By Beth Morrison, HAVEN CEO
Mother’s Day has always been a special day in my family. Both of my parents were blessed to each have an incredible mom and I have always felt that my mom is the absolute best! I had planned on writing a blog post about my mom and her many gifts to me and my family but an accidental encounter with a t-shirt in my closet changed all that.
While doing some spring cleaning, I found a t-shirt from the Leila Armin Memorial Tennis Tournament and seeing it gave me the shivers. Lela was murdered in 2005 by her ex-boyfriend, as she attempted to end their relationship. She was just 20 years old. I thought about Leila and wondered about how her family was doing and what her mom must think about on Mother’s Day. Here was a bright, smart, loved, beautiful young woman who never had the opportunity to become a mom and achieve her many other dreams.
And then I thought about Fredericka Dixon, a mother who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in November 2010. Murdered in front of her son.
And then I thought about Daphne Ramey, a mother who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in March 2011. Murdered while her young son and her young niece helplessly listened.
On Mother’s Day, as we celebrate our moms, we must remember that there are children without moms and mother’s without daughters. We recall every mom who was lost to disease, or age, or accidents, with sorrow.
But with that sorrow let us add determination for those women who died needlessly and horrifically, at the hands of a man that was determined to have full power and control over their young life. By giving voice to those who have been ripped away from us and from their loved ones, we can honor them.
This Mother’s Day as we celebrate and recognize the women in our lives that have made a significant impact, let us pledge to make time to talk with all the children and young adults in our lives about gender equality, respectful relationships, boundaries, and violence.