"As we all travel through life, we have the opportunity to meet many people. Some people are very special and play an important role throughout our lives. Two years after my daughter was murdered in 1978, my husband Frank and I founded a support group (AVP) for other parents who had lost children to murder. The night of the first meeting held in our home, we all said our goodbyes with promises to meet again in a month. Frank and I prepared to go to bed. Around 11 p.m. the doorbell rang loudly. We peaked out from the curtain wondering who was out there. We opened the door and saw an attractive blond woman, wearing a lovely black suit with a maroon blouse, standing by herself. "I am Louise Gilbert. I am sorry I am so late but I felt I had to come even though my friends were trying to talk me out of it.

"We invited her to sit down on the sofa. She told us that her adult son and his wife had been murdered in Tennessee two months before. Louise stayed for 2 hours-- that was the beginning of a long and loving relationship. She continued to come every month. Her husband Al joined us at the third meeting; we were family after that, spending many special times together, leaning on each other for strength. Our relationship spanned more than 30 years; we were family. Al passed away first, then Frank, and just a few weeks ago we lost Louise. A piece of my heart is gone."