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Lisa Joann was born June 9, 1974, a beautiful, healthy,happy baby. She was the 1st born to her 18 year old Mommy and 24 year old Daddy. We had been married 6 months when she was born. A younger sister followed 15 months later, a brother 4 1/2 years later, and when she was 12 1/2 years old, the 4th and final child joined the family. A baby boy. Lisa was like a second Mom to the baby, Daniel.

    Lisa was a complex child that eneded up having mutilpe ailments. It seems like from the age of nine, when she passed out one day at a Little League game, she was always being shuttled from one Doctor to another, one Specialist to another.

Among her problems, were very flat feet, knock knees,fluid under the knee, so it became displaced often,a seizure disorder origins unknown,Migraine Syndrome, ExotropiaStrabismus,where her eyes turned out instead of being cross-eyed, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, A-typical Asthma, a prolapsed Mitral Valve, Supra Ventricular Tachycardia and Cyclothymia, extreme mood cycles. One  inute she waould be loving and laughing and happy, the next she was moody, argumentative, or sick and very frail. This went on from age nine until she died at age 19 years, 11 months and 16 days, almost to the minute.

     Lisa could be difficult, and some could not understand how she and i could battle like banshees one minute and then be laughing and going shopping the next. I knew why, I understood. She could not always help herself. She tried, and most of the time she did not like her ownself. Throughout her high school days it was a strugle for her to have the energy to get up and go to school. She was either not feeling well or she was too depressed to even get up. boy did I have fights with the school over that. I finally home schooled her.

    Lisa loved music, the color light blue, the ocean, her family, boys, kittens, stuffed animals and making up or copying cartoon characters voices. She loved calling the radio stations and dedicating songs to people.  She loved movies, and playing board games and card games. Most especially she was a social butterfly and always wanted her friends around. She usually had a small group of her very best friends.

   Her cyclothymia, or Bi-polarism is what they would probably call it now, ravaged her mind and body, making her physically ill at times. She voluntarily admitted herself to a Psyche ward at age 15, to get help. She was therabout 6 weeks. She said she felt much stronger then. But she still fought her demons. She dabbled with drugs, taking speed which played havoc with her heart problems. She would pass out and a couple times we had to rush her to the hospital, once she quit breathing and while her boyfriend drove I began mouth to mouth on her. The speed would speed up her heart and her breathing became difficult and she would go into an asthma attack. It was like a dominoe effect. But eeach time we pulled her through.

Her most greatest desire was to get married and have babies. Lots of them. She would sit by the hour and choose baby names, and wedding dresses. She was going to have a HUGE wedding, lots of bridesmaids, long train so the church had to be massive. At age 16, she was living with her now divorced Dad and times got rough for Lisa. She swallowed an entire bottle of tylenol. Thank God she called her best friend who in turn called her dad. They got her to the hospital in time. I got to her, stayed with her till she could be moved and then tookher home with me.

    At age 18 she met a wonderful young Marine, age 19. After 10 months of dating, she discovered she was pregnant. Chris was getting ready to go overseas for 6 months so they decided to marry before he left so she would be covered on his insurance. They had planned on marrying anyway. So two weeks later, lisa had the wedding of her dreams. She just did not know what her real dreams had been. When it came down to it, she married a man she loved, in a homemade dress, in a very small little church/classroom, with the desks shoved to the side of the room and an off key organist with mismatched bridesmaids. yet to all of us, and especially Lisa it was a beautiful wedding. May 1, 1993.

   Chris went overseas, Lisa moved in with me for a couple months and then went to the East Coast to spend 3 months with her new in-laws and had a womderful time sight seeing and meeting all of Chris' loved ones. Afterwards, she came back to me and waited for Chris to come home the next Month. They were to stay a month with me, as the baby was due in Dec. Kevin was born Dec. 6 ,1993.

