October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Read and share stories to honor survivors whose lives have been changed by domestic violence.

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Carol Gaxiola

In memory of Jasmine

Gun violence has impacted my life incalculably – it shattered my known life into billions of pieces that will never be reassembled as before, only reshaped into a new reality. Gaping holes will always persist and intrude into the fabric of my life. The most common of events, such as the birth of a friend’s grandchild, now bring a duality of emotions. Celebration and happiness for my friend and joy at the arrival of a loved child paired with the stabbing reminder that I will never experience the joy of my grandchild’s birth – the stark reminder that my child, so brutally taken by a bullet, will never experience the joy of motherhood. Mothers’ Day, once so joyfully celebrated, now yearly amplifies the depth of my loss. How to answer the sincere wishes of “Happy Mothers’ Day”?

My daughter Jasmine loved dolphins and dreamed of becoming a marine biologist. Dolphins hold a special place and meaning in my heart. Dolphins are incorporated in my home decor in virtually every room. I have dolphin notebooks, pencils, key rings and towels. This is my way of holding her presence and spirit in my life.

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