By: Brittany Paris
Family and friends say she was always laughing, cooking and helping people out. They say they're celebrating Joyce Meeks' life and she'll be missed.
Tuesday night was like any other. Meeks, 47, was on her way home from work at Tabitha. She was a CNA working towards a nursing degree.
Her husband, Leonard Meeks, was on his way home, too.
Family members say he saw the accident at 18th and Van Dorn, but didn't think much of it. Until he got home and his wife wasn't there.
"That's when he went back up there and realized that it was her," Akida Holmes, Meeks' cousin, said.
Friends and family say they're in shock.
"You never expect something like this to happen to your family," Holmes said. "But until it happens to you, you (don't) understand how hard it is."
Holmes said says her cousin was a loving person. One who would give you the shirt off her back, but also tell you how it is when you needed to hear it.
"She was always full of laughs and she was just a happy-go-lucky person," Holmes said.
She says Meeks was a mom of 3 and a grandmother to 10 kids. She had custody of four of them. But Meeks touched countless people's lives, also working with under privileged children.
"She will be sadly missed by a lot. She made a huge impact on a lot of people," Holmes said.
Meeks' best friend, Valerie Patten, found out about the accident Wednesday morning. She says it's still not sinking in.
"I don't have nobody to call and talk to whenever. Now, she's gone," Patten said.
But friends and family say they're trying to celebrate Meeks' life. They say she was an amazing cook whose specialty was spaghetti. And she wouldn't turn down a good chicken wing.
Her family says the last 24 hours without her have been hard.
"God doesn't predict when things can happen, but this shouldn't have happened to her," Holmes said. "She had a lot going on where her life shouldn't of been taken instantly like that."
Her family is hosting a candle light vigil Thursday night in Meeks' memory. That'll be at the intersection of 18th and Van Dorn at 8:30.