Amanda’s Story – July 22, 2016

I have written a lot about what happened to Amanda on and after May 14, 2015. Tragedy is associated with her life, but I want to tell you about her as a daughter, sister, mother and friend. My passion to be her voice started when she was born. Since I was twelve years old, I have loved and protected this girl.

When she was born, I took her under my wing, as well as my sister Vivian which was ten years younger than me. Those two were inseparable, and I always felt like a mother figure to them and not an older sister. Our home growing up was chaotic and frightening at times. Domestic violence was a huge part of our childhood, and I vowed to keep them as far away from it as I could. When fights would break out between my parents, I would load them in a stroller and take them for a walk. I did not want those two babies to experience the terror that my brother Brian and I had over the years. As she grew up, I would try to give them a fun and carefree childhood as possible; do things with them that I didn’t get to growing up. My parents were doing the best they knew raising us, and in later years, peace came from forgiving and loving them for who they were.

Amanda was five years old when Justin and I started dating. He watched her grow up as well, and always considered her a little sister. She had some very close and loyal friends growing up and they still mourn her death. She unconditionally loved her mom and dad despite the hell we were put through at times. She has two beautiful sons that she fought to live for every single day. She married a man that loved her so much, but something inside told her she didn’t deserve that. She was a hairdresser and showed kindness for each and every one of her clients. She was a child of God, who loved Jesus, but never grasped His deep, unconditional love for her. The fact that she struggled so much shows that satan tormented her with lies about her worth.

Depression and substance abuse exist on both sides of our family, and navigating through generations of lies and patterned behaviors is so difficult; especially if there is no access to mental healthcare—that’s a whole other post!! On top of everything else, she watched my father have a stroke that took his life after one week; my brother pass away from an aggressive cancer six weeks after diagnosis; and a mother and sister’s violent murder in 2008. I did everything I could to keep her from feeling pain, but ultimately she had to want healing more than I wanted it for her. I loved her where she was, knowing she was doing the best she could. I was fortunate to have access to mental health services and counseling.

Conversations with her in weeks prior to the incident revealed that she was saving money to get a place for her and Jordan to start over. Brayan stole that money from her on May 13, which sparked the threats to be out of the apartment by May 14 at 7:00 pm or he would kill her. She wanted to be with Jordan so much and that is what kept her going day after day. She had peace that her baby boy had a stable home with his father, and saw him as much as she could. She had gone to his baseball game two weeks before this happened, and spent a few hours with them on Mother’s Day the Sunday before. My last text message from Amanda was on May 14, 2015 at approximately 11:00 am and she said she had got Amber’s number, tell Jordan I love him and will call him later that night. He never got that phone call.

My passion for being Amanda’s voice starts way before May 14, 2015. I will not let go until God says its time. Writing her story gets me out of bed most days. I know Amanda, and what I feel deep within my soul is that she did not do this to herself. I do not want her children to read her death certificate and deal with the word suicide if that is not what happened. The legacy we leave for our children is so important. They can look at her life and say one of two things: She fought hard to live, and someone took her life, OR she gave up, and we weren’t worth fighting for. I will fight for her.

Thank you for reading, liking, commenting, and sharing Amanda’s story.