This is a story about a very brave young mother, my daughter Jennifer, who lost her eleven-year-old twin daughters by way of a tragic house fire while living with their father and stepmother in 2010.
I'm sure you've heard of the tragic fire that took four little girls lives in May of 2010. Per my daughter's wishes I will tell her story of this tragic moment in her life, how she managed through it, how she is managing today, and the disturbing facts of how she was so incredibly belittled, bewildered, and betrayed throughout it all.
My daughter is a very kind soul. Her heart goes out to just about anyone on the planet and her spirit is bright and cheery, even in the most difficult of situations. On this night, one of her hardest obstacles yet to be faced had begun. Not only is she the biological mother of these two beautiful girls Kamryn Paige and Kieley Faith LeBleu, but of three other children in her care as well. Jennifer suffered as a very young mother to do what was best for her children. Although her marriage to the twin’s father was dissolved, she always kept her twins, as well as their father's best interest at heart. She realized that she was not able to care for the twins as she desired their life to be, with one child already with little money or help, and she knew that their father was lost without them also, therefore she allowed him to care for them, with joint custody and visitations, of course. Their father eventually met a woman who later became his wife who, of course, helped to raise the girls as well. In the beginning, this was thought to be a healthy blessing, so to speak, for everyone involved, that is, until jealousy set in. Jealousy truly is “as cruel as the grave”. Unfortunately my daughter suffered through many episodes of ridicule, mockery and just plain ridiculous mean madness due to the beast that jealousy is. The girls were told not to call her “Mommy”, they were even told that she wasn't their biological mother! The visitations became harder and harder due to ridiculous excuses, accusations and let's face it, just plain “jealousy”. My daughter fought to keep her rights, without knowing how, no legal representation and no money, as hard as she could. She never gave up on her girls and always dreamed that “one day” they would be living back in her home where she could and would provide for them not only financially but lovingly as well. She felt robbed of her soul, a piece of her heart was missing. Every day praying for some way to have them in her home, with their brothers and sister, eating, playing, sleeping, praying, loving under one roof, her roof, although knowing that this was best for them, for now. Their step-mother had 'connections' in the little town they lived in, mostly family members. These connections allowed her to 'disconnect' Jennifer from her beloved twins as much as possible. Fear, ignorance, poverty and pure disillusion kept Jenni from doing anything legally to stop and prevent this separation she suffered through so many times. She prayed, “Lord, please don't allow anyone to brainwash my girls to believe anything other than the truth...I am their mother....I love them with all of my being....I miss them....I am only trying to do what is right....I want them....I am sorry”. Until one day, she got a call...her girls had died in a fire. She immediately called me, I was living on the island of Maui at the time, falling to pieces, in anguish. Upon my arrival I find that she wasn't notified immediately after the tragic incident and that the very first thing she did was to go visit the step-mother in the hospital to make sure that she and her ex-husband were okay. This is my daughter, genuine gold hearted. The ups, the downs, the questions, the tears, the anger, the sorrow, the pain....all of these inevitably followed as we reach the day of the funeral. Jennifer told everyone to lay aside all feelings of anger, betrayal and resentment and concentrate on the girls, this was their day, their moment. How difficult that day and those moments were, for all of us, but especially for my Jenni. What person is it that considers themselves to be “Christ-like” aka a Christian and doesn't even recognize their child’s biological parents, as their parents, at their funeral? At their funeral? Again....at their funeral. I have never in my life been so amazingly proud of my daughter as I was on that day, at that moment. When the pastor announced that the twins were “born to the stepmother and the father” my daughters soul died.....and all I could do, sitting beside her, was sing to her and hold her, as if she were my little baby girl again and God said, comfort this child with song and the warmth of your arms around her soul. The song...I can only imagine....I am in tears now as I write this because the memory will never leave, like a bloodstain that has set into a cloth, this moment, this stain, embedded into our souls forever. The purpose of this story is not to receive pity or to cast stones...the purpose of this story is to alert! Jealousy is as cruel as the grave! Do not allow it into your heart and your life! My Jenni is doing very fine right now, she's about to have some cancer removed but other than that, she's very fine. Every year she releases two balloons for her girls, on their birthday and she is getting a tattoo (as soon as she can afford it) on her back of her two angel’s wings and their birthdates. Hopefully, this story has brought some kind of attention to families of broken homes. Children should not have to suffer because their parents cannot get along, and jealousy can bring anyone to an all time low in their soul. Overcome differences not only for yourself, but for the sake of your children. Life is definitely too short for such nonsense.