Search Results

Tonight I Googled myself to see what strangers might find when looking for me on the Internet. “Olivia Watkins” I was disappointed when the first search result revealed another Olivia C. Watkins – Clare, not Catherine. Two more results down and there I am. My Twitter account. My Facebook Account. Two websites I own (although one I’d completely forgot till now). Then an obituary for Olivia Rae Watkins from a town in Mississippi a few hours away. She was 17, a high school senior. A few years ago, the father of a young girl in Mississippi also named Olivia Watkins sent me an email asking if I would correspond with his daughter so that she might have someone with her same name, but more grown up with whom to talk. I wasn’t certain that the inquiry was well intentioned or if it was a man pretending to have a daughter with the same name. I never responded. I wonder now if that was the father of this young girl. I wonder if I missed the opportunity to know her. Olivia Rae died 23 days ago. She was driving home late at night, the news coverage says, when her 2005 Toyota lost control and drove off the side of Branch Farm Road into a tree. She died on the scene. Her photo shows an engaging young woman standing next to a horse. Her t-shirt has had the sleeves cut off and script screen print on the top left chest says, “Southern Belle.” Despite her ponytail and sweaty brow she is wearing dark eyeliner and bright blue nail polish. It’s foolish to think that I am connected to her, but my heart sinks as I read comments about the accident. The story of her life should be first, not below the fold.

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