A MEMORIAL - Greenlawn Church of Christ bus accident, May 2, 1999 A Virtual Cemetery created by: Barbara Grimes
Description: GREENLAWN MEMORIAL - Greenlawn Tragedy Revisited: "The pain's still there, but we're doing ok," says Lori Johnson. "We're doing well. We really are," says John Flynn. Both Lori and John lost daughters three years ago today (5.2) when six young local girls lost their lives in the Greenlawn Church of Christ bus accident. The families of those girls say enduring the tragedy has been painful, but the support has been overwhelming. It happened three years ago on a lonely stretch of highway in New Mexico. The Greenlawn bus was returning home from a weekend church retreat in New Mexico when an oncoming truck with a trailer crossed the median on Highway 82 and sideswiped the bus. The impact instantly killed six teenage girls riding on the bus. Now, the parents of those six girls continue to cope with the loss. Certainly it has been a difficult three years, but the families are enduring this tragedy by counting their blessings, restoring joy to their lives and learning to cope through the support of others. Lori Johnson says it's been a long road dealing with the loss of her daughter Sarah. When we sat down I asked Lori how they were doing. "You know, three years ago if you had asked me that question, I would have told you we wouldn't have survived the night. But here we are three years later and I think it's only because God's helped us to survive." The Johnson's have since adopted another little girl. Hannah from Syberia. They have also opened a restaurant in Sarah's memory. It's called Sarah Belle's tea room. Two experiences that have helped restore joy in their lives according to Lori. "You have a choice when something like this happens. You can die inside but walk and breathe, or you can live. We chose to live." John Flynn of Tahoka lost his daughter Meg in the bus crash. His family chose to live as well. "It's definitely strengthened us. We've grown closer in many ways. Losing someone can be an awful strain and we've been able to survive that with a tremendous amount of support," says John.Some of that support comes from this group in Tahoka. The high school band has commissioned this song in Meg's name. It's called 'And my spirit lives on.' It's a fast and cheerful song. "Because that's how she was all the time," says Meg's best friend Aubrey Kieth. "She was always upbeat, always in a good mood, always had a smile," says Meg's friend Kristi Campbell. John and his family have also raised money to send kids to band camp in Meg's name. The song by the way, got a superior rating at the UIL concert. It'll be played for the public for the first time May 14th at the Tahoka auditorium. "I haven't heard it yet, so I'm looking forward to it," says John. Both the Johnson's and the Flynn's say they have joined grief support groups which have helped them cope.