Twenty years ago today, on Aug. 7, 1995, I stepped out of the limousine and walked across the clean-cut grass.
People gathered, some walking hand in hand, others standing at a distance. The cars continued to file in, one by one. As they parked, their occupants moved toward the gravesite.
As I glanced toward my right, I saw the beautiful royal blue coffin, carried by eight children from our neighborhood in a Chicago suburb. My knees buckled at the site as the funeral director kept me from falling to the ground, then held my arm and guided me toward the final goodbye to my son.
Over these 20 years, I’ve allowed myself to wander to that dark place and imagine the horror Christopher suffered. I force my thoughts back to his sparkling blue eyes and deep set dimples. I think about the thousands of children that Christopher’s Clubhouse has provided with quality, comprehensive safety education. I visualize the thousands more that can learn and become empowered.
Twenty years ago, I was shocked to find out that I was far from alone in this dreadful pain of an abducted and murdered child. I was shaken to realize the magnitude of the problem. It was something that I never imagined could happen to me. And for 20 years, I remain connected to the statistics.
Over the course of the last 20 years, I have watched and realized the statistics have barely changed. Children are still abducted, abused, murdered, sexually assaulted and go missing. They are trafficked, neglected, preyed upon beaten and molested. And for 20 years I have tried to get people to listen.
And finally, people are. Society realizes something has to be done!
For 20 years I have been gathering momentum to STOP these heinous crimes against our most innocent. I only wish 20 years ago I would have had the support, help, knowledge and guidance of a team such as Cavalry PR’s. I wish there would have been someone beside me to help me form the words when asked questions by the reporters. I could have used the help of someone that knew what to say and to whom to respond. I only wish someone could have been there that understood the very details of my pain. As a member of the Crisis Management Team at Cavalry PR, I “get it” now. I know what that pain is and how to get through it with the least amount of chaos.
And now – looking back 20 years, I know that we CAN educate our kids. We CAN make a difference. We CAN make the next twenty years brighter.
Help us to envision a safer future. Help Christopher’s Clubhouse to make a change in the lives of more kids. For $20 per month, you can become a warrior, hero and lifesaver. By giving up just one Starbucks each week, you CAN AND WILL make a difference.