Grandmother to an Angel

Patsy Fisher Smith

Our precious "daughter-in-love", Laurie Childers Smith, and our first and only seven week old grandchild, Mary Witten Smith, were killed Easter week of 1996 by a drunk driver....a forty year old woman driving drunk from a country "juke joint". The drunk was mad at her husband she had left there passed out drunk. She hit Laurie's car head on at over ninety miles an hour. Both drivers were killed instantly, but before the cars exploded, God sent Ronald Moore, a stranger driving by, who risked his own life, by pulling Mary Witten from her infant seat still buckled in the back seat. Our precious grandbaby was airlifted to a critical care unit at LeBonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis where she died from massive head trauma two days later on. I was holding her when God and Laurie took her to be with them. My arms will forever ache of emptiness for her. Her devoted father was holding her, too.

She was their first child, our first grandchild, the first great-grandchild, and the first neice of our two other sons who never left her side at the hospital.

Laurie was a kindergarten teacher and had been selected one of Tennessee's 21st Century teachers...presented over $20,000 of computer equipment for her classroom. Not only was she a wonderful teacher, she was a wonderful blessing to our family...a beautiful strong Christian and had achieved her dream of being Gregg's wife and a mother to a precious baby she dressed in pastels and French bonnets and bows.

Mary Witten died on Good Friday, 1996. Their funeral was the day before Easter. We rejoice having been blessed by their precious lives, but the missing is so overwhelming. April 3 seems so unbearably long ago because we miss them so, but yet it seems like a painful blink away because of the rawness of the pain. We will never be the same, but we are determined to live our lives as a tribute to Laurie and Mary Witten....Gregg says we must and we will.

Patsy Fisher Smith,
grandmother to an angel


I feel my rage when I read what I wrote about the drunk driver. I do hurt for her family though; they are victims too. I even hurt for her, because I truly believe she would have never taken her first drink if she thought she would be responsible for the death of others. We have never heard from anyone in her family except her father who is our next-door neighbor. We went to see him before our girls' funeral to tell him how sorry we were for them in their grief. It is just all so sad.

Patsy Fisher Smith,

You can send email to Patsy at: [email protected]
mail welcome

anniversary date 4-96
date of post 10-26-96

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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW