Tonight in Park Slope, Brooklyn, many gathered to remember those who have been lost, support those that survive and take a public stand against Domestic Violence. Candles were lit in memory of the victims. The vigil concluded with a reception at the Park Slope United Methodist Church honoring survivors of domestic violence who spoke to those assembled about their own personal experiences. Although I wasn’t able to physically make this event which was sponsored by Safe Homes Project of Good Shepherd Services, I was present in spirit. My heart goes out to those victims and my smiles go out to the survivors. I am sure that listening to the experiences of fellow survivors spurred them on to continue on the right path.
This is the reason why I write about my mom. I want her example to shine brightly and help others being victimized by Domestic Violence. Although her murderer, my father, is about to leave prison with a whole life ahead of him, he hasn’t left behind a legacy. His life in my opinion is empty, wasted. My mother, although dead, will still live on as her example helps others. This will be her legacy – A legacy of self-discovery, self-love and resurrection. For many leaving an abusive insignificant other, the road ahead is a long, bumpy one that doesn’t seem to have an end. Many will become homeless, living in shelters as a result of escaping. But just compare your life before, living in utter anguish, walking on egg shells, afraid to breathe too hard for fear of setting off the abuser, to your life now, living in shelters, but protected and cared for and safe. I always say it’s better to live in a shack with someone you love than in a lavish mansion with someone you don’t love. The lover in this case is you. If we love ourselves, we will we do whatever it takes to preserve our quality of life and the lives of our children if there are any involved. So tonight, as every night, I will be remembering my mom whose life was cut short at the age of 49. If she was 79, it still would have been too short.
My mother was a beautiful, charitable soul who always thought of others ahead of herself. Every Thanksgiving she would donate turkeys to homeless shelters. This is just one example of the many projects my mom’s heart was moved to take part in. Noteworthy: She never bragged about it. Imagine all of the people who could have been helped if my mom was still alive. Imagine my little brother (who was 3 years of age at the time) with no memory of this beautiful soul who carried him for 9 months and who was overjoyed when she found out she was finally having a boy. Imagine me on my wedding day, wishing my mom was there to see me all grown up, but having a moment of silence for her at the reception instead. Domestic Violence is so senseless I can not wrap my mind around its “logic”. That's because there is no logic. Domestic Violence just breeds pain, pain and more pain for all involved. Let’s take a stand and make Domestic Violence a thing of the past. I believe wholeheartedly that this can and will be accomplished. In the meantime, regardless if you are in Park Slope, Brooklyn or Tibet, let us all share a moment of silence for all the victims