They stayed with me until Dec. 27th and then it was time for them to travel 600 miles south, to the Marine base Chris was stationed at. He found them an apartment for the three of them and it was time for them to go begin their life together finally. They packed up their little sports car and had to stop at every little market in town because Lisa had to have a certain brand of chips for the long trip. My youngest son and I were following them to the edge of town. I can still see her, turned around in the front seat, waving and waving, mouthing the words "Bye Mama" with both of us having water tears. If I had known it was the last time I would ever see her, what would I have done different? Anything?

     January 1994, they settled into their new place. Kevin had to have some surgery, that went very smooth. February, Lisa started hearing about car jacking and became fearful of leaving her apartment. March she and Kevin went and stayed a week at her best friends house, while Chris was on a training mission. April, Chris' parents came for a visit and Lisa got to go on a yacht. Another wonderful experience. She also went to her home church with her little family, and showed her husband and bay off to her Dad and her Uncle and they were all so impressed with the young woman she had become. May 1st was their 1st anniversary. they had forgotten it. She thought it was so funny when I called to say happy anniversary.

  A couple weeks into May, some of Lisa's cousins came to visit. One of the girls was alos married to a Marine, so they were able to stay in guest quarters on the base. The cousins were 23 year old Mary, her almost 5 year old daughter Angela and 3 year old son "Junior", Mary's sister Michelle and her 2 year old son Drake and the baby she was carrying, a boy she had already named Jason. All of the girls and their kids would have picnics on the beach, BBQ's and just visit with each other. One day, May 25, 1994 to be exact, Michelle had to go pick up her car. Lisa offered to take them to get it, as she was to pick Chris up anyway. they loaded up all of them into Lisa's little car.

    Yes, there were too many people in the car. Lisa drove, Mary was in the seat next to her. Michelle, pregnant, held Drake on her lap and seatbelted them together, and they were sitting behind Lisa. In the middle, Junior sat on the seat with Angela sitting inbetween his legs. They were also belted together. Kevin was behind Mary, strapped securly in his car seat. It had been raining earlier that morning. It was somewhere after 10:00 a.m.

    The National Transportation Safety board, after a three month investigation said Lisa was not speeding. She was going around a curve on a hill on a damp hill, crossed over the center line, and hit a city bus head on. The only comfort in that is that the investigator said none of them would have seen the bus until a split second before impact, if they even did then.

  It's easier to list the survivors. Kevin , being in his car seat had a broken collar bone and some bruising but was fine. Junior had some moderate injuries and was flown to a children's hospital and released the next day or so. Michelle died on the lifeflight to the hospital but had never gained consciousness. The rest were dead upon impact.

   The marine base treated all of us family members like royalty. Housing us for a week while all the plans were made. Chris' unit had a memorial on base for Lisa. then we went to the town the girls had all grown up in and had a huge funeral for Lisa combined with a memorial for everyone else. they were all being burried in different towns, so this way we could have one mutual place to be together before splitting up to go bury our children. it took 11 days to get it all done.

  One of my elder sister began May 25th 1994 as the Mother of 3 girls and waiting for her 4th Grandchild to be born. I was the one that had to tell her and her husband at the end of the day that they now had one daughter and one grandchild. I spent 8 hours straight making all the phone calls.

   Life went on. I learned that when someone offered something I took them up on it. If they asked what they could do, I asked if they could prepare a mean as it was not something I cared about. when I needed to cry, I cried. When I needed to scream I got in my car and rolled up the windows and turned up the music and screamed. When some adkes how I was I said "hanging". They would ask if I meant hanging in, and I said Nope, just hanging. I wore my dark glasses in side and out. To church , to the store, because my eyes looked like empty sockets and they hurt from crying.

    My sister's marriage, already weakened, disolved within months of the accident. She became suicidal. He went into a major depression. I was left to all the business. Dealing with insurance, and lawyers, and all the things that go with it. Chris got out of the military and took Kevin to the East Coast to be near his family. For me it was one more loss. 8 moonths after the accident, my youngest daughter told me she and her husband and baby were moving to ALaska. it was the final loss for me. I feltmy self slipping. I had been in therapy since shortly after the accident,  as I knew I was going to need it. but I was slipping from my own identity. I let my Doctor and my therapist know what I was feeling and 10 months after the accident I went into Post traumatic stress disorder and had myself commited for 24 days of intense therqapy and a medication program. It was just too many months of people telling me I had to be strong, tough. No i didn't.

