Two RV Gypsies: Full-Time RVers

In loving memory of our son,
Brian Lee Duquette

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October 24, 2008 it has been almost 4 months since our son Brian was killed. Hard to believe still. The alleged killer, Douglas Lively is still in jail in Mississippi. We do not know when he will be transferred to Orlando to stand trial. Douglas' brother, Bobby, had the nerve to call us and ask if he could have Brian's car and other stuff. Yes, that is the same car that was stolen when Brian was killed. Maybe Bobby should ask his brother for something he stole of Brian's to remember him by. I can not believe the nerve of Bobby.

Brian's car has been sold and the money put in Brian's estate to pay mortgage payments. The house is up for sale, but no one comes to look at that beautiful house because of the housing market. So we continue to make mortgage payments, and keep the pool clean, pay for lawn maintenance, etc.

Most phone calls and emails have stopped coming in to us. Friends think we are doing better because we are living our lives the best we can. But this is not true. It has NOT gotten any easier at all. Most nightmares have stopped, but we still cry every day for Brian. We are living because we have no choice but living with broken hearts; but really what we are doing is just marking time until the probate hearing and the trial. We miss Brian so very much we find ourselves telling strangers about our loss. So when I do hear from a friend and they say I sound better, I agree, but it is not really true. I wonder if we will ever be better. But I know it is hard for others to understand unless they have ever had a child killed, and I do not wish that on anyone.

I had muscle spasms the other night and could not sleep because they hurt so much. All I could think of was the pain Brian felt as he was being killed and dying a lot worse than this pain I am feeling now. I pray not, but I am sure it was. I can not bear the thought that Brian was in pain and knew he was being killed.

I looked up the organization Parents of Murdered Children but there are no meetings here in the Orlando or Central Florida area. My friend Jerry did email me another organization that we will go to a meeting and see if it helps .The Compassionate Friends. We sure could use them now. Not knowing anyone who lives here makes it a lot harder.

MOTORHOME and CAR PROBLEMS: As you know, we live in our motorhome, that we call AWO - All We Own. We had to put the motorhome in for repairs. On the way there the car we were towing caught on fire. People started beeping horns and yelling at us because we did not realize the car was on fire. We pulled over and Lee took the fire extinguisher and sprayed the car. A nice lady called the fire department and the firemen were there in minutes. Then it started pouring rain as we waited an hour for AAA to come tow the car for repair, then we continued our journey to put the motorhome in for repair. Now we had no home and no car. We rented a car and got a timeshare for two weeks. . We got the car back and between the car repair and rental car we were down about $2500. Then we got the car back but had to put the car back in for additional repairs. Motorhome repair cost $20,400. Insurance paid most of it, thank goodness.

Brian's dog China was hurting just as we are. She is not adjusting to the moving around. First we had her in the motorhome, now in a timeshare. She wants her own home back and her own master, but that can never happen. When we move the motorhome, China really gets confused. When we park the RV, China does not understand how the yard changes when she goes outside. She follows Lee around every step he takes. A few times she would be in a deep sleep and snoring and would wake up and go stand in front of the door. I am guessing that she was dreaming that Brian was coming for her because I could not get her to calm down and get away from the door and go back to sleep. Poor China!

As I write this while in the timeshare, it is well after midnight and the neighbors have their TV on so very loud that I could not go to sleep if I wanted to. This is a nightly event so far with these neighbors. I understand that they are in Orlando on vacation and just having a good time. Wish I could say the same about us. How I wish we could leave Orlando and never return. But as stated above, we still have a probate hearing and a trial that will make us be here. Epcot is having the food and wine festival now. Brian loved that each year, and I cannot bear to go to it without Brian.

Sorry that I can not post happy news on my web site.

made a DVD of Brian's life and mailed it to family members. I have not had much feedback on it, but the few who have responded really raved about it. I know some people just are not ready to look at it. While making the DVD, I got to re-live the moments of Brian growing up and enjoyed it so much. It was not until I got to the end that it was hard and I cried. So I am glad I made the DVD and hope someday that each person who received a copy of Brian;s DVD will enjoy it to whatever extent is possible. I just do not want Brian to be forgotten. He deserved so much better.

OK a week has passed since I started this letter because the night after I had the above-mentioned muscle spasms, Lee and I were taking a walk and I suddenly could not breathe. I went to the Emergency Room and was admitted for a week and got lots of torture shots.

