Newton & Jasper County Missouri

MADD Chapter

Christina Marie Elizabeth Freeman

Punkie

12-24-1987 to 02-12-2006

Christina was born on Christmas Eve 1987 the best gift I could have ever hoped for. Christina has two sisters one older Brandy and one younger Megan, one step brother Jake.

Christina is named after my mother and my older sister Janda. This starts our journey of 18 beautiful years.

Christina loved Cheerleading and softball. She wanted to be a radiologist in life and would have been a successful one. Christina was a mommy's girl and was never far from my side, she was not one to go out and party she stayed home most of the time. In her 18 years I can count on one hand the times she stayed away from home.

In 2001 we started providing foster care to children in Jasper Co, this lead to the adoption of 8 more children, Tosha, Mike, Trevor, Devin, Makenzie, Dustin, Dakota and Angie. Christina was always the first to say momma we need to keep this one, she loved having a large family.

We had just bought my dream home, an old Victorian home on Wall Street here in Joplin.

On Feb.11th 2006 Christina was going to stay the night with a friend, as always she called me about 6 that night to tell me they were going to eat and then back to Valerie’s to watch movies, I said ok call me later "I love you" she said ok I will "I love you to Mom" This would be the last words I would ever here my baby say, thank God they were positive words and I will cherish them always.

You know when your children are not home you don't really sleep so I had just got in bed. it was 11:05 I will never forget the time. I heard a knock on the door, when I got to the door I saw a man in a suit, He said are you Christina Freeman's mother? I said yes, He said she has been in an accident and you need to go to Freeman's right away. so I said ok is she ok? He said you need to get to the hospital do you need a ride? No I have a car but is she ok? No answer from him just a solid blank look. I went and woke Gregg jumped in the car, I know I drove to the hospital but I have no idea how I got there; I remember parking somewhere and running into the ER. There waiting for me was the director of nursing and a pastor. Now when you’re met by a pastor in the ER believe me it’s not a good sign. Although they were talking to me I’m sure I don't think I heard them I just wanted to see Christina, They took us to a “quite room” and I think said Christina was in cat scan. We were in there for what seemed like forever and in came the Nero Surgeon, He was very cold and unfeeling he just said there is no hope for your daughter. But even with that I just wanted to see my baby they said she would be back in a few minutes and they would take me to her. I sat there for another eternity an in came another doctor, Christina is back from Cat scan and we will be taking her down to remove her spleen, you can go sit with her until she goes for surgery, Thank God finally I get to see my Baby!! This lead me to believe the cold Nero Surgeon had no clue what he was talking about if there was no hope then why would they be taking her for surgery,

When I walked into the Trauma room Christina was laying on the gurney she had a black eye that was all I could see, I reached down and took her hand she was so cold, I ask for warm blankets to make her warm. I sat down beside her and stared to pick the grass from her long beautiful hair. I kissed her forehead and pleaded for her life. at this time I seen a very small amount of blood coming from her ear. I got a wash cloth cleaned it and some dirt from her face and just sat there trying to make her warm. I think I remember Megan coming in she didn't stay long she went back out to the waiting area. Valerie came in and gave me her purse and class ring and I think her clothes, why did she have this stuff? Oh well I said Thank you took it and she left. They came and got Christina and took us to the ICU waiting room. As we left the ER we were met by family and friends, I really don't know who called them but they were all there. And off to the side were 4 young men with Valerie I don't think they said anything but they were not there long. Later I would find out who they were and I am very glad I didn't know at the time.

We found the waiting room and the chapel, I think it only took about 30 minutes but it seemed like 10 hours. The Dr came in and said the Surgery went well and Christina would be in the ICU in a bit and we could go sit with her. When they brought her to the ICU they closed every ones door and opened the big doors so we could all go see Christina, Now I know this should have been a clue for me but at that point your really not thinking to well. I got into the ICU she was so beautiful she just looked like she was sleeping. I sat with her and watched as all these people came in and out all saying there good byes, so many people coaches, family and friends, I'm just guessing here but I think there were about 250 people there. I know Christina’s dad was trying to get a hold of our oldest daughter Brandy with no luck so I think Brian and Donald took over that job. Lisa Kay went to the house and got the rest of the kids as they all came in and said there good byes like why are you doing this she will be fine. Soon the Nero surgeon came back in and said once again there was no hope for your daughter. I think at that point I learned why they took her to surgery; your body temp has to be at a certain level before they can pronounce you dead. Christina was loosing to much blood and fluids they couldn't bring hers up. They had to stop the bleeding.
I remember someone asking about Organ donation, and this was a sure thing you see about three months before the crash, Christina came bouncing in and announced she was going to be a donor, I said no baby I think I will keep you whole, She said no momma this is very important. little did I know three months later I would be faced with that decision, although it was an easy one to make because I knew what Christina wanted, I could not fill out the papers, Gregg did all that, Boy for someone who is always in control I was a total mess. We gave everything but her eyes you see her eyes were my eyes and I had to make sure she always had them. Thank God for Christina’s dad he was my rock and I really don't know how he did it. I do know his brother Kevin was there helping him, Thanks Kevin.

