets on a swing and another person pulls the swing back then runs forward and goes under the swing. The swinger swings high and the person that pushed the swing, feels accomplished to not have gotten kicked. Georgia would go back and forth, putting all of her might into her push. I always felt at any moment I could reach out and touch the sky. If you saw me at the park today, you more than likely would see me do underdogs with my daughters.
I have many memories with my sister. My mom, who is diagnosed with bipolar schizophrenia disorder, had her good days and her bad ones. Despite which day she was on, Georgia remained my constant. She always wore a smile and at any moment she would bust out some dance moves just because. Georgia made my life better.
She taught me to believe in myself and reinforced my mom's teachings on being kind to people. She was pure-hearted, loving and in her 12 years of living, she helped shield me from the evils of the world.
I could have never imagined that the one person my life revolved around would be violently taken from me.
Life changes in a moment...
In the summer of 1997, my life changed forever. I don't remember what day of the week it was. I don't remember the actual date it was, but I do remember this specific portion of this day as if it were yesterday.
I was at a local children's home. This was a familiar place for me and my sister due to my mother's fluctuating mental state. Prior to coming here, the cops came to my home, asked me some questions and removed me from my home. This time was different because Georgia didn't come with me. I knew eventually I would see her. So each day at the home I waited for her to show up.
On this particular day, I was outside playing with my friend. The day was sunny and beautiful. One of the staff members came outside and told me I was needed in the office. I didn't want to go because I was having fun. It wasn't an option, I had to go inside.
I walked into the office and one of the supervisors, a woman, sat behind the desk. The adult, who walked me to the office, stood in the doorway. The woman told me to take a seat. I told her I wanted to stand because I wanted to hurry up and go back outside. The woman told me I needed to sit down because she had something to tell me. I sat down.
"Angel, they found your sister. She's dead." The words bounced around the room like a boomerang. They never fully landed in my mind.
Up until this point, I never experienced death. I knew people died when they got old, but my sister, my mom - she couldn't be dead. She wasn't dead.
My mind at seven couldn't comprehend the magnitude of the words being said.
"She's not dead, she'll be here," I responded.
The woman proceeded to tell me how they found my sister's body on the side of the road, and that she was decomposed so bad they couldn't recognize her.
"Well then it's not her," I insisted. In that split second I was angry that this woman would even tell me this about my sister if they "couldn't recognize her."
"It is Angel, they had to use her dental records to identity her," the woman said.
I don't know what in that statement resonated enough for me to stop talking, but at that point I shut my mouth. I remember trying to recall when we ever went to the dentist - I couldn't. Somehow, I knew I couldn't convince this woman that she was wrong and I was right, so I opted to let time tell her. She'll see.
The adult in the doorway walked me to my room and asked me if there was was anyone I wanted to come be with me. I asked for the friend I was playing with outside. He told me she was busy playing and couldn't come right now and asked if there was anyone else. I told him, no. I laid in my bed and turned away from him. He closed the door and left. In the midst of being in a semi-dark room, alone and confused... the tears started to flow. Where was Georgia? Why hadn't she shown up yet? Was my sister dead? Was I now alone?
I didn't know the answers to these questions but my heart started to hurt. In that moment I didn't know what to believe. I replayed the last time I saw my sister. The thought of that truly being the last time I would see Georgia sickened me to my core. So instead of believing she was gone, I held on to the possibility of her being alive.
For years, I lived in denial. I even searched for her on Facebook hoping to see her beautiful face. Today, at the age of 30, I know she's gone. Her life tragically ended at the age of 12. My sister was murdered and left on the side of the road. Today, twenty three years later, her case remains unsolved.
For the first seven years of my life, Georgia was was guardian angel, my sunflower - always positive and seeing the light no matter how dark life got.
No matter how much pain I feel when I think about Georgia and our memories, I thank God for the time we had together. Georgia truly changed my life and I'm forever grateful for the love she showed me.
I pray that my family can finally have justice and that Georgia's killer is caught.
"You covered me with your invisible wings and made my life better, you were my angel" ~ Angel Turner