Anyway, our two weeks at the timeshare was up and the motorhome was not ready so we thought we would be homeless, but got another timeshare for another week. Hopefully the motorhome will be ready at that time. Poor China is getting more confused every time we move.

Everybody remember that Tomorrow is not promised to any of us, so live each day to the fullest and tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. We will always love you Brian Lee Duquette and we are glad you knew that!
Love and kisses to Brian
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November 1, 2008 We left Orlando on Halloween day and returned to Markham Park in Sunrise. We cannot travel too far from Orlando for awhile because we are not done settling Brian's estate, selling his house, etc. So we have settled in Broward for the winter. We are enjoying spending time with our daughter and grandchildren in their new house. Brian's dog China is now living with Brian's sister, who already has two other big dogs. China did not adjust very well to living in our motorhome because she lacked stability, and did not understand a moving house and a new backyard all the time. However, it is clear that China has become attached to Lee, and at first she was upset because Lee was not around every day and night, but eventually became well adjusted and happy.

Both our motorhome and car have been repaired finally. We both still cry almost all the time and probably always will.

Now, I am trying to post some new photos, a few at a time, on this website that were previously taken. I am behind on photos because I stopped posting them when Brian was murdered, but now I need to occupy my mind and post the photos. Almost every photo page has new photos - use the Photos button above for photos - there are a lot of photos on this site. Thanks to all my family and friends who continue to show us support by keeping in touch, inviting us out, etc. We appreciate the social invitations. I still don't want to believe that Brian is not with us, especially now, through the holidays.
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On Sunday, December 14, 2008 The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting was held. This is an annual event held the second Sunday in December. Through a network of more than 600 chapters with locations in all 50 states, as well as Washington DC and Puerto Rico, The Compassionate Friends has been supporting bereaved families after the death of a child for nearly four decades. Karen and Lee attended this event along with other bereaved families in Davie, Florida. It was a very well organized ceremony, but we both cried through it as thoughts of Brian enveloped our brains.

If you want more information about this organization , please go to

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February 1, 2009 - The two RV Gypsies left South Florida at the end of March. They traveled across the south and up the west coast, through a part of Canada, then they will spent the entire summer in Alaska. Yes, they are moving ahead with their lives because they don't have a choice. But Brian is forever in their broken hearts and thoughts and prayers. Brian is missed so very much. Many people speak of their loss of their beloved parent(s), siblings, aunts, and our hearts goes out to them, BUT it really isn't the same as losing a child, even an adult child. Brian was a man, but he was still OUR baby and although we know he is happy in heaven (so stop telling us that), we still want him here with us. We hate his killer, even though we know hate is wrong. Our hearts are broken forever and our lives will never be the same. Sometimes I pretend it didn't happen and that he is just in Orlando while I am elsewhere. Sometimes I cry my eyes out even if I am having fun dancing at the time, then I run out of the room and sit in the car for an hour before I can calm down enough to drive home. It is easier when I am with my husband as we just support each other, but I see the pain in his eyes too. Lee is still doing a lot of paperwork on the estate, even though the estate wasn't very big. It is unbelievable - you don't just bury your child then get to grieve. There is so much more than that to do. We told the bank to take the house, we cannot make any more mortgage payments, and they said OK but it can take a year for them to actually claim the house. It really saddens us to have the house be empty and go back to the bank, but we don't have a choice. And until the house goes through bankruptcy and the bank claims it, we cannot have the probate hearing to close the estate, even though there is no money at all in the estate account. The detective says we probably won't hear anything more on the murder case this year and advised us to do our traveling as originally planned, so that is why we will head off to Alaska. Yes, we've had a few good times here with family and friends, but still there is so much heartache and pain for us to endure, and I expect there always will be, because Brian was special, even the detective said so. We appreciate all our friends and relatives have done for us and their support, so we thank you all so much. Although at least one person I know does not speak to me now, guess she just doesn't know what to say. What a loss. I can not stand the thought that Brian could ever be forgotten. Don't be afraid to tell me that you miss him too, I love talking about Brian, if if I am in pain. I do hope people have looked at the DVD I mailed and will provide feedback on their favorite part in the DVD of Brian's life. It will be so very hard to leave our daughter and grandchildren while we travel. Last time we left, we just figured all four of them would be around when we returned, but one precious person was not, thanks to a person who must not have any morals or conscious. So it is that much harder to travel again, but we must carry on, and pray our daughter and grandchildren will remain safe so that we can see them again come November. It has been wonderful spending time with them these few months. We love them all so much. So to all of you who may be reading this, tell your loved ones that you love them. Remember that tomorrow is not promised to any of us. I do hope all of you have explored all the photos and information found under the ;Brian button above. Thank you for that, it helps a bit. Hugs to all of you who care. page divider

