My daughter married at a young age out of high school to a guy who (I found out later (much later) was abusive. Even when they were dating (unknown to me until her death) he was abusive. I never liked him. He just acted weird. I didn't trust him either. Anyway, after 15 years of being married to him and 2 children later - he murdered my daughter - shot her twice and then killed himself in front of the two children - both girls - ages 7 and 12. There are no words to describe our horror. We now have custody of the children - they are smart - make straight A's - and very traumatized to say the least. I've had them in counselling all year. This happened on Aug 23 of 08 - and its been a year now - and they have started school (yesterday) again and we are off to a new year and trying to move forward. My daughter, Heather was 37 yrs old and a school teacher (4th grade) at an academy here in Lakeland - and was very popular and well loved by everyone. My husband of 9 years and I are in our 60's and trying our best to raise (finish raising) these two beautiful children. We have started attending church right after this happened and still continue to go to church and take the girls each Sunday. God has definitely been carrying me through this tragedy - and still is carrying me - I'm not ready to be put down on the ground again - yet. For the first 6 months I was in shock - then began my process of grieving and still am and probably still will be for a long long time. I lost a son (my only son) at age 27 of a heart attack and now I only have 1 daughter left - who is 42 - and single with two teen agers and struggling financially. My husband of 9 years has been my rock - and my sister in law also. Heather had many many friends who have become our friends now who have supported and loved us through this -
We formed a foundation called Heather's Hope Foundation, Inc. and have busied ourselves with this - a foundation to raise awareness of domestic violence. There is a website Heathershope.net which you can go to to see a beautiful photo of her - There is a song out now by Alan Jackson called "Sissy's Song" that described our Heather to a tee - if you get a chance, please listen to the words . Its appropriate for anyone who has lost an older daughter - I can say with confidence now Hold on to your faith in God, he will give you peace and comfort. He is a good God - he did not take anyone away from you - He allows things to happen for a reason and we will not know until we arrive in Heaven one day to join our children - Know they are safe and pain-free and happy and do all possible to live the kind of life God would have you to live so that you can join your loved ones one great day in Heaven.
Much love and peace to you all. In Heather's Spirit, Bonnie (Heather's mom)