Thinking today about Lisa’s birthday , Oct 19th. She would be 47. Seems impossible that so many years have gone by since her death at age 28. Her legacy has lived on through the work that we have done at Fix the Hurt and those we have worked with through the years. When we started out on this journey to “end domestic violence,” we had no idea that we would reach so many.
I am reminded of the words of a mother whose daughter was caught up in a scary relationship. The mother and daughter didn’t talk anymore, didn’t see each other. Both were so focused on the violence in the marriage and the objections that the parents had to her husband that it was impossible for them to have a conversation without mentioning the negative traits of the husband. I told her of the mistakes that we had made with Lisa when we told her he was just a loser, a drug addict and would never keep a job. We railed on her about why she would stay with such a jerk, until there came a point that Lisa would not come around because she didn’t want to hear it.
I told this mother, we will call her Leah, that perhaps she could focus on the things they had in common, the love of the little granddaughter, the things Leah wanted for her daughter and granddaughter – the times to look forward to, birthdays, holidays. I told Leah to make their communications a safe place to be, so that when there were things happening that her daughter would feel comfortable coming to her mother for help.
Leah told me this in a letter several months after our conversation – “It’s not easy keeping my mouth shut about Joshua (her husband) let me tell you!! But I’m doing it somehow and I know it’s the right thing to do.”