Our beautiful daughter, Natalie.
In the early morning hours of Sunday, February 1, our beautiful 18 year old daughter, Natalie Danese Denicola was killed instantly, in an automobile accident in which she was a passenger in the back seat. She was riding home with friends from Lafayette, Louisiana back to Baton Rouge. Natalie and her best friend Rebekah from High School wanted to get dressed up and go to Lafayette where all the kids go to eat out and dance.
On the night of January 31, Natalie, Rebekah and her boyfriend, and two other guys were in the car, one was driving. They were on their way back home. Natalie was tired (she was working long hours, 3 jobs at one time to save money for living on her own and to go to college). She wanted to sit in the backseat of the car with her friend to sleep on the way back home. It was after midnight. Rebekah's boyfriend sat in the back also. A van pulling a trailer had broke down on the Interstate I-10 and a man was underneath it trying to fix it. Another man was between the trailer and the van. At that point and location, a car out of nowhere lost a wheel, lost control and hit the van and trailer on the side of the road, killing the man under the trailer and severely injuring the other man. About two minutes later, Natalie and her friends came upon the wreck and was flagged down to try and help get the man out from under the trailer. While slowing down to pull off the roadway to help, a truck ran into the back of their car at a high rate of speed, 75+ mph, and literally ran over the car. The impact was so great one vehicle went 200+ yards and the other nearly 300+ yards. The man in the truck that hit them was killed when his vehicle hit a tree after impact. Natalie was sitting on the left side of the car, that was the worst place. The truck roll over the car mostly on that side.
Natalie was killed instantly. Her best friend from high school, Rebekah, died a few minutes later. Rebekah's boyfriend sitting in the backseat with them on the right side had minor injuries. The driver of their car was pronounced dead, then someone saw him move and he was airlifted to a hospital. Their other friend in the front passenger seat (where Natalie was supposed to be sitting) suffered a dislocated shoulder and broken jaw. All the guys kept telling the emergency workers to "help the girls", even though they themselves were hurt. But there was nothing they could do, it was too late. On February 1, 1998 a part of me died. On this fateful night, Natalie had asked the love of her life to go with them, but he was unable to go. Natalie and her first true love had talked about dating again the day before, and how they have always loved each other. Her face always lit up when she talked about him. He was the one true love in her short life. I thank God for allowing this young man to be a part of her life. She was so happy when they were together. But it was not in God's plan for Natalie and her true love to be together that fateful night. I am grateful to God that he was protected that night and that he has been able to move on with his life.
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Natalie was born on the morning of December 20. She was our first child, the first of two daughters. She had a head full of dark hair, so much hair that the nursery personnel would comb her hair up and put a pink bow in it. She weighed 7lbs 11oz. She was our little baby born out of a special love her dad and I had. We named her Natalie because it means "Christmas Child" and because I always thought the Actress, Natalie Wood, was so beautiful and a good actress. I always liked the name, "Natalie." She had the deepest brown eyes, silky dark brown hair, and the fairest skin. So many people told us she looked like a little porcelain doll. Our Natalie was so petite she was 4 feet, 11.5 inches tall.
Natalie had a beautiful smile that would light up any room that she was in. She was kind, thoughtful, helpful, and very caring towards her family and friends. If she was ever sad, you wouldn't know it because she always found a reason to laugh and smile, and she held her deepest thoughts from most. After she died, we found out she was a writer. She wrote poetry, and kept a short diary of poems and writings about the love of her life and about her faith in Jesus Christ. She was an artist, we have a few of her paintings, one especially that won an award. Her last painting was of an old wooden Church, she never got to finish it. After that painting, she was going to paint a picture of her "paw-paw LeBlanc" who passed away several years earlier. She was very close to her Grandparents. She was very close to her maw-maw D. as a child. Her maw-maw D. passed away when she was 4 years old. She was close to my Mom. Every high school event she had to dress up for she would go by my Mom's house and introduce her to her date and show her how dressed up she was. She would have my Mom take a picture of her. She was so thoughtful. She loved music, she played piano, she danced. She loved to dance and listen to music. She was so special.
Natalie's middle name, Danese, is a version of Denise. It just went so well with the name Natalie. She was beautiful. A beautiful baby, child, teenager, and young adult. Natalie touched so many lives in her short life. She never forgot a friend. She was always so busy going places and enjoying life. She never wanted to miss a thing, even when she was a little girl. She loved her family. She loved her sister and took great pride in being the "Big Sister." She was always there for her sister Bee, and helped her in anyway she could with anything she needed
The phone at our house never stopped ringing when she was alive because she always had so many friends calling her. Now, the phone doesn't ring anymore for our beautiful daughter, Natalie.
When Natalie was 14-15 years old, she was a junior firefighter at our local volunteer fire department. She even participated in the jr. firefighter competition held each year.
Natalie was a cheerleader at Bethany Christian School, and that meant so much to her. In April of 2007 she became a born again Christian. We are blessed in knowing she is now in Heaven with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. When Natalie died, something inside us died also. We will never get that part of our lives' back. Our only comfort is in knowing that when we die, we will see her again and that one day in Heaven is like a thousand years to us. So I know Natalie won't have time to miss us before she sees us again.
I thank God for giving us our beautiful daughter Natalie for 18 years to love, and cherish. Our family is now changed forever. Our hearts have been torn in two from losing our Natalie.
Until we see you again, sweet baby girl "Natalie", pray for us and watch over us until we see you again. We love you and miss you so much.
We will love you always and forever,
Mom, Dad, & Lil' Sis