Month: September 2004

EDIT: Want a free iPod? Click here!

My layout disappeared again yesterday. But it lasted way longer than it has been! Which means people who had layouts form hayley’s orginal account have gotten bored with them, so there is more bandwidth. Good job, guys, keep taking advantage of Hayley so I can have my layout back! Lol j/k.

Yom Kippur was this past weekend. I fasted. I lasted. Went to B’nai for the break fast on Saturday night. I just feel so out of place there. They made my Dad play with the worship band during one song. I remember he used to do that when I was little. He said it was the exact same drum he used to play. One of the drummers is leaving soon and they want my Dad to take over.

I saw Tali there. She has a xanga haha.

My Dad is having neck surgery on Thursday. Barry (Rabbi) is going to be staying with him at the hospital before and after. This was the conversation.
Barry: Which hospital?
Dad: Condell.
Barry: Where’s that?
Dad: *sarcastically* It’s in Indiana.
Barry: Well, then you can die alone.

See nobody likes Indiana haha. I really don’t want my Dad to die. Please pray for him.

I think I had a lot to say, but I’m so lazy and never write in this, that I always forget.


Jim got a xanga.

So I have to start working on my I-Search paper. At least she has said it’s to be on our future careers, so at least I will have no problem picking the topic. But I have to interview someone in the field blah.

One of the problems with CLC is that there are more ignorant people there than at colleges where you have to apply to get in. We were doing pre-I-Search stuff the other day and we were supposed to get someone else’s topic and suggest questions for them to answer in their papers and some girl got mine (Mental Health Counselor, remember?) and wrote
•Do you know anyone friend or family with a mental problem?
•Have you ever spent time with the mentally impaired?
•What kind of mentally impaired people do you want to work with?
*shakes fist*

So I’m one point away from a B in Psych. I should be fine. I’m four points away from a D in Oceanography and only have two more tests and no assignments (mandatory or optional) in that class, so that is no good. I’ve got a B in English. And my Anthropology class doesn’t start until October 20. I need to go away to school like burning. If I don’t slack off this semester I seriously think I can get into somewhere. I think at this point I’ll only be applying to Eastern and Ball State. Pray for me!

So…Marni and my Mom are on the front page of the CLC newspaper. Oh did I mention Marni goes to CLC now? She wasn’t doing well at MHS so they have to let her go to CLC and take credit from there. She’s still going to graduate late, but she’ll be getting credit from both places at once.

We go to court on Monday, October 25. The cards are stacked in our favour, especially with Brittany and Danna testifying, but you never know. I need a car like burning, so I am hoping not only we will win, but it will be enough to buy a 2005 Toyota Corolla and have plenty left over for insurance, gas, and I want to give some away to St. Jude’s or something. Maybe I will sponsor a child for 89 cents a day or however much it is. So yeah, need prayer about that too!

This link is very sparkley. I love sparkley links. Yay!


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(Genesis 2:17)


Death is part of our human experience. Several times a year, I try to help you focus on the fact that death is a very real part of our journey in this life and is an event we will all experience one day. That is why it is an issue that we can’t run and hide from but needs to addressed. The fact is, by addressing death, it helps us to be much more focused and productive in our day to day lives. It helps us to better know the peace, joy, and abundance of these few years, while making us better servants of the Lord.

The one reality everyone who lives must face is that one day they will die. This is a fact everyone comes to understand at some point in their life regardless of their beliefs. Understanding death, accepting it as a part of this human experience, gives a person an incredible freedom and peace. The fear of death comes from the unknown. That is why God deals with death throughout the Bible. He does His best to help people understand what death is all about, not just to prepare them for that event in their life, but so they can have the most abundant and fruitful life possible.

Of course the first question in talking about death is when will it happen. God gave us this life and only God knows when it will end. The length of our life is solely left up to God. Of course He has given us free will. We can exercise that free will and take our life, but that is NOT God’s plan and we are in rebellion to Him when we commit suicide. Again, it was God who gave us our life, and it is only God who has the right to take it. The Bible clearly teaches us in James chapter 4 that tomorrow is promised to none of us. Each day is a gift from God. While it is prudent and good sense to plan for the future, we must never lose sight that today is the only day we can be sure of. So in talking about when will we die, we must have the faith and assurance that only God knows for certain when that time is and today is the only day we can be sure of.

