So when a different story of pain reached me, I was not only sad, I was angry.
Mandy wrote me last week because she was looking for a heart piece. She wanted a custom design in memory of her sister. Her sister was killed 2 years ago by a drunk driver.
My heart broke.
We worked together to create a memento of a phrase that helped Mandy get through the loss.
But I was angry because this hurt was different. This was a senseless loss that could have been prevented. The battle was different. This was one I could try to fight.
The activist in me couldn't leave it alone.
My tag line for a couple years in my previous activism work was:
"Be aware | Know their stories | Send their message."
I keep finding that this still applies in other areas of my life, and knowing people's stories can be life changing. If we know them - we will live differently. We will live more aware.
I felt the same way when Oprah launched her campaign against texting and driving. I felt for the parents that lost their children. And I felt that - now that I am aware, if I continued to text while driving I would be disrespecting the memory of their child. And if it had been ME that lost a child because of this, and I saw a friend of mine texting while driving - it would feel like a slap in the face.
So.... when we know better, we do better. Right?
So this week I asked Mandy if she would be willing to write a guest post for me.
To share her story. To share the story of Ashley - her sister.
Today I'd like to honor Ashley, and ask you to not forget it. I hope that it will make all of us think a little longer before making potentially foolish (life-altering) decisions.
To put a face to the pain of what these actions can cause. And maybe if we cannot relate to Mandy or Ashley - we can hurt for Ashley’s young daughter that is missing her mama since the age of two. We can respect her by thinking twice.
When Mandy typed these words back to me...
" I'd love to share a picture of her too, she was a gorgeous girl!"
I could not. I could not bare that. But Mandy has to.
For those of you that have to bare those weights - I cannot even express it. I can't explain how much I wish I could take that from you. How deeply sorry.
And for those of us that get to live with our heart people still.... let's please honor those that do not.
This is from Mandy:
You always read stories about drunk drivers in the paper or see it on the news. You think to yourself "how tragic" and then usually don't give it another thought. I was always fully aware of drunk drivers and what their actions could potentially do to others. Never in a million years did I think it would hit close to home. I think we all think "ah, it will never happen to me". Think again. It happened to me and my family. On
I asked Mya Bruce Designs to come up with a necklace for me in memory of Ashley. This quote got me through some very rough times and reminds me of Ashley every time I read it.
“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together...
there is something you must always remember.
you are braver than you believe,
stronger than you seem,
and smarter than you think.
but the most important thing is,
even if we're apart...
i'll always be with you”
~ From Winnie The Pooh
Don’t drink and drive, sounds cliché but it’s not!