I think at this point I went out to smoke but I had to make sure Christina was not alone so her Aunt Janda stayed with her.

Back in my seat beside Christina with even more people coming in and out, my niece Connie came in she sat down beside me and said something like cant they do anything even if she is a vegetable? I said no I have already asked that. I would take care of her for the rest of my life just to have her here with me.

Christina passed at 11:40 Sunday but I had to wait for her sister Brandy to get there. She arrived just after noon and they pronounced Christina, The hardest thing I have ever done was to leave my baby at that hospital, Brandy worked at Freeman's in the ER so Christina was never alone. Brandy's Boss promised he would stay with Christina until every thing was done, and he did It took about 17 hours to harvest all her organs.

Back home I remember sitting on the couch with Gregg people every where bringing food and drinks just stopping in to see us. I told Gregg if you will stay here with the other kids I will go with Christina, Now I know that was not possible but at that time it is what I wanted more than anything, and if I could get there even today that is where I would be.

I don't remember much about the next few days I know with out Lisa, Treva and Janda I would not have made it. They did everything that needed to be done; my little Megan was the rock for all of us she picked out the music and answered everyone’s questions. Over the next few days family came in from all over, everything was done in pink for Christina; the high school softball team was there all together and did a wonderful eulogy for Christina.

Pastor Duane did the service, and as Parker Mortuary was not big enough to halo all the people the Couples offered thereChurch witch was beautiful. So now we have buried our baby and are left with nothing but a big gapping hole in our hearts.

We must pick our selves up for the prosecutor from Newton Co wants to see us.

We learned that the young mad "Cory Simmons" was drunk and killed my baby, it took 17 court hearing to get to the point of end. Cory was sentenced in September to 17 years with a 120 day call back, no drivers’ license for the 5 years he is on parole, must get his GED and has to pay 150.00 dollars every month to the Christina Freeman Memorial scholarship fund until he has paid a total of 9,000 dollars. Cory Simmons was released from prison on Dec 13th 2006 before Christina was even gone a year and just in time for Christmas with his family.

I sure thought Christina's life was worth a lot more, But we all have to answer to the same maker and he will have to atone for his actions when he gets to the gates of heaven. Having said that, I also have to add Christina is in Heaven looking down telling me Momma please forgive him he didn't mean to do it was just my time to go, and I’m happy now. I know this because I know Christina she was the most forgiving person you would have ever met. So for her I do try not to be bitter toward Cory. It is not easy, at times I hate him and his family why should they be happy why should his mom get to hear him say I love you. However I know with in my heart, Christina will be waiting for him as well as me. that is just Christina

The world has missed out on a beautiful Child and a family is forever torn apart, lost only to be found when we are all together again.

They say the Lord only gives us what we can handle and everything happens for a reason, I have to trust, that Christina is in a better place and is happy but most of all that she will be warm forever more.

I will be walking again one day with my beautiful baby girl, I am ready to go when the lord calls my name, I will go with bells on.

This is a very short version of the events; I still don't remember everything about that time.

My life now will be always dedicated to the fight against drunk driving, if I help just one person not to live like this if I save just one life, I have done my job.

In Memory of Christina Marie Elizabeth "Punkie" Freeman Please don't drink and drive.

I love you baby with all that I am..

Walk with the angels’ baby and save me a spot right beside you I'll be there very soon.

Love you always and forever Mommy......


G-maw Pat is with you now take care of her and tell her we love her....


Letters and Memory’s of Christina.

Connie Sue wrote:

As I was growing up, my favorite place to be was my Aunt Kerry's. I guess it was because I didn't have any sisters and Brandy, Christina and Megan were more like sisters than cousins to me. Lisa and I were always together growing up. We had an inside joke, that Christina was mine and Megan was hers. My favorite thing about Christina was her long beautiful hair and her great smile. I wish I could remember more about growing up with her, but being so young, the memories have faded. I’m sure Kerry could tell me some great stories.

As i grew older and we all moved to different towns, we grew apart. But, the love was always there. My most recent memory of Christina is running in to her when she worked at Academy. She walked up to us and gave me the best hug ever and kissed both my boys. Now there are a lot of teenage girls out there that would have not done that. But, Christina was very special; she had a huge heart with a lot of love to give. I will never let go of that love. I hold a special place in my heart for Christina and I miss her so much.

Christina's death has reminded me that we don't know what the future holds for us and we need to treasure each moment that we have with one another.


