MINERAL WELLS — Wind chimes and a wall of stone angels on a front porch in Mineral Wells bring comforting memories of Janakae Sargent to her mother.
It's what the mailman brought that moved her to tears... and immediately into action.
She reads from the letter, "At this time [the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)] is preparing to remove your sign and other memorial signs that have been placed for at least two years."
The sign marks the spot in Lubbock where a drunk driver killed Janakae in 2006. The Texas Tech student was a designated driver that night, and had just dropped off a friend.
The drunk driver died instantly. Janakae lingered for four days, as her mom told News 8 five years ago.
"Begged her to fight," she said. "Begged her not to give up."
So when the TxDOT letter came, Kandi Sargent Lowe knew she couldn't give up either. She says the letter hit her like a ton of bricks.
"Like losing her all over again," she said. "Like once again, she's going to be silenced. And I can't let that happen."
She went to the Web site SignOn.org and launched a petition to preserve markers honoring DWI victims - more than 100 signs across Texas.
More than 3,000 people have already responded to the petition drive.
Sargent isn't sure where all this is going.
"I have no clue," she shrugs. "One foot in front of the other. Take it as I go."
TxDOT told her the signs must come down after two years to comply with federal regulations.
"So I'm not stopping with state — I'm going federal," she said, not knowing exactly how she'll do it.
But strangers inspire her to keep going.
After we played Janakae's voice on her phone five years ago, calls started coming in from as far away as Germany, England and Australia. The phone still rings.
So, although Kandi Sargent Lowe doesn't know where this spontaneous campaign will take her, she knows she's not going alone.