The explosion made the ground shake and blinded me like the fireworks on the 4th of July, but do not worry, Mama. I am not in pain. My chest is tight and it’s hard to breathe, but I feel no fear. The light on my helmet still works; though I can barely make out my hand and the paper I write on.
I don’t know if Father managed to make it to the outside. I cannot see or hear anyone else around me. Perhaps they perished under the crushing rock. I was spared, but it’s some powerful bad air in here now, Mama.
Tell Miss Rosemary that I’m sorry for causing a ruckus in Sunday school. Putting that snake on her chair was stupid. I didn’t figure she’d faint dead away or that Felix Miller would pick the snake up and chase all the girls with it. Tell her she was right all along. There is a God and he is with me now. When the stone is rolled away from my grave, do not grieve – for I have risen like Jesus. Someday Mama we will be together again in Heaven.
Air is running out, Mama. I think I should panic, but I feel only peace. Soon I will be free from this cold, dark tomb. No more laboring for hours underground. No more days shoveling coal. No more working for the Company. Do not mourn for me, dearest mother, celebrate instead. For today is my Independence Day.