Lisa Schaefer and I met in 2010. We started the same day for a job at Walmart in Janesville, WI. She got the job to work in the lawn and garden department and I got the job as a people greeter. We had orientation together even and immediately clicked.
As a people greeter, I had to go up and down every aile and talk to every single person to help anyone that needed help and to greet everyone through the whole store through my whole shift. That was my job description. It got boring sometimes, mainly because I’m kind of fluffy, didn’t like to walk around or exercise even though I needed it, and because not many people like to be bothered when shopping and would snap at me. When I could, I would go into the lawn and garden department to see Lisa.
We became best friends very quickly. She was my only friend for a long time. She meant everything to me. In more ways than one, she was like a mother, big sister, and my best friend to me. I could always count on her and she could always count on me. We’d tell each other everything and anything. She always came me so much advice and didn’t sugar coat anything which I really respected her for. We would hang out sometimes after work, would go to Walmart the nights we were paid late at night and get things we needed and some that we wanted together, and would help each other out. She met my littles and she told me all about hers. Her littles were around my age and were always so important to her. She was such a good mom. I wanted to be like her in so many ways. Even after she has been through so much in life, she always held on strong and pushed through. I really admired that.
Some people asked why we were friends because she was older than me, she was around her 40s and I was in my 20s. I didn’t care about the age, she was a very special, important, and amazing person and that’s all that mattered to me.
After a while, I started noticing something. She would come to work with brusies, a black eye once, and marks on her. I was concerned and asked her many times what was going on. She told me that her live in boyfriend was abusive towards her. She said that he was mean, abusive physically and emotionally, and was not good towards her. She said that she tried breaking up with him before a few times. She said that he would take all her money and spend it on things like drugs and leave her out her money for rent, etc. I told her to leave and tried to help her. She couldn’t. She said she wanted to save up first and then go move closer to her daughter’s. She would call me late at night to come pick her up because he was beating her up and she needed help. It happened a few times. I didn’t care what time of night or day it was, I would get my littles bundled up in the car and go find her to pick her up. She would be trying to walk or run to get away somewhere like by the gas station or a few blocks down so he couldn’t find her. I’d pick her up and we’d go driving around or to the store or to eat or she’d come over for the night. I wish there was more I did and could have done. I met the guy once and her other roommate and her dogs. I loved her dogs but not the guys. They gave me a creepy vibe and I hated them.
Soon, I lost my job due to attendance due to me being lazy, not babysitter, littles being sick, or schedules getting messed up at the daycare. I didn’t really like the job but needed it so I was disappointed in myself for that. Plus upset I couldn’t see Lisa all the time at work all the time. Sometimes I would go into Walmart just because I wanted to see her and would go see her for a while with my littles.
Eventually we kind of started to not be as close. She was working a lot and even would be doing cashiering at the front or stocking around the store. She was doing very good but very busy. I was finding a new job and trying to make things work for my littles. We’d still talk on the phone or message each other sometimes but not as often. I blame myself for a lot of that. I push myself away from people after I feel too close to them for fear that I will get hurt somehow and because I get too busy with things sometimes. When we would talk, she would encourage me to do good, would encourage me to go to college to make something of myself, and would always be there. I would listen to her when she needed to vent, encourage her to do good like she was, and to spend some more time with her littles when she was feeling down about things going on.
We talked the last time around Christmas. We wished each other a Merry Christmas and Happy holidays. We did talk about something about my little’s father also. She knows the past behind us and was telling me it’s not a good idea. I got kind of mad and defensive because I always have wanted the happy family for my littles and I with their dad. I got kind of mad and defensive when I should have listened to her.
During the next two weeks, something happened. Her daughter’s and other people we worked with that I was close started asking around if anyone has seen or heard from Lisa. It got me worried. I asked to find out what was going on. They said she was missing and they haven’t heard or seen from her. That was very unlike Lisa because she talked to her littles just about every day and seen them often on the weekends since they lived in Milwaukee.
I seen this go up around Facebook and around town. I couldn’t believe my best friend was missing. I tried calling her non stop and went driving around looking for her with no luck.
January 10th, 2011 I received some devastating news. She was gone. Her live in boyfriend beat her to death and stuffed her under the stairs under rags and clothes. He denied it at first but the police found her.
I was devastated. I couldn’t believe it at all. I was in shock, grief, and udder disbelief. I seen her daughter’s and everyone else post things many times all over Facebook about her and what happened. I still didn’t want to believe it. Even now, I don’t want to. I never went to her funeral. I couldn’t because of transportation and because I didn’t want it to be real. I was still in shock. I never was able to process all of this even now. Her name and phone number is still in my phone even after getting a few different phones since then. I always have to put it in. I remember her number by heart. Her profile is still on Facebook and she’s still my friend on Facebook. I still look at her profile on there once in a while and look at her name and number in my phone once in a while. I have an ornament for Christmas for her on my tree. I have her obituary hidden in a scrapbook of mine. I’m still in shock, haven’t figured out how to grieve, and don’t want it to be real. It is now 2014, almost 2015 and I’m dreading the day she passed away as it comes up. That’s part of why this time of year it so hard for me. Not many people that are close to me know about her because I don’t don’t want to tell them for fear that it will be real then. I know I’m in denial. I know I’m mad at myself for the last time I talked to her I got mad and defensive and wasn’t very nice. I’m know I’m mad at myself because we started to drift away because of myself and life itself got in the way. I know I’m mad at myself because I should and could have done more to help her. I know a big part of why I push myself through school and life is because she wanted me to make something of myself and I won’t let her down. I know she will always be in my heart and will always look over us. Hard to handle though because she didn’t deserve to pass away like that. She didn’t deserve any of that except the best in life.
Lisa was the most special, important, amazing, generous, thoughtful, deserving, and beautiful person. She was an amazing best friend, mother, grandma, employee, and woman. I will always miss her and remember her.