"I'm happy, I would say that I'm one of the happiest people I know but I've certainly had periods of profound sadness, depression and heartache and those are the kind of things that are interesting to me to write about. "
--- Richard Marx


June 16, 2003

In loving memory of my Dad,
Alan Frank: Jan. 10, 1949 - Oct. 18, 2002

I know my dad played a role in many people's lives, there won't be a day that he won't be thought of.

Even though I may not have always taken it, my dad had the best advice and direction, as he always said he was an endless fountain of useless knowledge.

My dad taught me to hunt so well that my first hunt was more successful than any of us imagined, I got the buck; he got bambi.

My friends learned to drive at age 15, by that time I felt like a pro 'cause dad thought I was ready at age 5.

My dad helped raise my cousins Heather, Melanie, and Marisa on earth and God wants him to finish raising Taylor and me from above.

My dad was always there for us no matter what and I know he'll always be there guiding and protecting us.

The last time I carved a pumpkin I ended up in the ER with six stitches, dad always called me "slice" and kept the sharp objects away from me. I'm sure he'll continue to watch over me; his other favorite nickname for me was "grace" because I was so ungraceful.

My dad won't be here to question my dates, but he's taught me well. they always say you marry someone just like your dad and I sure hope that's true.

My dad won't be sitting in the crowd at my graduation; He'll be the one watching from above.

At my wedding he won't walk me down the aisle, instead I'll carry him in my heart.

My dad won't be there to hold my children; he'll be the one who sent them to me.

My dad's body may be gone but he will always be in my heart.

I know my dad was very proud of Taylor and me, we will continue to make him smile throughout our lives.

My dad's life is now a collection of memories, the times will never fade, in spirit and in legacy his life lives on.

Copyright © 2003 Jessica Frank

June 16, 2003

I wrote this after reading your site one day and I felt it could be an inspiration to others to know that God is always there and that he never gives you more than you can handle and if you always stick with him he will always help you through your tough times.

Obstacle Overcome

Two years ago on February 1st my life changed forever. My mom went to the doctor and they found cysts on her ovaries. It was then decided that a hysterectomy would be done to remove the cysts and she set up an appointment for her surgery. The weekend before her surgery, we spent time at a wrestling tournament. We stayed in a motel and had a weekend filled with fun and excitement. She then proceeded to have the surgery on Tuesday. The next week of school was busy filled with loads of homework, wrestling and volleyball matches, and basketball games.

I had a game that Thursday, and I happened to forget part of my uniform at home. The bus was coming my way, so I would be able to get picked up from my house on the way to the game. My mom had been staying home to recover from her surgery, and I stopped in her room to say hi and tell her I had to get going because I was late. She nicely asked me if I would get the mail for her. I told her that I couldn't because I was late. But, halfway down the road something made me change my mind.

I went back home and got the mail for my mom. She was very grateful for it. Before I left, I kissed her goodbye and told her I loved her. She wished me good luck and told me she loved me too.

The game went well and I also played well. I was excited to get home and tell my parents how I did and to finish up my homework. As I was getting into my car, after the game, my coach came and told me that Mr. and Mrs. Tiff were coming to get me because my mom had been taken to the hospital. At the moment, I really didn't think anything of it. I thought it might just be a minor problem.

As we grew closer and closer to the hospital, I knew something was terribly wrong. I was overcome with the strong feeling of death, and I had this strange feeling that my mother was dying. As I walked into the hospital, my dad ran towards me with tears streaming down his cheeks, and he said exactly what I had felt. My mother was dying. From that moment on everything seemed like a dream.

I went in to see my mother before she died. I was torn apart watching her fight for her breath, all the while I was crying and telling her I loved her and she couldn't leave me because I needed her. I prayed so hard to God to let my mother live. Then the doctor told us he was sorry and that she was gone.

I knew in my heart that my mother did not want to go, but had to. There were friends and relatives there, who tried to comfort us, but there was a big piece missing from my heart; I knew there would always be that empty space that no one could fill.

Later on I found out what my oldest brother Jeff and my twelve-year-old sister had gone through earlier that day. My mom had called my Aunt Mary earlier because she wasn't feeling well. As my brother got home from work and my sister from a friend's house, Mary arrived. While they were home, my mom stopped breathing and Mary called the ambulance while Jeff tried to give my mom mouth to mouth and my sister looked for a pulse. Imagine being twelve years old and trying to save your mother's life, but finding yourself completely helpless.

