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As I was growing up I could recognize evil, you could see it in the way they walked, talked, looked and acted, it was easy to stay away from evil and the pain and destruction that evil caused was to those who decided to associate with evil, when you dance with the devil you will end up paying the price.
As my life progressed I avoided evil and as time passed I noticed that evil was disappearing and I never gave it another thought but on January 1st I saw evil in its truest form, it wasn’t gone like I had thought but took time off to reinvent itself.
Evil now comes in many types of people from the obvious to the girl next door, the type of person that you would invite into your home and feed them, love them and protect them with your own life, evil has no conscience, it shows no emotion and will taunt you when it takes a hold of you, evil may sometimes run in pairs or in groups or it maybe a whole family but evil runs best alone.
Every person has evil within them it’s how and what you do with it; most people will take control of this evil early on and put their evil away, far away to never allow it to surface but there are others who will embrace this evil within them, they will use this evil to take control of others lives, to bring others down, to do all they can to rise to the top of their empty, unfulfilled life only to find themselves alone which leaves them looking for another helpless, honest god loving person to bring down.
Once evil comes to the surface and is allowed to run free there is no stopping it, evil causes unbearable pain and will take over those that want to be raised above all and once evil is set free within you there is no looking back, evil will use you and hollow you out.
Through this year the evil within me has knocked on my door many times and has placed many thoughts in me that I never knew existed, I have been tempted to answer those knocks but I know that if I allow this evil to enter me even for a short moment then I have lost everything that I have believed in and everything that I have held precious in my life.
All we can do is try and recognize the evil that is hidden in others, the evil that exists and is used quickly and quietly but an evil that also plots and plans it’s every move, evil is very good at masking itself, it comes in many shapes, forms, sizes and will trick you every chance it gets.
It has become a very cold, self centered, it’s all about me and I will do anything to be recognized world.
I don’t and will never understand how one person can hurt another without care or concern, how after a brutal and uncaring act to not feel anything inside them like it is normal for them to cause this pain in others, maybe I am different, maybe I care about others and feel for others, maybe I am the odd one.
Maybe the death of my little girl has one small positive, she will never have to feel that pain again, to be deceived, and to be used for her kindness, evil didn’t win, it may have taken my daughter but it can never take her spirit, my never ending love for her or my memories of her.
It is a sad day when you have to look at everyone that may approach you with an outreached hand or an offer of help, we all now have to silently stand back and look at that person and ask ourselves what does this person want from me, what are they trying to do to me and why me?
As I was growing up evil showed itself and you were able to avoid it, making friends was easy but today we all must live in a private, protective shell and we all must live in silent fear.
I am now coming to the realization that Danielle is not coming back, no longer will I see her smile, hear her laughter, pick on her and watch her with a come back that I didn’t see coming, never will I see her grow up, learn to drive, see the excitement as she gets her drivers license, the thrill of her first car or see her walk past us dressed in her gown as she smiles and waves to us as she receives her high school diploma.
Never will I see her face as she opens the mail to find out she was accepted to collage or get that hug and kiss from her as she climbs into her car to go to that collage as I whisper in her ear “I love you and I am so proud, you call me if you need anything and remember to call mom everyday because she worries about you”
Never will I see her fall in love and marry the man of her dreams, to go to her wedding and be the proud father of the bride as I give her away in front of all of those that love her.
Never will I have that chance to take her hand and step on the dance floor and hold her tight as I have that father and daughter dance that I have always looked forward to.
Never will I see her have a child, a child she would love and raise with the same closeness and affection that her mother had done with her.
Never will I see her grow to be the beautiful women that God had intended, to help those in need, to lend an ear for those who had no one else to turn to, to give up her bed to anyone who was in need of a good nights sleep or feed someone who was hungry.
Why was I chosen to go through the rest of my life in endless pain, with a shattered heart and an emptiness inside that leaves me an uncaring, tired and hollow shell of the man I use to be?
I have done everything in life that I believed was right, I helped those in need; I love and take care of my family like any good, strong man should. I have been a good law abiding citizen and I have never been arrested or fought the law in any way, so as I sit here and wonder what in my life did I do that was so wrong, what sin did I commit that would have God take away from me one of the most important things in my life?
What has God done? What is he doing? Why would he want me to live in constant pain and tear apart a family that praised him and followed his law?
If he chose us to change something here on earth then what could it be? Could he have taken our daughter away to show others the pain that evil causes?
I attend a victims group meeting once a month and we are all the family or friends to a loved one that has been murdered; as we all sit for hours and discuss our hurt and emptiness I have an additional hurt as I see each and every person there as the most tender, honest and caring people I have ever met, so I wonder why? Why are the good honest people of this world put through so much pain? A pain that doesn’t go away and a pain that never will.
