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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Gina Pelusi

In memory of Ruthanne

My mom, Ruthanne, was killed by gun violence nearly five years ago, when a stranger knocked on the door of my parents’ home. My mom answered the door, and a man she had never met opened fire, shooting her multiple times.

My mom was a music teacher, and on Christmas Eve she hosted a Christmas caroling party for our entire family at our home. We had song books, instruments for everyone to play along, as well as a combination of other musicians including guitar, accordion, trumpet and/or violin. My mom was the musical director and conductor; she led the signing and conducted the band and did it all effortlessly. For even the adults, it brought out the silly, fun, child in everyone.

After my mom was taken from us, we don’t have that party anymore. No one could do all that she did, and many family members don’t feel comfortable in our home anymore. Our Christmas Eves and Christmas holidays will never have the same fun, special energy they once did.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.

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