Big News From The Hanley Happenings

September 29, 2011 By Lauren and Tom

Well, we have some exciting news!! We have been working with an excellent writer from a magazine for the past few months and our story will be shared with the world in November.  It’s been an interesting path for the past 16 months; we had been contacted by so many different media outlets in the weeks after the crash and while the inquiries became less frequent as we came into 2011 they were still occurring enough that we agreed as a couple that when something felt “right” as it came along we would entertain the thought of being involved with a piece.

Where we were sitting in February as we declined another television show request that wasn’t “right”

Fast forward a bit; and the week after our one year anniversary we were contacted by a writer who saw the one year anniversary piece in the Indy Star and asked if we would be willing to share our story for Cosmopolitan Magazine.  After discussing it for a few days between ourselves; we decided to hear her out and see what direction she was interested in taking.  During the conference call with her we realized several things; we had a great writer whom we trusted to get the story right and the truth out there, she was interested not just in the tragedy of the day but the victories and struggles of the timeframe between the wedding and now.
Our one year annivesary weekend; and able to spend it with our closest family
We consulted with ourselves, we talked it over with those that would be directly impacted by it, and it “felt right”.  So back in June we agreed to this and the process itself got underway in July and really just wrapped up this week.  Our writer took her time, got the facts, and asked a wide variety of questions; we couldn’t have envisioned a better way to “go public” with everything and share our story, and share the truth of what happened, who caused it, what life is like, and in the midst of the sadness our fight to overcome and be better as individuals and as a couple because of everything.

That’s right; we will be in the December 2011 issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine; the amount of amusement by those close to us that either one of us will be in Cosmo is quite high…so don’t be afraid to find humor in it yourself!  Ironically; sharing our story with Cosmo was really the best of all worlds; they wanted to have it from the “female” lead but brought it full circle wanting the couple/spouse relationship and they also understood the gravity of the situation and worked incredibly hard to make sure the facts and details of that day and everything since were perfect.
From hiking in the backwoods of Indiana to Cosmo
We aren’t looking to validate our choices and decisions in both the hours and months after the crash with the general public; and we full well realize there are many people out there that genuinely don’t agree with our decision to get married the day Jim was killed or otherwise just have issues with the story as a whole.  We have no desire to change opinions of the critics and we don’t have any desire to discuss how we should have done things…we did what we wanted and needed at that moment in time and we stand by our choices from that day with zero regret.
Ellie says “I don’t give a damn what the critics say!”

We’re here to share our story; Lauren’s desire is to highlight that no matter how big or small the wedding somebody might be planning it has to be happening because of the right reasons and because of the love for two people.  The wedding is a “day”; albeit an important one, but if the cake is the wrong design or Uncle Bob winds up giving a 20 minute drunken toast….these are minor and easy to laugh off down the road.  Tom wants to highlight that no matter what happens you have to keep getting out of bed in the morning and charging forward to attack every day; that even when life suddenly changes and you have no idea where to go or what to do…there is always tomorrow and it is going to be alright.

Christmas 2010; enjoying the little things

We didn’t ask to be in this situation; but as we have found ourselves here we have realized that this “platform” of sorts will allow us to hopefully make an impact in the world.  If our story helps one individual see the positive in life, if our story of true love comforts somebody in a world full of broken hearts; then at least our tragedy and life experiences are going to a greater good.  We also will take the opportunities given to us to call to attention the huge gap in Indiana related to not have a vehicular manslaughter/vehicular homicide statute and work to have the legislation changed to include it.  Our desire to do this isn’t based upon wanting a “Jim’s Law” (Jim would have punched Tom if we ever tried to tie his name to a law!); this is about wanting to make sure that when this tragedy happens to another person in the future the tools are in the place to allow for justice to be served to the fullest extent of the law.  We also plan to seek further clarification of the information available by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (governs commercial vehicles) and the role of the National Transportation Safety Board in fatalities that are caused by a public passenger carrier that is “intrastate” only.  Our situation, lack of information available after the fact, and lack of information available to the public even today has called to attention massive voids of the system that governs commercial motor vehicles and the response after a fatal incident.

Obviously we have taken into account the fact we are in the middle of a complex legal situation, The Good Guys gave us their advice and we decided to proceed forward with this regardless of the potential risks.  At the end of the day, the truth is the truth despite how uncomfortable it possibly makes John Mavris or Jerry Lowery (or The Defense); and it’s about time the full truth of the day, those that are responsible for it, and how we have made it to where we are today are all discussed.

We are just like you all; we know bits and pieces of the article but won’t be able to read it till right around when it comes out, so we’re anxious and excited as well.  It’s hard to try and capture our story in a few pages of print; but we have the utmost faith in our writer and the editors that they did our story the best possible justice.  If you’ve been reading The Blog; you also have had the chance to follow us on the highs and lows of the past few months.  We started this whole thing in June and it is quickly coming into October; so almost 4 months of our thoughts, frustrations, and love are already available to anyone who chooses to read them.
As we wait for the article…we’ll do what we do best; workout and have a beer!
We’ve been told the December 2011 issue will hit the newsstands in the middle of November (November 10 is what we’re working off of); and will keep you all updated as we learn more/anything changes.
Zilla waiting for the magazine to come…he doesn’t understand he still has 6 weeks (or 42 weeks in Doggie time)
We’ll cover the complex nature of how the whole process worked in another blog later on; but neither one of us realized just how much work really goes into something like this from all sides!

Free Will, Carpe Diem, & “we do what we want!”