The next questions of course are where will I go and what will death be like. The Bible is clear on our eternal destination. Those who know Christ as their Savior will be forever “with God” in Heaven and those who reject Christ, will be forever “separated from God” in Hell. While the Bible gives us glimpses into Heaven and Hell, it is impossible with our finite minds to even begin to comprehend what they will be like. One thing we do know, these will not be “places” as we know them since we will be in a spiritual state, no longer bound by space/time. Since in that state the reference points we used during this brief journey will no longer exist, God has done His best to give us images we can reference so we understand that Heaven, or being eternally with God, will be more magnificent than anything we could imagine, and Hell, or being eternally separated from God, will be more horrible than anything we could begin to comprehend.

Knowing that everyone will die one day and knowing the fate of those who die without accepting Christ, should be all the motivation a child of God needs to do everything they can to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with those people God puts in our path each day who are lost and without hope. Don’t let satan distract you from this mission. The enemy gets us so bound up in our man made divisions, squabbles over doctrinal and theological issues, that we forget the Gospel and that there are people dying and spending eternity separated from God EVERY DAY! Let us stay focused and never forget our most important job each day is to share the hope and love of Christ with the lost in this world.

I love you and care about you so much. I know the issue of death is not one that many people enjoy hearing about. But it is important for us to deal with death since it is an event we will all have to face one day. Death is not something we should fear, but realize it is part of this human experience. For the child of God, it is actually an event we should be looking forward to. Paul said to be “absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” For the child of God death means our work in this life is over and we are onto our eternal home and rewards. The Bible tells us that there will be “no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

I pray today that you will treat each day as the gift from God that it is and make the most of it. I pray that you will realize God has a plan and purpose for your life, and that is to serve and glorify Him with each day that He blesses you with. Let me share this word with you today. If you are in your teens, God has something for you to do for HIM today. If you are a young adult in your 20’s and 30’s, God has something for you to do for HIM today. If you are middles aged, in your 40’s and 50’s, God has something for you to do for HIM today. If you in your 60’s or older, God has something for you to do for HIM today. No matter how old you are, what state you are in, GOD HAS SOMETHING FOR YOU TO DO FOR HIM TODAY!!!

Let me leave you with these words of victory today. The prophet Hosea said, “Where O death, is your victory? Where O death, is your sting?” Paul in His first letter to the church at Corinth gives the child of God the ultimate answer to death in chapter 15 verse 57 which is my personal life verse, “BUT THANKS BE TO GOD WHO GIVES US THE VICTORY THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.”

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller

I have a really bad feeling…

EDIT: I still haven’t heard from Matt, so I went ahead and made hotel reservations a few days ago for just me and Torey. I didn’t want to wait til the last minute when all the rooms are taken, and I knew Monica would be out there this weekend, which means there is no way I would have heard from him (which I didn’t), so I just did it. I really don’t know why I haven’t heard from him, but it’s been so long (I know, two weeks isn’t that long, but because I left more than one message and he didn’t call me back…), that I am starting to not even care anymore. Okay, I do care, but if he’s going to be like that, then he is not worth it for me to waste my time caring about WHY he’s being like that. And I certainly will not be attempting to contact him again. The ball is in his court.

Not much has happened.

Saturday morning my dad and I went to B’Nai and we all went to Lake Michigan to do Tashlikh, which is where you cast stones into water and the stones represent your sins. It is done on Rosh Hashanah (or a few days afterwards lol) every year. This is actually the first time I have ever done it though. I had like two handfuls of stones and the rabbi said “Is that enough sins?” And I said “I’m 19.” And everybody that heard that laughed, cuz I am funny. I definitely also heard him [rabbi] drop a bad four letter word that started with an “s.” I couldn’t believe it.

Saturday night Justin called and asked if I wanted to hang out. He apologised for being rude when I went to see him at American Eagle last month. We went bowling. I had not been bowling since like 7th grade. I still suck.

I had a psych test this morning. I actually read stuff in my book. I will be lucky to get a C on this test. Blah. I’m not good at this, God. You know that. Why do You want me to keep at something I’m no good at? I don’t understand.

There is a picture of the Osbournes in my abnormal psych book haha. Speaking of the Osbournes, I must watch Crank Yankers tomorrow night, because Jack is going to be calling Sharon and telling her he’s in jail. I sawed it on the commercial.

Okay and now for some pictures.

