Friday, June 26, 2009

Two Young Men Survive Through the Ultimate Tragedy


I had a moving conversation with a family today that had me in absolute tears.  My heart is so heavy having connected to this family.

The story...

Two young men, 15 and 17, awakened to the sound of a phone ringing, a mobile phone that they shared that their mother had provided for them.  They missed the phone call and had to listen to the voicemail.  What they heard would be the most tragic thing they ever heard in their lives.

Their father left a message telling them that he had killed their mother and that he was going to kill himself.  He wished them a good life, then killing himself.  

The children confirmed the death of their mother from their visit to the murder site.  It was devastating.

Today, they were able to tell me their story over the phone.  I listened as they told me the difficult story of their mother's death.  I told them my story.  Their uncle listening intently, all the while, giving all of us support.

I was so inspired by their resilience today.  They were so strong to discuss the murder today.  

I simply wanted to reach out my hand and give them so much support for their loss.  If people who murdered only knew how much they were impacting others' lives, they would not kill.

These young men are scarred for life.  But, I told them that together we will get through this. 

Not to mention, their uncle and aunt also lost a son.  He was also killed.  

There is so much work to do.  It starts now.  I encourage you to be strong out there and make sure that you have a plan for leaving your relationship.  Safety is the key.  Both my mother and these young men's mother did not have the proper tools in order to make a decision to leave.  

For a safety plan, go to  Mildred Muhammed has a book that you can buy that has a plan in it.  I am developing my own book and safety plan as well.  It is imperative that we provide others with tools to strengthen and rebuild their lives.

Thanks for your energy and time.

Til next time...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What I Am Up To -- Changing the World By Changing Me

It's been a while since I blogged and it's been quite busy for me lately. There are so many opportunties and events to attend. Working diligently on behalf of several causes is exciting. There was one time in my life when I could not even see straight. I could not envision my life taking shape and being positive. So, I am grateful for this day. This is a day when I can rejoice and be glad that I have an opportunity for another chance to make a difference in life. Have you made that choice? What is your choice today? Are you in a dilemma that precludes you from making a positive choice in life? Well, it is time to make a decision to be strong, have courage to reach deep inside of you -- pulling that survival instinct out and going for it. And, that's what I have been doing lately. I am involved in many positive projects and I value my work. I know that it is tough, but we must reach out for help if we feel stressed and motivate ourselves.

Next week, I address a room full of practitioners and professionals in the area of victims assistance. Over 500 folks will be listening to me tell my story of tragedy. They will listen to what happened and what did I do to turn things around. What tools did I use? Who helped me? I am excited about giving this group tools that they can use in order to help rebuild lives in their communities and on their jobs. That's what life is all about. Being there for others is key.

Thanks to the National Center for Victims of Crime and to the Office for Victims of Crime within the Department of Justice, Justice Programs for allowing me to be a small part of the effort to educate and learn from professionals for the benefit of victims who are suffering as we speak.

Til next time...