In memory of my mother Deb Stubbe
by Michelle Lievano
(Waukon Ia USA)
I am including a paper I wrote in college. This is a true story.
November 10, 2007, about 8:30 p.m., I decided to retire to my upstairs bedroom. In hand was my house phone and cell phone. Neither of the phones ever made this trip with me before. Something deep inside told me to bring them. I set both phones next to my bed and curled up in my thick red comforter. After awhile of lying there, I drifted off to sleep.
About 4:00 in the morning, the phone rang. Startled, I jumped from my slumber to answer the call. Rubbing my sleepy eyes and reaching in the dark to find the ringing phone, I found it. Unknown to me, it would be the call that changed my life forever.
“Hello?” I said.
“Michelle?” Hey, it’s Randy.” He was real calm and sounded a bit smug.
Right away I knew something was wrong. Randy (my mother’s husband) had never called me before. Even her visits to the hospital from time to time went unannounced; Randy never called. My brother and I never knew when my Mom was ill.
“What’s wrong?” I said in a shaky, nervous voice. I knew this conversation wouldn’t be good.
“It’s your mom, Deb,” Randy mumbled on the other line.
“What do you mean, it’s Mom?” I replied, getting scared.
Randy replied, “She’s gone. It was a car accident.”
Screaming and unknowingly waking my husband, I said, “What do you mean, she’s gone?”
My husband, Marvin, at this time has no idea of what had happened to my mom. He was standing in the background asking me, “What is wrong?” I ignored him completely. Randy was trying not so hard to tell me that he killed my mom. I was trying my hardest to get to the bottom of the story. I say to him, “What happened?”
Randy said, “We were driving home and a deer. . . .”
I interrupted him right there and questioned, “Were you drinking?”
All he could say was, “Well . . . we both were.”
At that moment I could not contain my feelings any longer. I was mad that I knew Randy was not going to accept the fact that he had killed her. The questions pouring from my mouth jumbled together. I don’t know for sure if Randy caught all of my mumbled mess. I started by asking him, “Who was driving?”
He said, “I was.”
My blood boiled. I knew he killed her, and I wanted him to pay. My feelings were showing. The tears flowed heavy. The feeling of faintness took me by surprise. My hands became clammy. I was feverish. My whole body became sweaty. I was going to be sick or lose my mind. My speech came, “I told you! I told you both that one day this was going to happen. But, no, you would never listen to me. I told you that one day you guys would kill someone. Now look at what you did! You killed Mom!”
His reply was, “We were both drinking.” Many times during my speech, Randy tried to interrupt me. I wasn’t going let him interrupt me; I wanted him to suffer the wrath of Michelle. He had no idea what was to come.
I asked for details, later wishing I never did. Randy took a deep breathe and said,
“Well . . . Your mom yelled ‘Deer!’ and I did what I could do to swerve.” I knew what he said was a lie. He continued. “We hit a tree and went into the river. I tried to get out, but my door was stuck. I turned to Deb and tried to wake her. She wouldn’t wake. I yelled her name and still no answer.”
He paused, and I did what I could do not to lose it. I stated calmly “And then?”
He replied “I just told your mom good-bye, gave her a kiss and climbed out of the car.”
My poor husband was still in the background yelling to me, “What’s wrong?” All I could do was hand him the phone and leave the room. He had to hear the news for himself. After the conversation, he came to me and held me tightly.
I later found that the only way Randy could have gotten out of the car was to climb over my mother’s dead, lifeless body. He got out of her side door. That was ripped from its hinges when it hit the first set of trees with their white car. It landed in a cold murky river. He walked to a neighboring house and called for help. There was no help for my mom. She was gone. Her torn and tattered body was never to live and breathe again. Her insides were mush; all but six of her ribs were shattered. She had massive internal bleeding with a broken neck and back. Randy and Mom hit the trees with such a force that her aorta artery was torn from its place at the heart. She was not only dead but partially dismembered. The fingers of her right hand were severed. Some of her bones were protruding from her arms and legs. She was gone from our lives forever.
Randy is serving ten years in prison with the possibility of parole after two years for good behavior. I feel this sentence is not enough time spent for such a terrible crime. It took 8 months of court hearings to reach this sentencing. Even with justice being served, Mom will never come back to my family and me.
We laid her body to rest in the family plot near New Albin, Iowa, on the 14th of November 2007. My mother, Deb, will be missed by all the people that loved her. She was a person of many positive traits. Mom was a friend to all people. She had a big heart that made her friends and me feel better. May she rest in peace.