April 2009 - We are on the road full-time again, slowly making our way up to Alaska. Other then some bad weather and our toad, MOB, breaking down and costing us another $800 in repairs, we are having a good time. Of course we are missing our daughter and grand-children but will see them in November when we return to Broward County. And our son Brian is always in our hearts and thoughts. I still cry daily and still tell everyone I meet about Brian. Please look at the life of Brian in photos by choosing the Brian button above. I cannot bear the thought of Brian being forgotten. I miss him and love him so much.
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June 27, 2009 - Brian's birthday that he doesn't get to celebrate - and the one year anniversary of his murder. So hard to believe one year has gone by. I still cry every single day for him - even though I am traveling and seeking fun in my life, such a big part of me died with Brian and I will never be the same. I tell strangers about Brian all the time. Our son, Brian Lee Duquette should be celebrating his 40th birthday today, but he cannot. I hate you Douglas Lively and hope you rot in hell once you get there. But for now, I hope prison is hell for you and that inmates are beating you up or something like that. Wish I could do it myself. I am full of anger and hate for the first time in my divider
September 23, 2009 - Karen and Lee traveled to West Bend, Iowa and the Grotto of the Redemption where there was an area dedicated to loved ones. So of course Karen and Lee bought a rose for their beloved son Brian Lee Duquette and placed the rose in this very sacred place. Then they went to the church and sat and cried.
card for Brian Lee Duquette
Lee with a rose for his son , Brian Lee Duquette
a rose for Brian Lee Duquette
a rose for Brian Lee Duquette
all the roses
a heart of love for Brian Lee Duquette
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November 2009 - Karen and Lee are now in South Florida, spending Thanksgiving, Christmas and some winter months with their daughter and grandchildren. Brian is always on our mind but we did enjoy our Alaska / Canada trip. We carry on the best we can. As Brian's mother, I look at Brian's photos and I almost believe he can walk through my front door because it is what I want so much, but of course he cannot. Brian's photo is the first thing I see when I walk into my RV and I tell him I love him. This is such a pain in the heart that I do not wish on any mother - except for the mother of Douglas Lively of course. Nothing really against her I guess, but Douglas just doesn't deserve to live. Why does he get to sit in jail and watch TV and maybe laugh at a comedy on TV or a joke when Brian can not. It just isn't right!
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2/12/10 Today we almost panicked when someone said Douglas Lively was released from the Mississippi Jail. But it turns out that he is just being extradited to Orlando. The pain in our hearts has not lessened at all, and now this news is received with feelings that cannot be described. Brian was a bright light in the lives of everyone who knew him. I cry every day; no mother should ever have to feel this kind of pain. We act like normal people when around friends, but we will never be normal again. We live our lives to the best of our ability because we don't have a choice. I still find myself telling strangers about Brian. I can't help it because Brian is always in my thoughts. However, in spite of our pain, we will be traveling again soon, around the first of April.
4/27/10 Brian's alleged murderer, Douglas Lively, is now in prison in Orlando. There is a trial scheduled in Orlando for August 16, 2010. I pray for a guilty verdict. Nothing else is acceptable. The death penalty would please me too. I really hate Douglas. He changed our lives forever. I miss my son so damn much.
5/6/10 Now the trial is pending for June 7, 2010 in Orlando and family members have been subpoenaed to the trial. It is bad enough that Douglas took our son's life, but now for the second time we have to change our travel plans and rearrange our entire life because of him. God, how the loss of Brian in our lives hurts so much. It is almost two years later (hard to believe life has gone on without Brian) but the pain has not lessened at all!
6/6/10 - Douglas has changed our lives and many other people's lives forever because our son Brian Duquette was helping a lot of people to get a better life for themselves. Douglas Lively has also managed to change our travel plans twice now. As stated on Brian's justice page, we were on our way from South Florida to Canada and got as far north as North Carolina when we got the news and had to drive back to Orlando and meet with the Detective and the Prosecutor because we were told the trial would be June 7th. But when we got to Orlando, we were informed that Douglas Lively no longer wants a speedy trial and so the trial has been moved to December. December will be difficult to get a campground in Orlando, but we won't have a choice. Hope the trial doesn't interfere with Christmas. We wanted to get the trial over with, not that it will take away any pain or bring Brian back, but all that we can hope and pray for now is that Douglas Lively gets life in prison without parole when this trial is finally over. Nothing will bring our beloved son, Brian Lee Duquette back to us though. Brian had such a great future going for him and Douglas took that away. It is hard to believe it has been almost 2 years since Brian was murdered; the pain is still so tremendous. I don't believe in the word closure, as the hole in my heart will never close. I still cry daily for Brian, but most of the nightmares have stopped. Hope the trial doesn't bring back the nightmares. This is a really rough way to lose a son.