   I found my strength through my family, my friends, my church , GOD, and yes, therapy and medication.

   this May it will be 14 years since my Lisa and the others went to heaven. Do I have "closure", no, that is a word I do not use. I have learned to live with it. i don't "accept" it, you just learn to go with it. it is real. It happened. I do not have to like it, but it is a fact. Holidays and anniversary's are hard. Most people do not aven mention them anymore. But I feel them I acknowledge them On the anniversary of their deaths I but either flowers or balloons. I put the flowers in an Ocean  or  a river and say a few words to them as I toss each one in the water. The baloons, I write each of their names on one and send it to heaven. Every Christmas Eve for 13 years I light a candle for each one of them and it stays lit from dusk to bedtime in their honor. I still hang her stocking and her ornaments on my tree.

Does the pain go away? No. It becomes bearable. I was so afraid I would forget her laugh, her eyes, her touch and small after a few years. I haven't. I was blessed by an occurrence  a few months after the accident. I was crying and missing her and talking to her and all of a sudden I felr Lisa's hand on my shoulder. Not just any hand. Lisa had very thin hands and rather bony fingers. I felt HER touch. Such comfort, and I knew she was here.  Her baby is now 14. We tell him about her. He refers to her as his Mommy Lisa or his Mommy in heaven. He knows she is his special angel.

I am sorry I have seemed to have written a book here. I just found this site 2 days ago and I saw so many people that are new to this. That just lost a child. I want to hold you all. it does not matter if you had your child one day or almost 20 years, or even longer, they are our babies. We miss them and it is ok.

God bless each and everyone of you. whatever you are feeling, it is ok. you have the right to your feelings.

Your new friend, Susan



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Hi, Susan.  I just read your story, and I was very moved as I am when I read anyone's story.  Everyone's is different, yet the same.  We all feel the same loss, the same emptiness, the same heartache, the same heart break.  For me it wasn't a child I lost; it was my very young husband, but I know the same feeling of lack of closure that you mentioned.  I heard Gloria Vanderbilt on the Oprah show say once in regard to her son's suicide, "For me there is no such thing as closure.  There never will be."  I agreed with that statement so much!  She was the first I ever heard say what I felt.  We don't ever get used to the loss of those we love.  We just learn somehow to live with it.  Thank you for sharing about Lisa with us.  I can relate some to your description of Lisa, also, because I have a daughter born about the same time as your daughter, who has had nearly a lifetime of emotional/psychological problems and depression.  She has felt suicidal at times, but has never actually done anything about it.  She has a 6-year-old daughter who we have to help raise because life just gets to be too overwhelming at times for our daughter.  God has been my source of strength throughout my grief, which was repressed at the time of my husband's death in 1972.  It surfaced almost 5 years ago when my mother died.  It's been the hardest time of my life, and I'm still not really completely functional yet.  I really believe I'd be dead now, though, if it weren't for God's strength holding me and keeping me and carrying me when I can't walk.  I hope you keep coming back, Susan.  I hope you find comfort and strength here.  We didn't have the kind of support for grief back when our losses occurred, so I'm so grateful to have places like Beyond Indigo now.  God bless you.  ~Oneta

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Thank You, Susan.

I was, what? could I say blessed by your story.   That's not the right word, maybe touched.   It gives all of us encouragement.  I'm only 20 months since my husband died and your story really did something for me.  Thank you for your effort to support and help so many of us.  God Bless You and Yours, Cheryl

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Dear Susan, thank you for sharing your family with us...This was so deep, touching, and also heart breaking. I have had a day with very few tears, but now I feel my eyes welling up.



david's mama

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