CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Vonettia Calloway, a resident and teacher of Chesterfield County, wrote a children’s coloring book honoring the children who died in a house fire along Glass Road last year.
“Having a source of hope, something that inspires you to just be bigger, do better, try harder. It just came to me and even with their loss it is beyond them,” she said.
Calloway recently unveiled the coloring book, filled with pages of fond memories of the victims of the fire, focusing on the stories of three children who died.
Neighbor shares memories of family in deadly fire in Chesterfield
The book ‘My Color is Coconut’ brings the true story of Aniyah, Julian and Ariabella Seaborne to life. Calloway said it also highlights the lives of biracial and blended families.
“They watch over their mother and father and I hope they remember that. I think that’s why they were perfect. They were chosen to go to heaven as babies,” Calloway said.
The book tells the story of a little girl who thinks she is a princess. The book is told from Aniyah’s perspective. Calloway added a reminder to Aniyah saying her skin tone is coconut because it’s not a specific skin tone.
‘She’s a coconut and she talks about that and about all the little adventures that her and her brother had together. Like eating Oreos for breakfast, I thought that was super cute, so it’s part of the story,” Calloway said.
On April 16, 2021, the Chesterfield County Fire Department and EMS responded to a house fire on Glass Road. Several people were trapped inside and others were rescued from the second-floor windows. Neighbors told 8News they witnessed the desperate race of some firefighters to save them that day.
“I watched them carry one of the kids out the front door and put them in the front yard and give them CPR and that was just… that was really hard to take,” Claudia Kepner said.
Four children, including Aniyah, Julian and Ariabella Seaborne, and two adults were killed in the fire.
As pain pushes Calloway forward, she helps the family turn the page on this tragic loss.
“I’m a mom. My baby is graduating tomorrow and I can’t imagine not having them with me,” she said.
Calloway said the books are available on Amazon.com. She eventually plans to offer the books through her nonprofit organization that provides grief counseling to families. Her goal is to sell 150,000 copies as a portion of the proceeds benefit the Seaborne Family Memorial Fund.