clipart - red angy face7/19/10 The new date for the trial is December 6, 2010 and it probably will be postponed many more times. Actually it was delayed several more times. On a better note, Lee is recovering from his surgery.
clipart - red angy faceFebruary 2011 - It is our latest understanding that it will be many months before the trial - maybe not even this year. It will be 3 years this July this year and still no trial. This just isn't right. We are holding up the best we can, but there is a big hole in our hearts that will never ever heal. But it seems that it is our destiny to carry on and live life the best we can. I do not want Brian to ever be forgotten. Brian's dog, China, has a good home with our daughter and her other two dogs.
clipart - red angy faceJune 27, 2011- What can I say, we survive, we live, we enjoy our lives, but the tears still come daily. Life will never be the same for us and for many others with Brian Lee Duquette in this world. The hole in my heart will never heal. Today, Brian's birthday is especially hard, but then again, all of life without Brian is hard. July 3, 4, and 5 are also extra hard days for us every year. I don't want Brian to be forgotten. He did a lot of wonderful things for strangers and that was his downfall. I still have nightmares, but sometimes the dreams are of Brian as a child. At least those dreams bring me a touch of peace.
clipart - red angy faceJuly 4, 2011- We have endured three long years without our son in our lives. But Brian has been in our thoughts every day. Although we have learned that our lives must go on and we must enjoy all that we can, we have not stopped crying over this tragedy. Brian deserves to be on this earth enjoying his life. His accursed murderer, Douglas Lively, does not! The trial still has not happened and this is another tragedy. The trial will not change much but it should put a guilty label on Douglas. The 4th of July has lost all its joy for us, and I can't bear to celebrate that day anymore. The hole in my heart just won't heal. Thanks to all of Brian's friends that take the time out of their busy lives to call or email us. That is much appreciated.
January 2012 A new year - another year without our son. It has NOT gotten any easier. If anything it gets harder because so-called friends don't want to hear anything anymore. Brian deserves to live, and since he can't do that, he deserves to be remembered. Brian did a lot to help less fortunate people in this world, and that was his downfall. I keep hearing on the news how murderers get out of jail for good behavior or due to over-crowding, or only get a sentence of 15 -20 years. What the heck is wrong with this country? That should never happen. Still no word on a trial date. This worries me for many reasons. Yet, I don't know how to sit though a trial, look at Douglas Lively and his family, hear him claim to be innocent, and hear details that will tear my heart out. God, how I miss my son. Thanksgiving and Christmas time is extra rough for us, as is from Brian's birthday June 27th all through July 5th. We go to the candlelight ceremony every year and see so many parents of deceased children there. It is so heart-breaking. I have a good friend whose daughter disappeared off the face of the earth. These things should never happen. We struggle to go on, yet we do, because we don't have a choice. We force ourselves to enjoy every day because tomorrow is not promised to any of us. We do enjoy our lives and the rest of our family, that is for sure, but there is always that missing piece - our beloved Brian Lee Duquette.
June 27, 2012 - Damn you Douglas Lively. 43 years ago today I gave birth to a wonderful baby boy, Brian Lee Duquette. And because of you Douglas, Brian is not on this earth today to celebrate his birthday, once again. We have justice, but not our son, just a big hole in our hearts and lots of wonderful memories. Love you and miss you every day Brian. Hate you Douglas Lively.
December 9, 2012 - Every year on the second Sunday in December, churches around the world hold a world-wide candle lighting ceremony for deceased children. We, as parents of Brian Duquette, once again attended this ceremony at a local church. This was our fifth year. In churches, as well as in many homes, candles are lit at 7 p.m. local time (no matter where you are located). This means there are candles lit for a solid 24 hour period around the world. The two RV Gypsies request that anyone reading this could light a candle every year to honor any and all deceased children. Thank you.

