Standing in Solidarity

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Last night I had a chance to “top up” my faith in humanity.  John, Hannah, Clarissa (our niece) and I went down to Toronto to attend a Me To We event featuring the Kenyan Boys Choir, Neverest (a band – really nice young men with some cool tattoos.  Thanks for letting my take pictures of them for Gray.), Wilson and Jackson (ask the average 14 year old that’s been involved with We Day or Free The Children) and a bunch of people that would quite literally give you the shirt off of their backs (shirts that probably say BE THE CHANGE on them).  The evening was organized to show solidarity for the young men that were here in Canada and the Kenyan people after the events of 2 weeks ago.  I should probably mention that Free The Children was one of Gracie’s charities/causes of choice.

Many of these people are the reason that I am doing this blog and The Empty Shoes Project.  I realized that I kept telling kids that they could Be The Change.  They just had to believe and persevere.  Then my therapists all went away for the same week and I had time to think, “wait, if they can Be The Change with no real experience and no real resources then what excuse do I have for not Being The Change.? How dare I, knowing what I know now about Impaired Driving in the country and the court system that ignores the problem, choose to continue the complacency and leave this problem for the next generation? ” The overwhelmingly painful fact is that I cannot do anything to bring back Gracie (believe me, all of us parents have tried every form of bargaining with any and all Gods to have just 5 more minutes with our babies) but I can try my best so that no other parents has their heart ripped out and stomped on.  It’s a pain that cannot be expressed.  It can only be experienced and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

I have spent the last couple of months reading about so many other people’s tragedies and the absolute injustices perpetrated against them by the Criminal Courts and was starting to question why I was doing this….why I was putting myself (and my family) through this.  It just seemed so futile. Three nights ago, I spent 3 hours on the phone with Sheri Arsenault (you”re welcome Bell).  Two nights ago, I was on Facebook with a group of other parents that have lost their children because of Drunk Drivers and are trying to make a change to the laws and penalties.  Last night I was surrounded by a large group of really amazing people.  I’m refuelled.  Thanks everyone.

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