I am fortunate that I did not have to witness that. The community was very understanding and helpful. Lots of food and essentials were brought to our house. School was called off for the day of her funeral. There were so many people at her funeral that people had to be put in our high school gym. They set up a screen and a recorder, so that the people in the gym were able to see the funeral. The church was filled with many flowers and we received cards upon cards. In that sense, God was watching over us and trying to comfort us.

I was very sad and could not seem to get better. I became distant from my friends and my grades started to drop. I had always been very concerned to keep a good GPA, but nothing seemed important anymore. People told me with time I would get better and that my mother would always be with me, but how do they know? Yes, they were trying to help, but they had no idea what it was like to be a fifteen-year-old girl and not have a mother.

The days and weeks flew by like a blur. I got worse and was completely lost in my life. I had questions that I wanted answered. I grew bitter with time. I then turned to my faith.

I was born and raised a Roman Catholic. I went to church every Sunday and believed in God, but I needed more. I looked for my answers to my questions from God. I prayed for understanding. I needed God to help me through this terrible time.

With time, I became better. I believe it was with the help of God. He helped me through everything. I became more focused and I started doing better in school and had a better outlook on life. My faith and trust in God grew stronger.

I know that I would still be lost today without my faith. I know and I truly feel that this is possibly the worst thing that could happen in my life. With my faith and God's help, I've gotten better. I also feel that some good things have come out of the death of my mother.

I've developed a better relationship with God and have a stronger faith. I care less of what people think of me and I proclaim my faith more openly. I live each day like it is my last. I want to make sure that my friends and family know I love them. I'm a more compassionate person. I don't take so many things for granted. I'm thankful for everything. I realize the things in life.

There is not a day that doesn't go by when I don't think of my mother. Little things that I hear, see, or smell make me think of her. The smell of her perfume, a piece of clothing that she might have worn, or something that I could hear her say, makes me sad.

I think of the things I won't get to do with my mother that other girls do. No more bonding times and talking about guys, no shopping trips, no one to take me prom dress shopping, no late night talks. She won't be there for highlights in my life like graduation and my wedding day. She is my hero and role model.

My mother was compassionate, caring, beautiful, talented, and very religious. She was very well liked and respected. She became a successful bank manager against the odds. She did not go to college and she worked her way up from being a teller to a manager of a bank. She did all this while raising six children.

My only wish is that I grow up to be the same woman she was. I have overcome the biggest obstacle I probably will face in my life. It seems terrible that I had to face it at such a young age, but I'm thankful for the time I did get with my mother. She truly touched my life and left her mark on me forever. I've had an obstacle in my life, which I have stepped over. I took a very sad and tragic event and produced good.

Copyright © 2002 Holly Anderson

June 16, 2003

My Mother

God gave me a mother
With warmth in her smile.
He said, "I will leave her
With you for a while."

She'll be young and handsome
At least for a day.
Her hair will be dark.
Her laughter be gay.

Her step will be sturdy.
She'll walk straight and tall.
I'll make her touch gentle.
She'll be at your call.

Her arms will enfold you.
Her strength will be yours.
Her love will enfold you.....
In your childhood hours.

But one day the Mother
Will no longer be...
The handsome young woman
The child used to see.

Her face shall grow time worn.
The eyes shall grow dim.
Her strength will start failing.
She's slower of limb.

The strong tender hands
That soothed o'er your brow
Have grown gnarled and crippled.
She's more tired now.

Soon you'll be her comfort.
She'll lean upon you.
Please carry her gently.
She grew old for you.

She wept with your weeping.
She smiled with your smiles.
She guarded you always
Through life with it's trials.

She bore all your burdens.
Was always concerned.
Don't weep when I call her
To rest she has earned.

Copyright © 1998 Carol Bouche' Ottlinger

For my daddy ( 8/31/1898-10/26/1964 )


It was old gray felt; not worth much.
The band was stained and frayed.
I don't know where he got the thing;
Or what price he had paid.

On Easter we would stuff it full
Of grass and colored eggs..
And hide it in the wash machine..
Or neath the table legs.

