Life, Death and Family

Elise - Knoxvilee, Tennessee
Entered on December 12, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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September 29, 2005 was just a normal school day for me. It was just another day of nasty cafeteria food and homework. I never realized what a terrible day this could be. I never imagined in my wildest dreams this simple day would end so tragically.

When I first moved to Knoxville 11 years ago I was in the second grade, I had no friends. There was this one girl in my class who seemed to be so nice. Her name was Amanda; she was the first and only person to speak to me the first day of class. Amanda’s parents Tammy and Jimmy soon became my parents. Our families were so close. My parents were the same age as hers and my brother was the same age her sister. Amanda and I became best friends; we have been best friends ever since. My family was her family and her family was mine.

On September 29th, 2005 my best friend Amanda and I were having our “girl’s day out” after we got out of school. We were both so excited when 3:30 pm finally came around. After the bell rang we both went to our cars and convoyed to my house. Once we got to my house I was trying to get in the back door, the phone was ringing and ringing. I finally got in the door and got to the phone, by that time the answering machine had picked up, all I heard was screaming and yelling “There is something wrong with Jimmy, help.” So Amanda and I jumped in her car and rushed to her house. That is when we first realized that something was really wrong. Jimmy’s UPS truck was still home and he is never home that early. So we went to his favorite “hiding place” the garage. When we got there we saw the inevitable. Jimmy had killed himself. He hung himself in his own garage. I called 911 and we cut him down as quickly as we could and got the rope off his neck. We started CPR and we did everything we could until the ambulance got there. When they got there it was like they were walking in slow motion up to us, but they finally got up there and did everything they could. He was gone.

After this horrific day I realized how important family is. After months and months of therapy I realized how important family is to me. Seeing what Amanda and her mom and sister had to go through was devastating. It made me care more and love more than I have ever loved before. It is unfortunate that I had to experience this before I really truly realize how much my family means to me. But, I know now that my family means more to me than life its self.