NEENAH, WI (WBAY/Gray News) - Days after a tragic car crash took the life a Wisconsin teenager, her mother found a message she never expected that's become a source of inspiration.
Kenzie Leeman, 17, was killed while driving home from work Feb. 26. Her car slid off a highway overpass during a snowstorm and fell several feet onto the road below.
As a high school senior, Kenzie had high hopes after graduation. On the night of a crash, she was on her way home from a part-time job as a nursing assistant.
"She was one of the most amazing people that I think ever walked the face of the earth," said Kenzie's mother, Alyson Peters.
Peters said she received a text message days after the crash, while she was revisiting the site where a roadside memorial was set up. It was a picture of the door from her daughter's room in their old house.
Written on the door's mirror was a quote from Kenzie: "Someday you will look back and know exactly why this had to happen to you."
"At that point in time I was a zombie, and it was almost like it just snapped me right out of it," Peters said. "I mean, how in the world can that happen that I'm sitting right there, and I get this quote from my daughter? It was like she was speaking to me."
Peters sold the home a year ago, when the family moved from Menasha, WI, to Neenah.
It wasn't until after Kenzie's accident that the new owner of the house invited a neighbor over, who spotted the message in erasable marker on the mirror. The neighbor also knew the history of the room and who wrote it.
"We called the lady that bought the house and asked if we could go over, and so she allowed us go over to the house," Peters said. "And I laid on the floor and cried."
She says the owner even allowed her to have the door to take home.
"I don't know if it was a premonition or what it was, but it's certainly helping us get through this time, because we don't know why. But apparently, she knows," the mother said.
The door will be used as part of a memorial for Kenzie in Peters' new house.
She also established a scholarship fund to benefit students who enroll in the nursing program at Fox Valley Technical College. It's already raised more than double what was initially expected.