A Leighton Buzzard family is creating a treasure trove of memories of a beloved wife and mother who died in a tragic road collision.
Laura Jones, 29, died on October 19 last year when her car collided with a heavy goods vehicle on the B655 near Pegsdon.
As her family braced themselves for the inquest into her death last week, husband Lee revealed the couple’s two daughters Katelyn, 7, and Alexis, 4, have filmed a short video in memory of their mum.
He said: “It’s now six months on and I’m trying with our three children to cope in any way that we can.
“The children and I came up with a song about mummy, we made a video and posted it to YouTube. My eldest daughter Katelyn checks daily to see how many views we have.
“It is doing really well but I would love to see her smile if it does even better.”
The video is available online at www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyWEjPNvarQ .
Lee still remembers fondly how he first met Laura – originally from Hemel Hempstead – who won him over with her smiling and caring nature.
He said: “We met at my sister’s 25th birthday, there was an instant spark between us but there was always something in the way. We spent over two years ducking around each other until we finally got together in 2008.
“Her love was unconditional... she loved me for who I was and that was enough.
“She kept us all organised and remembered everyone’s birthdays, she was like a walking diary! It took me years to remember my own kids’ birthdays.
“Suddenly, I’ve gone from being a working dad to being a stay-at-home dad.”
Lee says the support from family, friends and the community has helped steer himself, Katelyn, Alexis and Tyler, 11, through their grief.
He said that October 19, 2017, began like any other day until police arrived at the depot where he worked as courier that afternoon.
“One of the managers later said the way the police came into the depot, they knew something really bad had happened.
“A manager phoned me when I was driving and just said I needed to get to my mum’s house. My immediate thought was to call Laura because she knows everything but I couldn’t get hold of her.
“That’s when I knew... I rushed home on a wing and a prayer but deep down I knew something had happened to Laura.”
After receiving the news, Lee was forced to find a way to tell their children.
Lee said: “I’d lost my sister a year earlier to a rare blood disorder. She was particularly close to Tyler and we’d told the girls that their auntie had become a star.
“Here I was then in a position where I couldn’t really tell them anything else but ‘Your mummy is a star.’”
Since that time, the family has built a collection of photographs, memory jars and a catalogue of Laura’s things in order to keep her memory alive.
And making music together has also been a healing hobby for them.
Lee said: “I would recommend anyone in my situation to find something they are passionate about, that takes them away from the pain or helps channel your emotion into something creative.
“A question I get asked a lot is how do I cope. People say, ‘If I was in your situation, it would break me.’ My response is it has broken me but I carry on because I have no choice, I’ve got three children.
“Everybody is capable of being strong when they have to be. You’d be surprised what you can do when you have no other choice.”