Memorial held at the Crosspoint South Crestview church for the 3-year-old girl who died Nov. 10 after her mother’s boyfriend allegedly kicked her in the head as punishment for getting out of her car seat.
Annie Blanks @DestinLogAnnie
CRESTVIEW — Adelynn Merrell was remembered by family and community members Tuesday night as a bright, happy young girl who loved the color purple, dancing and the movie “Frozen.”
About 50 people gathered at the Crosspoint South Crestview church on P.J. Adams Parkway for a memorial for the 3-year-old girl who died Nov. 10 after her mother’s boyfriend allegedly kicked her in the head as punishment for getting out of her car seat. She was laid to rest in her father’s hometown in Kansas last weekend.
Francisco Merrell, Adelynn’s father, said at the memorial that his happiest memory with his daughter was “just the ability to be her father.”
“She was light and love and eternal happiness that she could shine against us,” Merrell said.
Photos of a blue-eyed, curly-haired Adelynn dressed in pastel dresses and sequin dance costumes flashed across screens set high above the stage. A table with flowers, purple balloons, stuffed animals and framed photos of the little girl sat at the very front of the church. A flier with Adelynn’s picture said she was “three years, three months and three days old” when she died.
Melissa Holcomb, who helped organize the memorial, told the crowd the family wanted them to remember Adelynn as “the beautiful 3-year-old little girl that she was.”
“She was a typical 3-year-old. She loved princesses. She loved dancing. She loved singing. She loved her dad. She loved to cuddle with her grandmother. She loved her brothers fiercely. And she loved (the movie) ‘Frozen’ and she was all things girl,” Holcomb said. “And they also wanted to make sure that everyone knew how deeply humbled and appreciative they are for everyone reaching out to them, (despite) not knowing them, not knowing anything about them or the situation, touching them and being a part of their lives.”
Church pastors Lisa Ausley and Brice Early encouraged people to seek God during the difficult time and to try and make something good come of Adelynn’s passing.
“She has made a difference, and we can embrace that this evening,” Early said. “We are taking the difference Adelynn made in each and every one of our lives and continuing to make a difference in others’ lives.”
Ausley said she was happy to see the community come together to remember the little girl many of them did not even know.
“God always brings good things out of tragedy, so we’re always looking for the positive, and I think this brings the community together and it helps us remember the value of children, the value of life and the value of each individual, even unknown individuals,” Audrey said. “It gives us the opportunity to bless a family and just to say, ‘We don’t know you, and you don’t know us, but we care about you because God cares about you.’ ”