We lost a member of our Ankeny Writing Group ~ Chenita Smiley who said about our first meeting. “I was really excited to be a part AND my son has been waiting to get back to the library for some magazines he found last time.”

We will miss your vivacious smile Chenita.

She was part Native American and part Afro American and very full of love and adventure. She loved being a mother and loved poetry. I feel very blessed to have met her and very robbed to have run out of time to know her. Her son had just turned teenager and now has to carry on alone.

borrowed from the Des Moines Register 10-12-10.
WOMAN CRITICALLY INJURED BY CAR DIES. “A Des Moines woman struck by a car Oct. 5 in Windsor Heights has died of her injuries.”
“Chenita Smiley, 35, died Sunday, after five days in critical condition at Mercy Medical Center with a head injury, Windsor Heights police said. She had been hit by a car driven by Julia Kim, 60, of Waukee around 5 p.m. Oct. 5 as she walked across the intersection of 70th Street and University Avenue in Windsor Heights. Kim was cited for failing to maintain control of her vehicle and for failing to yield to a pedestrian.”
“Smiley was walking with her son, Da’Shawne Smiley,13. He narrowly avoided being hit, police said.”

Thanks to Don Kusmaul of our group who wrote this about Ms. Smiley.

Chenita seemed so vibrant and full of life. I jotted down a little biography on each person as we introduced ourselves in that first NonFiction group meeting. She said she was a Youth Development Specialist, that she had written poetry, and her area of interest was What Happens to Families in Divorce. She said she would write of her personal experience of the past 20 years and also what she believed to be the solution.
Her untimely death is a reminder of the uncertainty of life, and that we should not delay writing what is on our hearts to leave to posterity.
Don Kusmaul

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