By ZOË FISHER
Homicide Watch Chicago
Taylor Flowers, 23, celebrated her golden birthday just a few weeks before her death on March 18. Her sister, Tamara Allen, remembered how excited Flowers was for her “Jordan year,” the birthday based on Michael Jordan’s jersey number.
Birthdays were an exciting time in the household growing up with seven siblings in south suburban Dolton.
Because she was the oldest, “what she said went,” Allen said about Flowers. This would cause squabbles between the two when they were younger, but it also made them the closest of all their siblings.
“My mom always said, ‘Y’all sisters. Y’all need to learn to resolve your issues’,” Allen said. She still looks at the text messages between her and her sister, and is thankful they are filled with words of love toward each other.
Even in adulthood, they still had a friendly sibling rivalry.
“Taylor always beat some butt in spades,” Allen said. “That is serious.”
Around this time last year, Allen remembers one of her favorite times with her sister. They went to their mom’s house with charcoal, cards, food and fireworks for an impromptu July 4 BBQ.
This summer has a much more somber tone with Flowers gone.
She was shot March 15 in her home by her child’s father, Devon Williams, before he took his own life, according to Chicago Police. She died four days later at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
Allen said she trusted Williams because she trusted her sister’s judgment, so she was shocked to hear what happened. However, Allen doesn’t hold animosity toward Williams or his family.
Their one-year-old daughter, Ava Kalise Williams, is primarily taken care of by Flower’s mother, but still visits Williams’ family on occasion.
Allen described her sister as a great mother. She remembered Flowers working long hours just to come home and help build a gingerbread house with her daughter last winter.
Flowers also taught her sister about motherhood. When Allen herself got pregnant at a young age, Flowers was the top assistant in raising Allen’s child. She said her sister taught her to be independent and would even babysit her son while Allen was at work.
Flower’s dedication and fierce independence was always admired by her family and friends. The setbacks in her life never stopped her from achieving her goals. Her family celebrated once Taylor taught herself to drive last year, which was something she always wanted to do, Allen said.
Her determination and kindness will be a lasting legacy. In one instance, a friend didn’t have food, so Flowers took her to a food pantry. She was an active problem solver, “she made stuff happen,” Allen said.
Her sister remembers her being the friend that would listen to a problem, but more importantly, find a solution.