This is the caterer from the theatre banquet freshman year. I found it two weeks ago and told Starla I would post it. Only I would take a picture of the caterer lol. Well, maybe not anymore. But I definitely would have five years ago. Which I did.

Moving on. These were just too funny not to post. I was two years old in these pictures. I decided to make up a story about them, kinda like a T.A.T. lol.

This was my lesbian lover…

And I walked in on her having an affair (in MY bed!)…

So I got turned off from girls and found a nice Jewish boy to settle down with (we’re holding hands, if you can’t tell).

The end.

Btw, I have no idea who any of those kids are lol.

So last night I broke down. I realised that I need more Jesus and He is the only one who can help me get through this. And for the first time in two weeks I don’t feel like I am REALLY hurting. I mean, I’m still down, and I still feel bad, and I still need to go to the cemetery and apologise. But I am not hurting right now. Thank You, Jesus. Thank You, God.

In other news: Katie Piper had a baby on August 23…what?

I am completely falling apart right now.

Nobody can help me except for Jesus now. I’m sorry it took something like this to make me realise that.

I am so hurting right now.

And I know I did this to myself.

At the funeral, Frank’s youth pastor was talking about how you don’t have to go through anything alone. Turn to Jesus and He will help you. Well right now I need Him more than ever.

And He’s the only one who can help me.

No mortal can help me.

Not Brian.

Not Matt.

Not anyone.

Just Jesus.

I can’t find my bible.

I just need a passage.


God, please help me. I need You so badly right now.

I know I’ve made mistakes.

And I’m not proud of them.

I am so sorry.

Please forgive me.

Please help me…

get through this…

get closer to You…

be a better person.

I love You

and I know You love me.

I need You.

Please help me.

So in trying to make things right with everyone, I talked to Drew the other day, which would be the first time in like a year. He knows it’s his fault, so that is good.
Jami: So when are you gonna get a xanga?
Drew: Is that an STD?

Quentin told me the other day that sometime after I left GA, Jim, Anthony, JORGE, and a bunch of other guys in security (but not Josh or Brian Granneman) decided to stand around in the locker room and have a nice little conversation about my breasts. Now this is expected from Jim. Anthony I don’t care about. And since I don’t have names, I don’t care about the other guys either. But Jorge is my freaking boss. I don’t care if I don’t work there anymore. I don’t care if he stands at eye level with them. He should NOT be talking about me like that and I have half a mind to call up Great America and report him. Because I would not at all be surprised if he had been talking to people about that while I was STILL working there. I’m not going to call them up. But I am outraged.

So Torey and I are going to the open house at Eastern on Monday, October 11 (missing classes) and we will be staying overnight on the 10th. I swear I didn’t know this until after I had already decided that I wanted to go there, but Terre Haute is like an hour away from Charleston. Matt said he would be happy to drive an hour to see me. And he’ll be stayin in the hotel with us too, as far as I know. But we talked about this before Torey and I knew for sure that we would be going, and now that I know for sure, I am trying to get a hold of Matt to make sure he’s still going to stay with us, cuz when I make the reservations I need to tell them how many people will be staying with us. I’ve called hin three times this week, left a message twice, he hasn’t answered his phone OR called me back. He ALWAYS calls me back. I don’t understand. And I am getting worried.

In the past four days, I have had five dreams about Frank. The first three, he wasn’t in them, but people were talking about him in the past tense. The one during my nap today was about some new newspaper article about it. And the one last night was the worst. This was taking place on Wednesday, September 1, 2004, so he was alive in this one. He was in my English class and we sat next to each other. He edited a paper of mine and I said thank you and started being nice to him, because I knew he was going to die in two days. We all did. In fact everyone wrote about it in their xangas, but he had no idea. And nobody told him. The entire time I was thinking about how I really needed to apologise to him before he died. And, yet, I didn’t. I’m such a bitch, I’m even a bitch in my dreams! This is my own fault that it’s bothering me so much. For lack of better words, I dug my own grave. I think it SHOULD bother me though. EVERYDAY FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE. As a reminder. Who I really want to go to to talk about this with right now is Scott Wakefield. And I can’t. Because I don’t know how to get a hold of him. Heart hurts…

Since the last like six entries have been really serious, I thought I would post something funny. I stole this from Jenni Stukin’s LJ.

