Once I was able to accomplish everyday common activities it was time to take bigger steps toward healing and growing as a person. I did not want to allow what happened to my daughter define who I was. I refused to hear “there is that lady whose husband murdered their baby.” I wanted to hear something more on the lines. “Look what she has been through and look what she has turned it into.”
One of the things that I wanted to do was shine a light on a subject that many just rather ignore rather than face it. That following April I wanted to use Child Abuse Awareness Month as a way to open peoples’ eyes to what was taking place all around them. We were still in the beginning stages with the legal system and preparing for the murder trial so I needed to be extremely careful what I did. I was told that Shaken Baby Syndrome was an extremely touchy subject, and I knew that I could not do anything that got to into detail on that subject. The last thing I wanted to do was jeopardize anything with the trial. Once I was given the okay from the District Attorney’s Office I decided to do go ahead and do a Pinwheels for Prevention Project.
With the help of my family and a group of family friends we placed one Pinwheel for each of the 333 cases of child abuse reported in Las Animas County, Colorado in 2006. Each Pin Wheel had a story behind it. Some worse than others, but all of them represented Children that were subjected to Abuse in one form or another. They were placed on a busy bridge in town where many people could see. I grew up in this small town and I NEVER could have imagined that there were this many cases of abuse there. I wasn’t alone either. Many people didn’t realize how badly child abuse was affecting their community. It was a really big eye opener. The pin wheels remained up the entire month of April and were seen by many. IT was a success!
After doing that project I knew that it opened the eyes of many and touched people’s hearts as well. I knew that people would be much more willing to not look the other way and pretend like child abuse wasn’t happening around them. I walked away from the project with a band aid over my pain. Some where deep down it seemed to make things a little bit easier knowing that I was helping another child from ever feeling the pain, another family from going through this, or another potential situation from being ignored.
Shining a light put my emotions, my feelings, and a piece of my heart all out on the line… I shared my story and in doing so I helped others. It felt so awesome in the end to able to help others, but at the same time help myself. The best thing I ever did was take the chance at helping and making a difference.