He wore it on the wintry days.
He wore it in the fall.
He even wore it when it rained,
Or when he went to call.

Sometimes we'd play a joke on him
And place it on the bed.
His voice would make the rafters ring..
"Bad Luck! Bad Luck!" he said.

Though dad's been gone for many years
My memories are still intact...
And never will I think of him
Without that old felt hat.

Copyright © 1965 Carol Bouche' Ottlinger

June 16, 2003

"Just when the caterpillar thought his life was over, he became a butterfly."

Author Unknown
Sent in by J.J., Age 16 --- Iowa
My brother died of cancer, at the age of 19, on August 25th, 2002. My Mom was walking one day and just having a very hard, emotional day and she found a magnet still in it's package that had this quote on it. She said that it was as if it was a message from God. I have to agree... it was perfect. I see it every day on our fridge and it reminds me that the best part is yet to come, and Kyle is now a "butterfly" waiting for us to join him someday.

June 16, 2003

I lived my life filled with the greatest memories one could ever experience. These sweet memories that have been shared year after year since I was 3 years old always puts a smile on my face. Little did others know that when I was alone, my inner strength was put to the test...MY OWN PERSONAL TEST.

Every emotion that was not shared with others was finally released. Friends and family did not realize the pain I had to endure all these years. I was not allowed to cry in public, but did on occasion. I needed my privacy. Often it was not respected.

So what could I do in public to hide my real feelings? Keep my mind preoccupied on other things. I was strictly disciplined for my disobedience and loved it all. Inside I told myself, "Can't you do better than that?!" All of the beatings I received helped to mask the TRUE pain I was experiencing.

So throughout the years I brought myself to face the pain, and each time it became more severe than anyone would ever know. That's when I told myself, "I think it's time to mix it up a bit!!!" And now the truth has finally been revealed.

My life was taken from me at the age of 5. That is twenty years of tears, sweat, and bleeding put upon by my own self. The years of torture I had to endure, nobody really knew.

But you know what I say now to EVERYONE, "COME SEE ABOUT ME.!!!!!!!!" But behind his rough exterior is a weak, weak, weak MAN who does not know how to move on in this game called LIFE. You Know? Please tell ME?

E. Z.
Submitted by Rico Santos --- Kyoto, Japan

June 16, 2003

May 13 is a day that I will dread every year from this day forward. Well one of my best girlfriends, Emily, took her life that day. The way she did it is kind of disturbing and is one of the hardest things to deal with. She took a rope and hung herself in her basement.

Another hard thing is that she, along with me, was 14 years old. She didn't even get to graduate Jr.High. She messed up her life before she even had one. She suffered from depression and ADHD and she was heavy into drugs and sex. She was having problems and school and with friends and of course with her parents. If you could look through that, like I did, you found this girl that was so funny and was very caring. When I would get upset about her death, it hurt twice as much because I knew that when I was upset, those were the times that I would call her. I wish that she knew that this was a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

I have found it in myself to realize she is in a better place and is flying with the most beautiful of angels. She will watch over me and protect me and guide me. See my friends and I who knew her are in track and we would win. We believed it was because we would think, "do it for Emily, do it for Emily," and we would! We made it to the state track meet and did real well. I just said, "Thanks Emily".

If you look at the good in a bad situation then it helps. Emily had enough and couldn't take it any more. But if you have a similar problem then if suggest a journal and take all your emotions and anger onto the pages. I have a Dear Emily journal. It really me. Don't take things for granted. You have great friends around you and you don't think twice about it. The truth is that you don't know how much you love something or in my care someone until it's...gone.

Written by Syndey H., Age 14 --- Illinois
This is a poem by Emily. My friend, Step, received this on and e-mail 1 day before Emily took her life. This was and still is hard to read; my eyes get teary every time.

Blaming the world for all my hate,
Everyone is agents me in my head,
The lights went out long ago,
Left in the dark; scared and dead.

I once felt love,
But now all I feel is hate.
Denying life's course,
Forever blaming hate.

Afraid of the dark,
Left alone with insanity,
My soul is broke,
I have no faith in humanity.

A broken heart,
A broken wing,
Forever running,
Trapped in an endless ring.

Always crying,
But no one will hear,
I will miss life so much,
Now my only friend is fear.


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