Laura Schlessinger is a US radio personality, who dispenses advice to people who call in to her Radio show. On her radio show recently, she said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination, according to Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, penned by a US resident, which was also posted on the Internet It’s funny, as well as thought-provoking.

Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination… End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other elements of God’s Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 also states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is, my neighbours. They claim the odour is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have neighbours who insist on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask he police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination – Lev.11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there ‘degrees’ of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread(cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? Lev.24:10-16. Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws?(Lev.20:14)

I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.
Your adoring fan,
carpe diem, lash

First thing’s first, Brittany had asked me to post links to the articles, so here they are:

Tragedy Visits Families Again
Chicago Tribune 9/8/04
ISU Cheerleader Dies in Automobile Crash
The Daily Vidette (ISU school paper) 9/7/04
Ex-Mundelein Man Killed
The News Sun 9/6/04
Mundelein Grad Dies in Accident
The Daily Herald 9/6/04
2 Accidents on I-55 Leave 2 Dead, 1 Badly Injured
Chicago Tribune 9/5/04
Online Guest Book
The Frank Stanley Message Board
And the videos of the accident scene can be found here. There are two of them, both from 9/3/04. Presently one of them is on the fourth page and the other is on the fifth. The titles are “One Killed, Another Injured in I-55 Crash” and “Multi-Vehicle Crash Shuts Down I-55 Near Braidwood.” I do not recommend watching them.

I did two things yesterday that made me feel a lot better.

One, I remembered about Yahrzeit candles, so I went to Dominick’s and bought one. I don’t know why, but I started feeling a lot better not long after I lit it. It’s supposed to burn for 24 hours. So far it’s been burning for 31 hours and it’s still going. So that is good.

The second thing is I talked to Stephanie. She knew about that IM I sent Frank a few months ago and she had IMed me and I pretty much ignored her. So I had her sn from that and I apologised and I really expected her to hate me, but she is so nice and she actually made me feel so much better. She said Frank wouldn’t want me to beat myself up over being mean to him and he would have seen it as him hurting me, which doesn’t make sense but okay. I still need to apologise to him though. I asked if I could go with her sometime to go see him and she said yes.

So I’m not beating myself up over this anymore, but I still feel really bad and wish I hadn’t been mean to him. And believe you me, I’m NEVER again waiting to apologise to someone. I even apologised to Jim the other day, which was hard, cuz I really did not want to. He actually apologised to me too. Said he didn’t know what he was apologising for, but at least he knew he needed to apologise to me.

I talked to Brian again last night about more things about this that I just can’t talk to anyone else about. He is so helpful…even when he’s drunk, apparently. He was coherant, he just didn’t remember the conversation, so he asked me about it today, but wound up having to leave before I could talk to him, which is good, cuz I think I’d prefer to not have that conversation again. But if he asks again sometime, I’ll have it. Whatever.

Also, this is what he said to me the other day. “Ya gotta get past the being mad. Which you should know, Ms. Psych.” Wow I definitely had not heard that in a while! It was the best thing I had heard all week.

Anyway, even though I am feeling better, I think this was definitely the worst week ever (suck on THAT, VH1) and I am still hoping that sometime soon I will wake up and this will all have been a bad dream and Frank will still be alive. This still FEELS like a bad dream, so it just SHOULD BE. And I hate knowing that no matter what happens, it will always, at least, be in the back of my mind that he’s not with us anymore. And I don’t like that. I want him to be alive.

My heart is still heavy. I’d give anything for one of those flashy things from Men in Black, cuz I just want this whole fucking week to be erased from my memory.

Since I posted the other articles, I’ll just post the one from the ISU paper as well.

ISU cheerleader dies in automobile crash
By Kevin Borgia
Published: Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Those who knew ISU cheerleader Frank Stanley are reflecting on what he meant to them as a teammate, a roommate and a friend, following his death in a car accident on his way home Friday.

According to junior political science major Steve Quaglia, Stanley’s roommate and teammate, Stanley was heading home to Mundelein Friday when he was forced to swerve off the road to avoid a semi, veered into the median and struck an oncoming car. Stanley, 20, and a junior English major, was described as a dedicated cheerleader by teammates, many of whom are still trying to cope with the loss of a close friend.

“Everyone’s in shock still because it was so unexpected,” Quaglia said. “But everyone is looking at it…like all we can do now is think about all the good times we had with him.”

Junior early childhood education major and fellow cheerleader Amanda Laskey remembers him as a vital part of the ISU cheerleading team.

