We’re going to get back to the lighthearted fun here at That’s Church later today, but not just yet, because it’s hard sometimes for me to be lighthearted and fun when there’s so much damn suffering going on, you know?

Sometimes when I read tragic local stories and I’m about to write a lighthearted post, I think to myself, “Gosh, I hope no one associated with that tragedy reads my blog because if I were them, it would make me irrationally angry that there are people out there being lighthearted and fun and smiling and laughing when my world has completely crashed down around me.” Honestly, if tragedy ever struck my family, and God forbid, the SUN DARED TO SHINE THAT DAY?! Rage.

So, before we get back to the laughs, I wanted to be sure you guys went and read Lisa Styles’ obituary, because she deserves that much from us. It’s not enough to just get mad at the kid who snatched her away from her family, shake our fists angrily at him, and then go on. That’s a disservice to the life Lisa lived for 36 years. And when you, like me, start thinking about what this kid did and you start getting angry and you start wondering what the future will hold if people like that are indeed our future, remind yourself that there are some incredible people in their 20s who are choosing to risk their lives for us, and in some cases giving it up for us. Young men like Joseph Caskey.

Lisa’s husband Brett emailed me. He wrote, “I know that there’s a lot of anger about the accident involving my wife. But rather than concentrating on that, know that she was the best person I ever met.”

Just for a while, put your anger away and go read about what a wonderful, educated, giving mother, friend and wife she was, so that her death is not all about HOW she died, but how she lived until she died.

Joseph and Lisa are both the next Awesome Burghers. May their tragic deaths not trump their lives.


  1. SpudMom
    July 1, 2010 9:29 am

    hear, hear.

  2. Magnus Patris
    July 1, 2010 9:53 am

    God bless her and her family. She sounds like someone I would have wanted to be friends with.

  3. J
    July 1, 2010 9:53 am

    I hope that Ben Cope reads that obituary and realizes what kind of person he took from the community and from her family.

  4. Lauren
    July 1, 2010 10:02 am

    What an inspiring woman. Sitting for and passing the bar while 8 months pregnant. Completely devoted to her kids. World traveler and awesome wife. She proved that we as women CAN do it all, and do it all well. I hope when her kids get older they can find some comfort in what a great lady their mom was.

  5. G-Man
    July 1, 2010 10:45 am

    One of life’s hard things is trying to make sense out of loss and tragedy. I know it’s part of the big plan, but it’s often hard to see. Then I’m struck by the balance of good things that those people we lost bring to their families, friends and even to a country as a whole like with the soldiers.
    Lisa and Joseph may be in the next life, but they did and left behind a lot of good in their short time with us. Probably a lot more good than I or many other will ever do. Thanks to, hats off to and heads bowed for them.

  6. Stellabella
    July 1, 2010 10:45 am

    Ginny, thank you for mentioning Joe. While we only knew him in passing, his death has deeply effected other people who are close to us. You’re right, he was a GOOD kid. He loved God, he loved America and he loved his family deeply. It’s a terrible, tragic loss.

    Lisa’s death is tragic, but her husband’s strength amazes me. I pray they find comfort and peace in the coming days.

  7. Cassie
    July 1, 2010 11:10 am

    “…know that she was the best person I have ever met.”

    What an amazing husband.

  8. Heather
    July 1, 2010 11:13 am

    Love and strength to the Styles and Caskey families.

  9. Bulldog
    July 1, 2010 11:32 am

    Thanks for picking us up a little bit today Ginny. The strength of those two families, and the dignity they are displaying during their darkest of days are truly worthy of wonderment and praise. As Heather said, “Love and strength to the Styles and Saskey families.”

  10. Legallypgh(Kathy)
    July 1, 2010 12:29 pm

    Makes me want to be a little nicer to my kids when I pick them up from camp this afternoon after reading Lisa’s obituary….its so easy to get frustrated or annoyed with kids (especially when they are yours!!:) ) but I read her story and determined that she sounds like the kind of mother I wish I could be. I think in her honor I will try to be just a little better…

  11. dogilicious
    July 1, 2010 1:23 pm

    Actually read the obituary and then came to your site because I figured you would have something to say on the matter. As a runner and a human, it brought tears to my eyes. Can’t wait to go home and hug my kids.

  12. Stacy
    July 1, 2010 2:16 pm

    As the mother of three children in the South Hills, this tragedy really hit home. I can’t even begin to imagine what this family is going through. Lisa was a woman to be admired and we should all try to emulate her life in some way. God bless her family and help them through this terrible time.

  13. Sue
    July 1, 2010 2:32 pm

    when you say stuff like this I realize why I feel like you are my real friend and not just my imaginary self united best friend. I have been teary eyed and sad about this tragedy for a couple of days. Crying about this poor husband and those babies with no mommy. I have been really angry about the driver. Then this morning you posted the link to the obit on your fb and I went there and read it and you know what I thought – WHAT A GREAT WOMAN! Taking the bar exam 8 months pregnant?? She sounds like someone who embraced her life and lived A LOT in her 36 years. And the jerk who killed her cannot take that away.

  14. Chris
    July 1, 2010 8:57 pm

    Thank you for sharing the fact that Lisa’s hubby took the time to write you a note. I can’t even begin to imagine what that family is going through. It’s times like this that you have to be strong and have faith that they will someday see her again.

    At least this is what I kept telling myself after my dad passed away. And I’m the farthest thing from being religious as you can get.