Why does evil exist? I’m talking an evil that defies logic, an evil that can take another persons life.
Each and every life is a gift from God and each life has a purpose so how can another person take that life like it didn’t matter to anyone?
As I sit here on Thanksgiving alone as my wife cries for the loss of her youngest daughter I wonder what I have thanks for, what do I do now?
There is no thanks, there’s no celebration there is no turkey is just another day to hurt, another day I wish was over.
Christmas is next and there will be no tree, no decorations and no presents.
This was a holiday that we all looked forward to, a day that I spared no expense in the gifts that we would get for our kids, a day my wife loved as we shopped for those perfect gifts that the kids wanted.
Danielle would research the gifts she wanted on the web and when she found something she wanted she would print out a picture of that item and cut it out carefully then tape it to a separate piece of paper with the location of that gift along with the price.
She would work real hard on that list and we knew each and every year she would come dancing out of her room holding that list knowing we would most likely get just about everything on it.
Then on Christmas morning as she opened her gifts she would be so excited to see that we got her what she wanted like it was some kind of surprise.
It was so much fun to see her go from brother to brother or sister to sister to help them open their gifts because she couldn’t wait to see what they had gotten.
Another holiday that has been ruined by cold hearted, selfish, uncaring, evil people.
It’s not just us as parents that have decided not to celebrate the holidays but all of our kids experience that same deep down endless pain everyday that has us all wondering what there is to celebrate.
Then I have to look forward to New Years eve, a day that we all look forward to, a day that we all celebrate the coming of a new and fresh year, a new hope for a better life.
As people are counting down the hours then the minuets to a new year I will be counting down the hours and then the minuets to my little girl’s death.
This is what I now have to look forward to every year for the rest of my life.
If your reading this you should take a moment to look around you, at the people you love, stand up and walk up to them and hug them tight and let them know you love them, no matter what they may have done in the past.
Count your blessings and know that you are one of the lucky ones, someone that God has not taken someone you love away.
In our lives from childhood through our adulthood we cross paths with many people, some are relatives and some are just friends; as time passes we lose touch with those we have met, they move on, some may be right around the corner while others may be on the other side of the world.
When we part we say our goodbyes and say I’ll miss you, you may stay in touch for a time but a day turns into a month and a month turns into years and you lose touch altogether but you have hope that some day maybe soon and maybe years later you will get a knock on the door or someone taps you on the shoulder at the supermarket and when you open that door or you turn around you find that one person you lost touch with, that person you said I’ll miss you so long ago; that is the hope and you hang onto that for a life time because you know their out there somewhere.
In my life I have had such hope but when Danielle died my hope of her knock on the door or that tap on the shoulder is gone.
Her smile & laughter
As she would enter a room , she calling me stupid as I called her rama (short for geek a rama)
As we talked and the hand would go up and she would say “Whatever”
She would sit on the couch to the left of me on the love seat with her legs resting on the coffee table and I would reach over with my foot and tap her thigh and make a sound
(NaNaNa) she would laugh and tighten up her leg muscles and say “do it again” and I would with the same sound (NaNaNa) then she would grab her thigh with both hands and pull it tight with all she had and a face to match and say “Try it again” I would but nothing on her leg would move and she would say “See I’m not fat”
I would be standing in the living room and she would sneak up and punch me in the arm and turn and run as fast as she could down the hallway towards her bedroom as I chased her, she would squeal and scream all the way fearing that I would catch her.
I would turn down our street and see her walking home after getting off the school bus and I would slowly pass her, looking in the mirror to see her reaction from not giving her that short ride was priceless; the look with her hands in the air and acting like she would be walking for miles instead of 100 feet
When ever she approved of something I was doing or something I would do she would hold her right hand up and point at me with her index finger and thumb up and wink while making a clicking noise (two at a time) while shaking her finger up and down with each click.
She would stand in front of me in the living room and start to throw punches towards me and dance around while I stood there watching her then she would stop and say “Yeah I thought so” and strut away like she won (what she won I have no idea)
If she wanted money for shopping she would ask her Mom but Mom would say if you can get the money from Dad then we can go so she would walk into the living room as I watch TV and sit down and say “DADDY” can Mom have some money? Knowing that once she said “DADDY” I knew what the money was for (she always got it)
As night came and it was time for bed she would come up to me and wrap her arms around my neck, stand on her tippy toes so she could get close to my ear and whisper “I love you Dad” and then slide back enough to kiss me on the cheek. I would tell her I love her and tap her on the butt, she would walk away with a smile.
These are just a few of the things I miss, so as I lay in bed at night staring into the darkness and I mouth “I miss you” that is a miss you with no hope
In my life I have been knocked down more times than I can count and I always get back up, dust myself off and move forward.
On January 1st I was knocked down once again but this time I can’t get back up, I don’t see getting back up again.