“We’re like a family, and for this to happen, it’s like losing a member of our family,” Laskey said.

“He was always one of those people that no matter if we were losing by [as much as] 50 points, he was always like, ‘we can cheer louder, we can cheer more, we can get the crowd going,'” Laskey said.

Quaglia also said Stanley was “very dedicated” to cheerleading and began in the sport at his high school in Mundelein, Ill.

He also said Stanley was content to be a part of the team last year when ISU placed 5th nationally. Although Stanley did not compete, Quaglia said, “it was always one of his goals to be on the nationals team.”

But Stanley is not only being remembered as a great teammate, he is also being remembered as a great friend.

“He brought a good personality to the team, he was always positive about everything…pretty much the guy you could always look to for sense of humor,” Quaglia said.

Laskey agreed, saying that “no matter what we were doing, he was always laughing, and trying to make you laugh…you could be in the worst mood, and he could get you out of it.”

Quaglia said he will remember Stanley most for his positive and persevering attitude.

“[He taught me] to try no matter what. If you really want something eventually, if you keep trying, you’ll get it.”

Stanley’s memory and persistence will be reflected in the current season for ISU cheerleaders as Laskey said the team will likely dedicate the season to him to keep his memory alive.

“We all have this big hole from losing him, and the only thing we can do is keep his spirit alive by pretending he’s cheering with us every game, every time we compete, every time we do anything, he’s with us.”

Services will be held Tuesday night from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Burnett-Dane Funeral Home in Libertyville, Ill. His funeral will follow Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Stanley will be buried in his cheerleading uniform.

Saturday I woke up around 11:15am, which is really early for a day off and not setting my alarm. Usually when that happens, if I can’t fall back asleep, I wind up lying in bed for like an hour or so, but after 15 minutes I just felt like I really needed to get out of bed and go downstairs. So I went down stairs and got online. I couldn’t have been on for more than 15-20 mins when I got an IM from Brian. Now Brian has not IMed me in at least a year, so when all it said was “Have you heard everything that has happened?” I knew it had to be something big. I was half joking and said “Did somebody die?” I definitely was not expecting him to say yes. When he did, I was surprised and all I had time to think was “Well it’s not going to be somebody I really knew,” before he said “Frank Stanley.”

The wake was last night. It was also the first time I’ve driven since Friday morning and I thought I was going to have an anxiety attack and or throw up, but I didn’t. There were so many people there I haven’t seen in so long and have wanted to see for a while. I hate that this is the reason for seeing them. I was really surprised when Kristen hugged me, considering she hasn’t spoken to me in a year. Ricky hugged me too. Also a surprise. I found out that what happened is he was trying to pass a semi truck (like they taught us all in driver’s ed and I would have done the exact same things) and the guy cut him off. So he swerved and lost control of the wheel and that is how he went over the median.

I was told it was an open casket. I’ve only been to Jewish funerals before and they never have an open casket. Plus I expected him to be pretty banged up. So I waited outside for about 50 minutes before I finally went in. They had Frank pins, but by the time I got in, they were gone. Anyway, right after I walked inside I heard some guy say “Jami!” And I looked and after staring for a few seconds, realised it was David Erlandson, who I haven’t seen in five years. Holy cow. Then the guy siting next to him was like “Jami!” And I turned and stared at him for even longer and realised it was Josh [Erlandson], who I haven’t even TALKED to in six years. I wouldn’t have recognised him from a hill of beans. The only reason I knew it was him is because he was sitting next to David. Wow. I talked with Josh for a little while and asked him if he would come in with me to see Frank, cuz I didn’t want to go by myself. So he went in with me and while we were in line, Starla joined us. The thought of seeing a dead person really creeped me out, but when I saw him I realised it was a good thing, because it helps you realise that this is for real. It’s just so hard to believe though, even after all the away messages, xanga entries, and newpaper articles. Seeing him lying there and not breathing was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. And it is still really hard to believe that he’s gone But seeing him like that did help to make it real. Not that I want this to be real. I kept expecting him to open his eyes, but he didn’t. This is for real.

Brian invited me to go Franks for the Memories (awesome idea) afterwards with everyone. I drove passed on my way home, but the lights were out, so I just kept driving.

