A family is dealing with the death of two little children, a pain that's unimaginable for most, but their mother decided to talk about some of the things she'll remember about them.
Sarai Lanus, 9, and her brother, Daylon, 6, of Geismar, were killed in a crash Tuesday off Bluff Road in Baton Rouge. Their father and another family member were also hurt and are recovering from surgery.
Shayla Lanus has recently spent her days visiting her husband, David, at the hospital as he continues to recover from the injuries he sustained in the accident. However, both will be healing from the emotional heartache of losing their children and suffering from that heartache long after the broken bones heal.
Lanus was at their Ascension Parish home watching her 1-year-old son, Dyson, play on Thursday, but her thoughts were with her children, "Ladybug" and "Duce," whom she lost earlier in the week. She said "Duce" was full of life, while "Ladybug" was born to perform.
"She was a cheerleader and a dancer and a singer," Lanus said. "'Duce,' sports - his favorite was baseball. He played football as well, but he loved baseball."
Those are some of the moments that will now remain as memories, as she tries to build strength for the days and months ahead.
"We haven't really been home because we've been at the hospital with my husband, so I'm just trying to prepare myself how it's going to be when we do actually all have to come home and he starts to ask for them and realize they're not here," she explained.
Making sense of Sarai and Daylon's deaths is something their mother struggles with as well. As the investigation by Louisiana State Police into the circumstances surrounding the deadly crash continues, she is still looking for answers to the question, ‘Why did a family fishing outing turn into a nightmare?'
"It's clear that she ran off the road, but how? I don't know. I don't know and of all the places … that exact spot … because it's a long stretch," she added.
She knows questions about what happened will stay fresh in her mind, but in the meantime, she is determined to make sure "Ladybug" and "Duce" will be there as well.
"They were really close to each other. The cool kids, that's what everybody knows them as. ‘Duce' and Sarai, the cool kids, and we're going to remember the cool kids. Everybody's going to remember the cool kids," she said.
The family has set up the Lanus Memorial Fund for those looking to make donations. They can be made at any Regions Bank in the area.
Funeral services have been arranged at Mt. Pilgrim Calvary Church in Geismar for July 5.