My name is Julie. I wanted to take this first entry to explain what this site is about and why I set it up (okay, I asked my lovely husband to set it up for me) . Like most Canadians, I was living my life, raising my 2 daughters, Hannah and Grace, driving them to school, dance, music, theatre rehearsals. All of the normal day to day things that we all do each and every day. Until the evening of October 21, 2010. Then our world exploded in a violent and brutal crash. Grace and I were t-boned by a Drunk Driver (I choose not to use Impaired, but I will explain that another day). 5 days later, I woke up from a coma to be told that my daughter Grace would not wake up from her injuries. My daughter was going to die from her injuries and nothing could be done. Grace was a fun loving, bright 11 year old.
I have been trying to figure out how to make people realize how bad it really is and just how many people are victims of this violent crime (and frankly of the court system – but again- another blog, another day) . The truth of the matter is that it is not just those of us that were hit by the Drunk Drivers that are the victims but every single person that loved/loves the physical victim. My daughter, Hannah is a victim of this crime. My husband (Grace’s father ) is a victim of this crime. Gracie’s four grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, family friends, school friends, dance friends, theatre buddies, school teachers, dance teachers, friends’ parents, community members are all victims of this crime. For each physical victim, there are hundreds of others that are victims of this crime.
I want to give us all a voice. I was trying to think of some way to make an impact, like the AIDS quilt. I remember when they started to unfold that big quilt to show how many victims there were. I finally realized what it should be when I was going through Gracie’s room last year. In Grade 5, her friends had decorated her shoes – kind of like signing a year book. A simple pair of white canvas shoes decorated in markers with drawings and names. A pair of shoes that no one will ever wear again. A pair of empty shoes that sits on her shelf in her room.
What I would like from you; if are a person that has lost someone to a Drunk Driver get a pair of shoes that best represents your loved one (white canvas, ballet, basketball, stilettos) anything that you want and to decorate them accordingly. I do not want a pair of their shoes. I would never ask family to give those up. I want you to be creative and create a pair of shoes that they would love to wear but will remain empty.
Along with the shoes, send a picture, and a letter about them (or you, if you survived like me). I would like to take them to Ottawa and lay them out like the AIDs quilt and make our politicians and fellow Canadians realize what a huge problem this has become and that it is truly a violent crime that rips our loved ones away from us on a daily basis. I am hoping to do this in October on the 3rd anniversary of our crash. I know that isn’t fair to everyone but I wanted to pick a time when parliament is actually seated and at this time of year, I get a surge of extra energy that has to go somewhere (I know that you understand that if you are reading this). I will post a shipping address at a later date.