May 7, 2012Urgent News
The trial of Douglas Lively is over. The jury has ruled that Douglas Lively is guilty of first degree murder of our son Brian Duquette. Douglas got life in prison - no parole. Now we can forget about Douglas and the very violent act that he did and just remember the good times with our son Brian. We will always love and miss Brian so much. The jury only deliberated one hour and 10 minutes and much of that time was probably picking a foreman. Guess there was zero doubt, maybe a record for a murder trial. After the jury was dismissed, most or all of the jury members returned to the courtroom to hear the sentencing, and they don't have to do that and we were told that they seldom do that.

I need people to know that Brian Duquette did NOT have a police record and was never accused nor arrested for any reason. Nor did his parents or sister. Brian never had any problems until he met the Lively's. Brian helped many people that were down and out and the Lively's were his downfall. I warned Brian about helping strangers. But Brian wanted to help people that were less fortunate than himself. Brian was raised in a family with no police records, and was raised properly to be a good, outstanding citizen.

Now that the trial is over, the judge said jurors can talk or not talk about the case, so that includes us. No family member of Brian ever talked to any juror or witness in the case before the trial. Many lies were told about Brian during the trial because Douglas had to try to defend himself by painting Brian as a bad guy, even if Douglas was guilty and this was done by TRYING to paint Brian as a bad person. Hopefully, juror members did not believe any lies about Brian's personality and life. Brian was a college graduate with a degree and any money he had earned was in an HONEST, lawful manner. It is our opinion that if you put a bad person with a good person who is trying to turn the bad person around, that does not happen; for some strange reason the bad person can influence the good person more than the good person can influence the bad person.

Although our Brian is lost to us forever, we are thankful for so many reasons:

a- that Douglas was unable to dispose of Brian's body after the murder; this was indicated as a possibility of intent of action by the fact that after Brian was murder, Brian was wrapped in a blanket by the front door as if ready for transport.

b - that people called to testify told the truth about the gems, ID's and credit cards being found, and all other stuff.

c - that the car was not destroyed by Douglas, and carpet fibers were in the car.

d - Douglas' DNA was under Brian's fingernails and nowhere else on Brian.

e - that justice was served, even though that will not bring Brian back to us. A big weight has been lifted off our shoulders, and we intend to not think about Douglas Lively, but to continue to remember the many wonderful things about our son, Brian Duquette.

In conclusion: Brian did NOT deserve to have his life ended in such a nasty, intentional extremely violent manner. And Douglas Lively can not ever hurt anyone else in any way shape or form.

The trial was well over-due (almost four years) and it was not easy to attend this trial and see the person who very violently murdered our son. He showed no remorse. Now that Douglas lively is serving a life sentence in prison without parole, that helps us a bit, but still don't know how to accept that Brian is gone from us. I will always wish this was just a horrible sleep-time nightmare, but actually it is a real every day nightmare that will never end. We really miss you Brian. And the hole in our hearts will never heal.

Now that the trial is over, I am posting one last comment below on this page, but I will be thinking about Brian all of the time.

Now that the trial is over, I won't post here every year because it just makes me cry even more than I already do. Although I will still think of Brian every day of course. More holidays and birthdays without Brian will continue to go by and the entire family will suffer through each day, month, and year without Brian in our lives. Time does NOT heal all. The hole in our hearts remains. Sometimes I think this is just a nightmare and Brian will walk in the door. We miss him every day, and birthdays and holidays are worse because Brian should be here on this earth with us.

And I don't even celebrate July 4th anymore. It hurts to think everyone in the United States is celebrating on the day my precious son was murdered. To lose a child of any age is bad enough, but the way we lost Brian is still hard to comprehend. This was not God's plan. It was the plan of an evil person named Douglas Lively that went against God's plan for Brian and therefore the day will come when Douglas Lively rots in hell. Yes, I am still very angry and always will be. Brian's entire family enjoys our lives the best we can because we don't have any other choice. But so many people have missed out on a lot of joy and goodness that Brian gave to everyone he met.

Thank you for taking the time to read all of the pages about Brian. I cannot stand the thought of Brian ever being forgotten. I remember him every day as I kiss his photo.

Brian Duquette's afterglow message to all

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