Mother’s mission of joy
NASHVILLE, Ill. —
On January 2nd, the collective heart of a local community broke when a plane crash claimed the lives of Marty, Kim, and Piper Gutzler as well as 14-year-old Sierra Wilder, and left 7-year-old Sailor Gutzler as the lone survivor.
Sailor walked more than a mile through the woods at night to safety after the crash.
Four months later both Sailor and Sierra Wilder’s mother Jami Lane are adjusting to life without their loved ones as their entire community searches for a way to heal.
A New Year’s trip to Key West with her cousins was something that Jami Lane says she couldn’t deny her 14-year-old daughter.
“There was no tell her no,” said Jami. “I remember her calling me and saying can you call Aunt Kim and make sure I’m still going.”
Little did Jami know that would be the last time she would see her daughter.
“I remember kissing her a couple of times and telling her I loved her. She was just happy to go,” said Jami.
She says everyday she thinks about her daughter, missing her laugh and her smile. Thankfully she says the community continues to rally around her family.
“They’ve pulled together and donated money, time, prayer, condolences, everybody has sent so many things it has just been amazing,” said Jami.
To clear her mind, Jami would often go to the place she feels closest to her daughter, the Nashville Park, but she couldn’t take Sierra’s siblings.
Over the years, the playground that Sierra played on as a child has fallen into disrepair. Now her mother wants to help this community get over the shock of losing four of their own by building a beautiful memorial.
“We’re planning on doing a fenced in area for younger children, it’s probably going to be up to age 7, and some park benches, and some slides, tunnels, and climbing things for them to get on,” said Jami.
However that plan comes with a $20,000 price tag.
“The more I can raise the bigger and better I can make it for the park, and for the kids in the town, and for my daughter,” said Jami. “She’s got a lot of friends, and they’re going to have children. For their children to go down there and play maybe it’ll spark a conversation about my daughter.”
So far, Jami has raised about $7,000 of her $20,000 goal. If you would like to donate to the memorial fund, click here.