I use to live life to what it had to offer, to love my wife and kids and to protect them from harm, to provide for them and give them everything that I could, that was my life’s goal but now I live to exist and just to exist only.
I no longer fear death but now I wait for it, if I was walking down the street and a bus jumped the curb out of control I wouldn’t get out of the way or if there was a wrong way driver on the freeway I wouldn’t avoid it.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for death but if it presents itself I am ready to go.
I am not the only one that has this thought; if you ask anyone who has lost a child they would give the same response.
I now think of life from a different angle and I have asked myself this one question; I think of my life as I form two columns, one column contains all of the times in my life that I was truly happy without any type of negative thought just pure happiness, then in the other column I place all the times that I was sad, depressed, angry, jealous, envious, worried, hurt and fearful and what I have found is that most of my life has been consumed by negativity with very little happiness, so why is life like this?
If you sit down and figure your life I think you will come to the same conclusion.
The greatest gift that God has given me in my life would be my wife, with that she has given me many beautiful, honest, loving children and I may only exist in life now I also exist for my family.
With each child God has given me I quietly thanked him and promised him that I would do the best I could to raise them & guide them in their lives then one was taken and I cant figure out why, I was told that when I see her again that she wont even know that time has past that it would be a blink of an eye and if that is so then why must I go day to day with the pain inside and what seems like a forever.
The one year of my little girls death is just around the corner and I am getting nervous not knowing if I am going to be able to handle it, I still hold out hope that she will come home soon but that thought also comes with a thought that she wont, that she is gone for a lifetime and that still and always will scare me.
No one gave me a manual on how to raise children but I learned as I went along but I know that I have what everyone else has deep inside them and that is to love and protect my children no matter what it may cost including my life.
As a father and a man I can fix anything I put my mind to so I have looked at my daughters death from the moment I was told she had died that I have to fix this, I figured if I tweak it, bend it, twist it, poke it, manipulate it, think it through or even read the instructions (men don’t read the instructions) then I can fix it.
I always had the thought that if I couldn’t fix it then it wasn’t worth fixing and it was time to get a new one.
How can I have that thought now? How dare I throw this problem away! I have to fix it. But how?
I did everything right, I raised her, protected her, would do anything for her but most importantly I loved her with all that is me so the same question I ask myself every day all day long is; WHY?
I hope she knew that I loved her.
God has placed many new as well as old friends in my life this year and for that I am truly grateful but if this is an exchange for my daughter then I will give it all back, If I must go on and exist then I will stand tall for my daughter and help others as she had in her short life.
I always thought I was strong and could handle anything but now I find that I am not as strong as I had thought and I have also found that a simple hug does incredible things so don’t be shy in life because a simple hug and smile is the greatest gift you can give another.
Although I have been knocked down and I can’t get back up I will do what I can while lying down.
I don’t know who the author is but it’s a great poem.
We little knew that morning,
God was going to call your name,
In life we loved you dearly,
In death we do the same,
It broke our hearts to lose you,
You did not go alone,
For part of us went with you,
The day God called you home,
You left us beautiful memories,
Your love is still a guide,
And though we cannot see you,
You’re always by our side,
The family chain is broken,
And nothing seems the same,
But as God calls us one by one,The chain will link again
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If I knew it would be the last time
That I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.
If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.
If I knew it would be the last time
I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.
If I knew it would be the last time,
I could spare an extra minute to stop and say "I love you,"
instead of assuming you would KNOW I do.
If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day,
well I'm sure you'll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.
For surely there's always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything just right.
There will always be another day to say "I love you,"
And certainly there's another chance to say our "Anything I can do?"
But just in case I might be wrong, and today is all I get,
I'd like to say how much I love you and I hope we never forget.
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight.
So if you're waiting for tomorrow, why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes, you'll surely regret the day,
That you didn't take that extra time for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
and you were too busy to grant someone, what turned out to be their one last wish.
So hold your loved ones close today, and whisper in their ear,
Tell them how much you love them and that you'll always hold them dear
Take time to say "I'm sorry," "Please forgive me," "Thank you," or "It's okay."
And if tomorrow never comes, you'll have no regrets about today.
--Anonymous from the Internet
It must be very difficult
We Are the Broken
Our lives have changed
Our children taken,
We're filled with pain.
We look to you
To show you care.
At first you support us
Then you're not there.
We see you out
You see us too
You avoid us
That hurts too.
What did we do
For you to leave?
Our children died
Now we grieve.
We put on masks
When you are near
We scream inside
But you don't hear.
You tell us, "Move on.
Get on with your life."
We simply nod
Your words piercing like a knife.
We long to say our child's name
The one you want unspoken
So you don't call because you're afraid
Of we, who are the broken.
By: Kim Lasater
Mother of Kaylin Mathews
Mother of Kaylin Mathews