by Lisa Butler
Published in the Winter 2008 AA-EVP NewsJournal
Darleen Addis thought that she had heard the voices of her daughter, Jenny, and son-in-law, Brandon, for the last time on September 26, 2006 as they left home on their motorcycle. They died a few hours later when a pickup crossed into their lane and hit them head-on.
Brandon had worked with Darleen at the Brass Pro Shop. Darleen said that he had a lot of talents and seemed to have the same interests as her daughter, so she introduced them and soon they were seeing each other every day. Jenny, eighteen, was a dancer and sketch artist. Brandon, twenty-one, played the guitar and often wrote songs. “He sang, and she couldn’t,” Darleen recalls. “She danced, and he couldn’t. What one was thinking the other knew the answer to.”
Just before Jenny’s graduation, Brandon proposed to her on a family vacation. Brandon’s mother recalls him rehearsing before he left and told us that, “He really loved her, and she really loved him. I wish everybody could have a love like they had.”
They were married on July 30, 2006. They exchanged rings and promised to spend their lives together as their favorite song, “Everything” by the band Lifehouse, played. After a honeymoon in Bermuda they moved in with Darleen, her husband Wayne and son Joshua. Jenny enrolled at the Community College and was studying criminal justice while Brandon kept working and was considering going back to college. Darleen says that they wanted children and that she looked forward to being a grandmother.
The two had been married a little less than two months when a habitual traffic offender with no license, a history of drug use and three convictions for driving under the influence (DUI) in the past year, ran them down. He was still on probation for his first DUI and was addicted to prescription and other drugs that were not prescribed to him. He passed out after hitting Jenny and Brandon.
Darleen keeps their room just the way they left it the day of the crash. The wedding dress hangs in the closet and the wedding bouquet is above the dresser mirror. The couple’s car still sits in the driveway, the “Just Married” sign in the rearview mirror.
Darleen says that her husband was a skeptic but soon after the funeral, things started happening that totally made him a believer. The first thing that Darleen remembers happening was the dogs barking at the door and then jumping up like they were jumping on Jenny and Brandon. One alarm clock would go off when it wasn’t wound up and the other, an electric model, went off at 2 a.m. with just white noise when it was not set to go off. Jenny’s picture fell down when Darleen was in deep thought of her and it fell the opposite of the way that it should have fallen.
There were many other signs. Darleen had gotten Jenny a little bell when she had her wisdom teeth taken out and on more than one occasion the family heard that little bell ringing. Joshua had a box of mints on his dresser and it flew off to the floor when he entered his room. Jenny’s embroidery was in her end table and Darleen moved it to show a photographer but when she went to show it to the man, it was gone. Darleen later found it back in her end table. Brandon’s watch appeared out of nowhere and it was the watch that Darleen had seen on him the day they rode off on the motorcycle.
Six or seven weeks after the couple’s tragic death, Darleen recorded an EVP that says, “What’s up?” She knew it was Brandon. When Brandon would answer his phone he would always do so by saying “What’s up?”
Soon after joining ATransC this past September, Darleen was on the member message board and was listening to some of the examples that members had posted. She came across one from Debbie Caruso which said “Ma, Ma – You should know … I miss you.”
Darleen recognized Jenny’s voice immediately and wrote to the group: “This morning I am still sitting here in shock. I do believe that is my little girl on that EVP! The voice and the way ‘miss’ is said sound exactly like her! I have played it for anyone and everyone who knew my daughter and knew her voice. They all know it was her. That was captured before I joined the group but I have wanted to for many months. This Wednesday we are facing the one-year mark of the crash. It has been a nightmare. I am so thankful and grateful to all, and Debbie, thank you so much for allowing me to hear my daughter. I know that Jenny and Brandon have met up with those trying to communicate with us because they believed as much as I believe.”
In October, Darleen shared the story of Jenny and Brandon’s communication from across the veil on the Maury Show. The show astonished Darleen by having Debbie as a surprise guest. They had not met in person. On the show, Debbie shared another wonderful EVP from Brandon saying, “I feel the Big Circle. I feel welcome.”
While at the show, Darleen was to receive a reading from Jeffrey Wands. She turned her recorder on to document the reading and discovered an EVP before the reading began that says, “I’m Brandon.” During the reading, Jeffery said that Jenny was drawing a “Big Circle” around everyone.
We often forget that these tragedies are even more horrendous for those that are left here on earth. Darleen’s family, along with Brandon’s family, has also suffered through the trial of the man who took the physical lives of this young couple. Darleen admits that she wakes up in pain and goes to bed in pain. The stress has been almost unbearable at times but she says that EVP has given her hope, “It is a way of communicating with Jenny and Brandon and a way of knowing that we are still ‘together.’”
Excerpts in this article came from The Knoxville News-Sentinel article, “All That Remains, Families of young couple killed in senseless tragedy left with grief and questions” by Matt Lakin, October 15, 2006