Then later on I wound up calling Brian and crying to him. I just feel so bad for being mean and even worse not apologising and I wish I could take it back. And I just really needed to talk to someone about it and Brian is literally the only person in the world who I could really talk to, in full detail, about this. He made me feel a little better, but I’m still really mad at myself.

I’ve been crying all week. I haven’t been eating or sleeping well either. I got 45 minutes of sleep total last night. For the most part the crying has stopped, not because I’m not upset anymore, but because I’m kind of numb right now and it’s just not coming out anymore. I’ve never been numb before. I think I’d rather go back to crying.

The funeral was this morning. I cried a little bit, like when I saw him and knew it would be the last time I will see him until I get up to Heaven. Which I am beginning to doubt that that is where I will end up, because I just feel like such a bad person right now and that I don’;t deserve to be up there.

There were so many people there today that we couldn’t all fit in the room and some people had to stand out in the hall. Everybody’s heart is like this < / 3. I know mine sure hurts. Barely anybody from Mundelein went to the cemetery. I went with Starla. Even without half the people there, there was still such a huge line of cars. We all went through the toll way.

They didn’t lower him into the ground until after we left. Which was weird. This is all so weird and it is still really hard to believe that he is gone.

I don’t even know what to say anymore. I don’t think I have at all this week. It’s just so hard to believe.

I’m so sorry, Frank. I’m so sorry, God.

Tragedy visits families again
Car crash victim was engaged to sister of slain Ingleside girl

By Lisa Black
Tribune staff reporter
Published September 8, 2004

Franklin Stanley finally came to grips this summer with his younger brother’s 1996 drowning as he comforted his fiance after her sister, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Willding, was slain.

Now both families are mourning again, this time for Stanley, 20, of Mundelein, who was killed in a car wreck Friday night on his way to his fiance’s apartment.

Stanley, a junior at Illinois State University in Normal, told his parents how he still vividly recalled the sound of ice cracking before his 10-year-old brother, Nathan, slipped into a Mundelein detention pond.

“Frank tried to save him, and Frank blamed himself for that,” his father, Michael Stanley of Ladson, S.C., said Tuesday. “After Lizzie died, he realized it wasn’t his fault. There was nothing he could have done.”

Stanley, a cheerleader at ISU, died after his car swerved across a median into oncoming traffic on Interstate Highway 55 near Braidwood. He was trying to avoid hitting a tractor-trailer that changed lanes, witnesses told Illinois State Police. As of Tuesday, no citations had been issued, police said.

Stanley was on his way to help his fiance, Stephanie Willding, 19, as she moved into a new apartment and returned to DePaul University. On July 14, her sister was stabbed to death in the family’s Ingleside home.

“I was saying goodbye to everybody and dealing with being on my own after Lizzie,” said Willding, who was introduced to her fiance three years ago by a mutual friend involved in community theater.

When Stanley failed to answer his cell phone on his way from his apartment in Normal, she began to get worried, then frantic after hearing news reports about a fatal crash on I-55.

“I knew it was Frank,” she said. “Frank was an amazing person, and I don’t understand why he was taken from us when he had so much to give.”

Stanley was active at Crossroads Church in Grayslake and had gone on missionary trips to Jordan, Peru and Morocco before graduating from Mundelein High School in 2002, said Randy Green, associate pastor of student ministries.

“Frank could fit in anywhere and always had a big smile on his face,” said Green.

He said Stanley visited him a few weeks ago to ask how to help Willding’s family deal with the loss of Elizabeth.

Stanley’s mother, Julie Stanley of Brownsburg, Ind., said her son took on responsibility for his two younger brothers after their parents separated when he was 11.

After Nathan died when Stanley was 12, the family went through counseling, but the boy stayed quiet about his emotions for years, Julie Stanley said.

“He may have fooled himself into thinking it was OK,” she said. “But this summer…he really grieved.”

Her son didn’t want to spend much time on the phone with her during his first two years of college, but after Elizabeth Willding’s death, “his tone of voice was different,” she said. “He made it very clear that it was OK, and whatever I needed to interrupt him for, it was fine.”

Prosecutors are still deciding whether to pursue the death penalty for Adam Christenson, 22, of Ingleside, charged in Elizabeth Willding’s slaying, according to the Lake County state’s attorney’s office.

Christenson is accused of stabbing her about 40 times after he confronted her during a burglary attempt. He allegedly entered the Willding home for the second time in two days to steal attachments for a digital camera he had stolen. Christenson was going to pawn the equipment, officials said.

