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Something Amazing Happened

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Friday, November 30th, something amazing happened. While Tori was at the horse farm for a therapy session a young volunteer asked if she could speak to me in private. Stepping aside she asked if I had every spoken at Cranston West High School. As I answered that yes I had, her eyes started to tear.

She proceeded to explain that 4 years ago she had been a student sitting in the middle of an auditorium during a pre prom presentation at which I told our story. She went on to say that she had only been at the horse farm for a short while but that a few sessions ago had seen Tori for the first time. About a week later in the middle of the night she woke up knowing exactly who Tori was and where she had seen her before. Immediately she called a friend. She told me that in the wee hours of the morning she told this friend that she had met the girl she was always talking about. The one she gave people examples of when they were making bad choices - the girl who made an impact and changed her life.

She is 21 years old now – a full time college student with a double major, two jobs and volunteer duties. She still tells Toris story. Through 2 sets of watery eyes we continued our conversation talking about life, choices and the what could have beens. Our tears dried and the corners of our mouths turned up as we spoke of shared sentiments and goals.  Suddenly and without warning, I started to cry again because there before me… a little younger perhaps, taller certainly, but in spirit and in commitment I saw a wonderful glimpse of what would have been in terms of my daughter had it not been for the choice of one.

We never underestimate the damage one person, one choice can make. On Friday afternoon I was given a gift. The gift of knowing for certain, that ONE person can make a difference in a positive direction as well. Tori Lynn Andreozzi may not be remembered for her martial arts achievements anymore or for the fact she had a winning essay read at the State House or even she earned a place in the Junior Honor Society. Tori Lynn Andreozzi, who people once referred to as the little girl with the big red bow is now the “girl I am always talking about”, the girl who reminds you not to make bad choices and is the reason you call friends in the middle of the night.

Yesterday I received a priceless gift. And in true Tori spirit, whose favorite movie was Pay It Forward, make a difference in your own way. Take the time to be that ONE person.