Jeni Bishop's sister shares a lesson she lived by

By: Erin Logan Email
By: Erin Logan Email

It's been nine days since a family got the most heartbreaking news of their lives and Jeni Bishop's family members tell us reality still hasn't set in.

As we've been telling you, Bishop is one of five women who was shot and killed inside a Lane Bryant store in Tinley Park.

A sixth woman did survive.

While police search for the gunman, Bishop's family, friends, and co-workers are doing everything they can to remember the brave woman during this painful time.

As soon as she heard the way her younger sister was taken from her, Michelle Talos wanted to tell the world how we lost one of the bravest, kindest women but, it wasn't the right time. It was too painful.

After attending a private ceremony at Memorial Hospital Monday with Jeni’s co-workers in her honor, Michelle knew it was time. It's time that everyone learn a lesson that Jeni lived by everyday.

On her 34th birthday, less than a week before she was killed, Michelle told her sister how she truly felt.

She said, “I always say that I'm glad you were born, I'm glad you were born.”

Weeks before that, she also told her, "Don't leave me." Jeni talked about moving out of the area with her husband, Brian and their three young children.

Michelle says, “I didn't want the kids to go and it would just break my heart if we were separated.”

That heartache of losing Jeni was more than Michelle could ever imagine. That's why relaying the birthday message and the "don't leave me, I need you in my life” message are helping Michelle cope with tragedy.

It's a scene she and all of the victims’ family members, friends, and the one survivor would like to forget, but they never will.

Michelle says, “I’m really scared because I don't feel like my sister is gone yet.”

She may have been the youngest of three, but Michelle says Jeni was certainly wise beyond her years.

Michelle says, “She was a person who just wanted to do the right thing.”

Jeni told Michelle and her brother to always kiss and hug their children more than once a day because you just don't know what can happen.

Michelle says, “She said to do it five times a day because she saw so much death through work. I would say that I'm proud of myself that I've done it more than once a day.”

Card after card, and message after message she can't stop thinking about the families of the other victims.

She says, "I would definitely like to give them a hug and share that affection of going through this together.”

Michelle is hoping when the time is right for everyone, that she and her family do have the chance to meet the other victims' families. In the meantime, Bishop's family is just praying that police find the gunman.

Over the weekend, police released a sketch of the suspect.
He's described as a clean shaven black man, between 5-nine and 6-feet tall.

The suspect had three to five cornrows, with one braid hanging by his right ear.

That braid is said to have had three green beads on it.

A $55,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest.

Meantime, officials for Lane Bryant stores say they're not sure when the store will reopen.

They say security is still a concern.

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