I love you Ashleigh!
I just got home from one of the areas shelters. Tonight I spoke not only about Ashleigh but about my story and the generations of abuse than had run back a 100 years in my family. I thanked Ashleigh because without her I would have never found my voice. The death of Ashleigh was hard but living without her daily since is even more painful than words can express. Even if all I do is help just one more person then I will. The voice my daughter gave me has helped me heal from my own abusive past. My worth/value comes from me and depends on no one else now. I will cherish and use this gift till I can be with her again. I'm so very proud of my daughter and her strength. I would like to say she got it from her mama, but I think she left a little behind for me. What ever the case, her story and mine are linked forever. Generations of silence is now broken but it took losing Ashleigh before that could be undone. No more! I cried out tonight. Not for my family or any family, as long as I can help it.
I love you Ashleigh!
Today, I went to the cemetery. The grounds were full of people today placing flowers on the graves of their mothers. I think I was the only mother there for her daughter. But I made Ashleigh a promise long ago and for as long as I live it will be a solemn oath I keep. You see, while Ashleigh was growing up she would see all these moms getting the standard orchard corsage and want one. Orchards are her favorite flower so every year she begged for one. It didn’t matter that she was not a mom and only 8 years old. So, I told her that when she became a mom I would buy her orchards on Mother’s Day. Of coarse, waiting that long was not good enough for our little Ashleigh. No! She had to negotiate and get a better deal. I can still hear her little voice question, ”Can I have them Every Mother’s Day?” I said yes. She never forgot and reminded me every year. She made me promise so, I did. I cried a lot today. She got her orchards but it has torn me apart knowing I will never get to see her face, the excitement of me not forgetting. The men who killed her stole that from me. They stole so many things. Today I grieved for not just Ashleigh and Patience but for every generation that would have come from them.
I read recently that grieving parents do not live as long. I can understand why, I feel the drain on me in everyway possible. My body, my mind and my spirit received and very fatal blow. I turn on the news and everyday one more mother is crying for her child. So, today I went to downtown Dallas after my visit with Ashleigh. I went to the “Bring Our Girls Home “ Rally. In Nigeria so many mother had their daughters taken from them. The pain of that is unbearable as a mother no matter what your Nationality, Race, or Religion. I stood with these people at the Plaza praying, hoping that these girls are givin back to the mothers who cry out for help. It was a positive to my day. A way for me to stand up and say No More!
Then I met my surviving daughter, Raechel and my granddaughter, Laney for dinner at Romas. Raechel had been so supportive today. She had to work but she bought Ashleigh some roses that I took to her grave for her. Raechel also bought me a red shirt to wear to the Rally. She thought it was great for me to go and that Ashleigh would have really liked it. But what made my day more than anything else was Raechel telling me that I taught her everything she knows and how to be a good mom. I am glad she feels like I was a good mother to her. You see secretly every surviving mother struggles with this evil demon inside. It tells you daily how awful a mother you are because you couldn’t protect your child. Somedays, you can ignore the demon and others it catches you by the throat and nearly chokes the life out of you. Today was that day. But I’m still here and tomorrow is another day.
Tonight I want to let everyone know that I have added something to the Ashleigh Patience Project Website. A Grieving Mothers Blog. I went in and pulled posts from the R.I.P page and constructed a blog that shows my journey thru the grieving process but will continue from this day forward with new post. This is for anyone but especially for grieving parents so they can see that there is no wrong way to grieve! I’ve called it Stolen Generations. You can go on the site and receive each new blog by email if you like. I hope you will pass it on to other grieving parents you know. It is been a blessing to have so many who have been so supportive.
God Bless and Happy Mother’s Day,
Reposting this from Kristen with Break The Silence Against Domestic Violence I have no doubt Ashleigh was one of the Angels Soaring in the flames. It is such a comfort that others remember my daughter and honor her in such beautiful ways. Please watch......Tara
***This video was not photoshopped or edited in any way. This is the raw footage from the 2014 BTS Women's Retreat. ***
This weekend an amazing organization, Break the Silence against Domestic Violence, hosted an all women's revitalization retreat for victims and survivors of violence. 36 women from all around the country attended this life changing event in hopes of transformation - we all can agree that transformation happened.
Our breakthrough activity was a letter writing exercise where we all wrote letters to our Abusers. Writing is a huge way to express yourself especially if you've experienced abuse. We then shared our letters in groups with our fellow BTS SISTERS. After sharing we decided to move on we wanted to burn our letters and so we did. As I threw in the letters one by one, the attendees dedicated our letters to our angels who have been murdered from domestic violence and those in our lives who still suffer from abuse.
At the end of the burning ritual, I decided to play a song written and sung by Terry Josiah Sharpe - Angels Will Soar. My words before turning on the song were "May our Angels Always Soar.." And soar is exactly what they did..
A few angels we dedicated our letters to were my sisters Brandi, Ashleigh, and MRD.
This video is mind-blowing and shocking and hopefully you'll be inspired as we were!
This is a chronicle of the grieving process at the murder of my daughter, Ashleigh Marie Lindsey and her unborn Baby Patience Lynn. They call the parentless child an orphan & the married person who loses their mate a widow/widower but what do they call a parent who loses a child? There is no word given for the parent who have seen this kind of untimely death.