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MADD Candlelight Vigil

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Coming into the MADD Candlelight Vigil this evening Tori was quite uncomfortable and extremely vocal. At several points I considered turning around. By the time we arrived she had calmed although still rigid and voicing displeasure. And then there were the faces of the people you have come to know and love-those with whom you have come to share a deep and everlasting bond. I believe all of the commotion; the hugs and conversations distracted her enough to allow time for relaxation to start taking place.

Once the ceremony started Tori settled. She was especially attentive to a beautiful lyrical dance performance and to those that sang. Families are asked to light a candle in honor of their loved one and then there is a presentation where name after name, face after face of those taken and forever altered are shown.

There is so much more to this than names and faces. For they belong to fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, mentors and friends. They are our lifeline – they are our loves.

Watching Tori towards the end of the ceremony and seeing her so comfortable I wondered what could have corrected itself. And it hit me. Always, as the time for the vigil approaches I become uncomfortable and rigid-not quite knowing what to do with all of the emotion welling up inside. And, I retreat. Once I enter the venue and get to see and touch this “family” I settle. Tori is like a sponge. She soaks up the energy around her. I believe she felt my grief and reacted to it. I also believe that as emotional and draining the vigil is there is also an overwhelming sense of love. The love is shown through the connections with our loved ones, the kinship we feel for “other families” and the appreciation for life.

Two songs came into my life this week and they are so different – yet so similar, at least to me in what I believe they say. “Carry On” and “Stand”. We heard many times through the vigil – life goes on.. or, you need to “Carry On” and once doing that we need to take a “Stand”. To pull ourselves up, honor those we love, cherish life and for me personally, rise to the challenge of a pair of big brown eyes that beg to do more and do better so another family does not have to experience this same pain. Because, life as you know it can change in a moment.