Aunt Delaina wrote:

I knew Christina more as a little girl than as a young lady, Time and miles separate families even if we don't want it to be that way. However the love is always there. I missed her and the rest of the family, but I knew they were there if I called or wanted to drive to see them.
She was so beautiful always smiling and happy, sometimes a little sassy but in a cute way. When she was little everyone called her Punkie a nick name given to her by her dad. I think as she grew up she became Christina or , Tina as I have heard her called.
I have so many good memories of Christina, the way she laughed, her too cute little chubby cheeks, watching her play softball and the way she made you feel every time she saw you. I can still hear that little voice full of excitement saying "Hi Aunt Delaina!" Even if I had just seen her five minutes before, she still seemed excited to see me. She was that way with everyone.
One of my favorite memories is of a time when I stayed with her family for a few days. Kerry was running around trying to get everything done, and get the kids in the bath and to bed. I volunteered to give Christina a bath that night to help out, I think she was about 4 or 5 then, Kerry said something like "You go right ahead I'll let you deal with all that hair" Punkie always had the most beautiful long curly hair. Kerry wasn't kidding; once Punkie sat down in the tub and her hair got wet it was like miles and miles of hair; Washing, rinsing and conditioning and then rinsing again. I don't remember how long it took, I do remember the whole time we were in the bathroom, Punkie talked to me, told me stories and "what ifs" and "why's" or "how to" all the while playing with this toy or that toy she had in the tub. Over the years, I have thought about that time and it always brings a smile.
Losing Christina has been devastating to say the least. You don't think about not being able to pick up the phone and call someone so much as you do when you can't do it at all. You never think about losing someone like this, especially a young lady of 18 who loved life and those around her. Someone who wasn't the “party girl” type and loved sports.
I have also found that I am more aware when I drive. of people who might be drinking and driving, I've always called the Police if I see someone swerving to the point I thought they were drunk, It makes me mad that people always say, "I'm not that drunk" or "I can still drive..."I'm sorry that their life is so insignificant that they want to gamble with it. but what gives them the right to gamble with mine or yours, or anyone else's?
As a parent, I can only imagine what Christina's parents are going through. Just think of a time when you looked around and couldn't find your young child, the panic, fear, helplessness. Now imagine feeling that way every minute of every day. I'm sure a lot of parents have looked up to find a child gone and had that feeling, now remember what it felt like to find your child, the sweet relief. Just think, if you felt that horrible feeling when you can't find her and then realized that you could NEVER get rid of it because your child is gone and not coming back because of someone else who decided it was ok to gamble with her life.
I'm so mad that I can't see who Christina was as a young lady, I can't talk to her or even hug her like I did when she was a little girl. I can't get to know him all over again or meet her boyfriends and eventually her husband and children.
I see her Mom, dad and siblings smile but I know that behind that smile is so much pain and heartache. I'm MADD because they have to feel this way and I can't take it away. I get mad when someone wont say her name or talk about her, SHE WAS REAL...SHE IS REAL...CHRISTINA CHRISTINA CHRISTINA!!!!!
Most of all I'm mad because this drunk idiot took all of our chances to make some more “favorite memories" with Christina.


Kendrick wrote::

It all started when I was in middle school with Christina's sister Megan Freeman, I use to walk Megan home after school. I saw her sister from walking her home. She came up to me and all I said is wow your tall lol. Christina used to hang out with my best friend before I knew her so I got to know her more because she hangs out with my friend named Levi. The started dating that was funny. Christina's dad didn't like that I thought it was funny all dads are protective. Christina was a cute funny person to hang out with. She always had an energetic sense of humor. She tried so hard to play softball and she never gave up just for her sister's because she was the oldest. I remember when it was her first time playing first base as she tried so hard to play and she did a good job. Christina and I didn't get along a lot but we started to, I gave her a nickname, bulldog she hated that but she knew I was just kidding. Christina always cared about us she use to work at academy and always got us something I don't know why even when I didn't ask. She was a wonderful person. My happy time with Christina was when Christina, Tosha, Steven, and I went to the carnival she pick us up we would listen to the veggie tales that was funny but we rode this one ride at the carnival it was fun but we rode it like 6 times. We didn't have anymore money so went back to the car and she just started to puke it was funny because she sound like a cow lol. I'm always going to remember Christina she was a cook person. How Christina's death affected me in my life that day was the last day I talk to her, She came to Stefan house and was supposed to get him a mp3 player and that was the last day I saw her. I found out by Megan the next day so I went to the hospital to see her I went in that room and saw her I couldn't look anymore I had to leave I was hurt I never had a friend pass away on me like that before. I couldn't handle it because I started to remember all the stuff we did together. Then when I go to school it bothers me because Megan was being bothered at school, and I didn't like that so I was there for her. I started to help with the MADD for Christina. Where she had her wreck on the highway I was scared to go to work to just say I am going somewhere when I lived with Christina’s family I use to go to her cemetery and just look at her stone and just think why GOD why her but what hurt me most was her family didn't think that I cared about her I just don't express my feeling out like that I am always going to miss you and your not gone in my heart you'll always be there for me when I die Christina I will say hi again but I will never say goodbye to Christina my best friend, my family. I love you Christina Freeman #24.

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