Stanley will be buried in his cheerleading uniform with squad members serving as pallbearers, his mother said.

Her son helped start Mundelein High School’s coed cheerleading team after he watched other squads compete and realized the athletic skills required, she said.

He had no problem fending off c.omments from other guys who teased him.

“He put up with the taunts for a while, then said, `I’m spending all my time with girls and getting all the dates I want,'” she said.

Stanley gave Stephanie Willding a promise ring, but the two put off scheduling a wedding date so they could finish college.

Family members said they were comforted knowing that Stanley had a strong faith in God.

“When Lizzie died and I asked him, `Frank, is there a heaven?’ he said, `I know there is a heaven,'” Stephanie Willding said.

“What I keep doing is, I close my eyes and remember when Lizzie died, Frank put his arm around me and said, `Baby it’s going to be OK,'” she said.

Other survivors include his brother, William, and his grandmother, Lillie Smith.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Burnett-Dane Funeral Home, 120 W. Park Ave., Libertyville.

Copyright © 2004, Chicago Tribune

Mundelein grad dies in accident
By Fernando Diaz Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted 9/6/2004

Everyone knew him as Frank.

Franklin C. Stanley was a standout member of the Mundelein cheerleading team.

Randy Green, associate pastor of student ministries at Crossroads Church in Mundelein, said Stanley was a pillar of their programs.

“He was the one I would have talk to the visitors,” Green said, adding Stanley could blend in with any group of people and had a huge heart.

On Friday, Stanley died from injuries he suffered in an automobile accident in Grundy County. He was 20 years old.

After graduating from Mundelein High School in 2002, he attended Illinois State University in Normal, where he was also on the cheerleading team.

A spokesman with the Burnett-Dane Funeral Home said Sunday that his mother had gone to Normal to collect his personal effects.

She wanted to have a pennant for the service, because cheerleading was such a big part of his life.

“In the little time that has passed since he died,” Green said, “we have heard from so many people.”

Stanley had been a part of the youth ministries since he and his family became part of the Southern Baptist congregation when they moved to Mundelein 10 years ago.

He was a leader in the music programs and went on several trips with the church around the country and abroad.

In Tennessee, he connected with disadvantaged kids who lived on a ranch. In Morocco, he played a big role in a painting project and reaching out to kids.

In November 1996, Stanley tried desperately to save his brother Nathan by jumping in after him when he fell through a thin layer of ice into a detention pond and drowned.

In more than 200 photos that Green looked through Sunday, there were few where Stanley wasn’t with a bunch of people, or making a goofy face.

“It’s tough to find a picture where he is alone,” Green said. “He always had a smile on his face, that’s just who he was.”

Services for Stanley will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Burnett-Dane Funeral Home, 120 W. Park Ave., in Libertyville. For funeral information, call (847) 362-3009.

Ex-Mundelein man killed
News Sun

Meanwhile in downstate Braceville, Franklin Stanley, 20, a former Mundelein resident, was killed Friday evening after the car he was driving crossed the median on Interstate 55 near Braceville in Grundy County and struck a southbound vehicle.

He was taken from the scene to St. James Hospital and Health Center campus in Olympia Fields, where he was pronounced dead.

When Stanley crossed the median into southbound I-55 traffic, he crashed in the vehicle driven by Anthony Arnold, 28, of Lockport. Arnold was airlifted via LifeStar helicopter to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, where he was listed in critical condition.

The accident occurred about 6 p.m. Friday, and caused traffic to be shut down in both directions for about 90 minutes. Traffic in the northbound lanes of I-55 opened up at about 7:30 p.m., and both roads were cleared by 11 p.m.

The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

Stanley graduated from Mundelein High School in 2002. He was currently a junior at Illinois State University in Normal where he was on the cheerleading squad and active with show choir and theater.

He was a member of Crossroads Church in Grayslake where he had participated in three overseas mission trips.

He is survived by his fiance, Stephanie Willding of Chicago; his parents, Julie Stanley of Brownsburg, Ind., Michael (Christina) Stanley of Ladson, S.C.; his brother, William of Brownsburg; and his grandmother Lillie Smith of Iuka, Mo.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Burnett-Dane Funeral Home, 120 W. Park Avenue, Libertyville. Internmet will follow at Mt. Emblem Cemetery in Elmhurst. Visitation will be from 5-9 p.m. on Tuesday.