She’ll always be remembered with a beautiful smile and a heart for her children and husband. There are two stars shining so brightly. I remember how horrified I felt when in July of 2012 I learned that a Tullahoma girl had been found murdered, burned to death and left on the side of the road. When I learned who it was, I felt such incredible sadness because I had known her family most of my life, and they had never had an easy journey. There isn’t much to say today except how pained I feel and want others to feel at the loss of a beautiful lady and her beautiful daughter. One man’s choice to satisfy his physical needs…today, two beautiful people are gone, many more lives forever changed because of his actions. I will never look at a star the same way, I will never look at boots the same way, and I will always think of her passion for seeing her daughter’s murderer brought to justice when I hear “Game on, cowboy.” I don’t know what it is that comes over people that they can inflict so much pain on any other person, sometimes repeatedly. But I am not the Judge. Meanness is in a class all of its own–crimes of passion are almost understandable, but crimes of pure ugliness are hard to stomach, impossible to accept. I don’t think any of us could have reached out enough, loved her enough, stood by or encouraged her enough. She saw herself spiraling and tried desperately to stop it, but the pain that wouldn’t go away was more powerful than any healing anyone could offer–and there are so many who knew and loved her more than I. She knew she needed to offer her living children more of herself and didn’t feel that she could. She was tortured by her inability to ‘snap out of” something that I don’t think anyone can snap out of. There is nothing selfish about her finding a way out of the pain she was in. She did what she had to do to finally have peace. I ache for those in her family and close friends who are left behind, but they more than anyone, know how much pain she was in for the past 18 months.
So today, I ask you to love your friends, shore up those who are hurting, and when they’ve pulled so far away, don’t be afraid to bring them back. But when the day comes to an end, know that sometimes there is nothing we can do to change where a person is. For those of us who are believers, we can trust that she was never alone–God never left her side. For me, I trust that she is with her child and her creator. Those who caused her such physical and emotional pain in her life can’t hurt her ever again. For that, I am so thankful.
Her name was Kelly. She was a wonderful mother. She was a valuable person. She chose her ending to the story that has been her life. I know that her family will never forget the beauty and joy and humor she tried to bring to their lives. She was amazing and became my hero. I will miss her posts, her honesty, her presence. She’ll always be remembered with a beautiful smile and a heart for her children and husband. There are two stars shining so brightly.