Annalee Wright had plans for her little boy's birthday party.
Her family found the receipt for the cake she ordered. They found presents hidden in the closet.
Between visits to the hospital, they picked up the cake. On Monday, his 11th birthday, they tried to make the day happy for him.
By the time Wright and her children stepped into the crosswalk on Lake Street last Friday, 28 other Minnesota pedestrians had been killed by drivers behind the wheel of 1,000-pound projectiles, moving at lethal speed.
We see them everywhere. Distracted and reckless; driving our streets like a video game. Driving as if any of us get extra lives.
If it feels like the roads are less safe since the pandemic, it's because the roads are less safe. People are driving fast, furious, unbuckled and under the influence, with little care for anyone in their path.
We lost 488 lives on Minnesota roads in 2021 and another 446 last year. The state's traffic death toll hadn't cracked 400 for five years before the pandemic. Just this summer, five young women lost their lives on Lake Street to a driver who barreled through a red light and broadsided their car at killing speed.
"I know that people tend to forget about stuff like this. We're not going to forget," said Marian Wright, Annalee's big sister, standing with her siblings on her porch on Minneapolis' North Side. "She took a piece of all of us with her. We don't want people to forget about my sister."
The day after they lost her, the family headed north to grieve with relatives among the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. There, Annalee Wright received her spirit name: Biiwaabik Ikwe. Iron Woman. Fitting for a woman whose final act, witnesses say, was to push her children out of the path of an oncoming car.
"Man, that says it all. That's who she was," said her brother, Billy Wright. "She had the biggest heart. The biggest heart you could imagine."
She leaves behind a daughter, Takiyah, 14, and sons Debonair, 11, and Da'Vinci, 6. Her firstborn, Isaiah, died at age 14.
Takiyah and Da'Vinci were with their mother in the crosswalk at Lake Street and Blaisdell Avenue S. Takiyah suffered a broken arm. Her 6-year-old brother suffered a concussion and deep abrasions.
The family set out a display of photos, surrounded by some of the beautiful flower arrangements from the funeral. Annalee smiling with her arms around family and friends. Annalee dancing at a powwow. Meeting Santa. Showing off her babies.
They're hoping to find enough money to cover one more month's rent on her two-bedroom apartment in south Minneapolis, as they try to get the children through the next birthday, and the next, without her. A family friend set up a GoFundMe, but as of Friday it had raised $170.
Police say Abdirasaq Hirsi Duaale, 23, was driving, unaccompanied, on a learner's permit that night. Just like he was in April, when he was pulled over by an officer who reported seeing him driving down the highway "on his phone, holding it in front of his face and manipulating with [his] fingers."
"I personally feel like this is something he'll have to live with for the rest of his life, and I feel like that's enough torture there," Marian Wright said. The family supports bringing charges against the driver. "He took somebody's mom away, somebody's sister, somebody's auntie, somebody's daughter."