Reader: What I learned from the tragic hit-and-run death of my daughter, Brooke Brunsvold

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Every day brings new stories -- but if you're part of such an incident, it stays with you long after the headlines fade. Back in September, for instance, the tragic hit-and-run death of Brooke Brunsvold, a sixteen-year-old Centaurus High School junior, gripped locals. Now, her mom comes forward with a heartfelt post about this terrible loss, what she's learned, and advice for parents and teens alike.

tracyanise writes:

On Behalf of Brooke's Mother and Family in Colorado....Brooke loved and was loved every day of her life.. she was a determined teenager, who didn't want to follow all the rules like most teenagers do...but she was NOT a bad kid and was a wonderful big sister to her brother Braxton and her little sister Brianna -- and (me), her Mommy, who she always called her "sole Sista," because she was half black.... She gave us joy, happiness and laughter every day..Brooke knew that on a school night she wasn't allowed to go out and see her boyfriend Ryan, who worked at McDonalds, and her curfew during a school night was 9:30....

We as her parents (stepdad Mark Wilson) tried to do everything to keep her on the straight and narrow and create as much structure as possible for her.... She knew the night she left the house that we would say "No" if she asked to go out...and we even became so obsessed with her sneaking out of the house that we had security systems on every door and locks on all the outside gates, She would say, "Mommy...you make me feel like I'm in a prison." I would say, "I love you more than anything in this world and I am trying to keep you safe"....

She was a determined teenager who wanted to go see her boyfriend..She snuck through the basement ducts, put a chair by the outside fence and climbed over in order to avoid the house alarms, and she waited until we were sound asleep!! We found this out only because she never made it back home and we were told she did that a lot!!!

My advice to loving Mothers and Fathers: Allow your kids to own there own problems.... Let them figure out there own way!! And the more you push, battle and fight with them, the worse it gets.... My advice to teenagers: Take responsibility!! Be where you're supposed to be and listen to the parents if they are setting good examples and you know how much they Love you.... LISTEN and follow the rules!! Life is too hard to Not do that!!! We aren't perfect as parents, but I know I loved my Daugher with my entire Heart. I spoke to her an hour at 9:30 p.m. The night she died she said to me, "Goodnight, Mommy, I will make it to school tomorrow on time, I promise!! I love you more than you will ever know." And I replied, "NO, you won't, because you're going to stay up too late!! I am turning the wi-fi off in the house at 9:45 pm. and I Love you more...." She replied back ,"Whatever."

I am not telling this story to prove to anyone that I was a perfect parent...because I wasn't. But I want all parents who are struggling with their teens to hear our story in hopes this can change some lives!! Brooke always wanted to help others.... She got that from her Mommy!! Her death was not her fault nor my fault nor Ryan's fault or the poor driver who hit her!!! It was God's plan!! And she is with her loving family everyd ay in spirit!! Her baby sissy Brianna points in the air a lot and says, "Hi Sissy." We think that's her coming down to check on her family!!! I know my baby loved me and her family very much..To all the people who made rude and nasty comments towards Brooke after her death!! Shame on you and I will continue to pray for you.


Tracy WIlson-Brunsvold

For more memorable takes, visit our Comment of the Day archive.

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