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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Jane Kelso Winter

In memory of Kelsey

As soon as he turned 21, my son, Kelsey, bought a handgun, which he thought he needed for self-protection. Shortly thereafter, during an intense argument with his girlfriend, he used it to end his own life. Long had I preached about the dangers of easy access to firearms not thinking that it would come to impact my family.

Kelsey was voted Class Favorite four years in a row at his High School. He had pulled a few pranks at school the last year so he was not allowed to accept the award the last year which pretty much exemplifies him. His schoolmates gave him the award surreptitiously. His vibrant personality drew people to him and he knew everyone’s name in his class(es) from Kindergarten on. He could always talk his way into anything or convince someone a la Tom Sawyer to do something for him.

Every year since then we honor his Christmas birthday by eating sushi and getting bubble tea with tapioca balls — his favorites. Now and then I’ll buy blackberries and eat the whole package at once, just like he used to. Lately, when a restaurant asks for our name we give his so that when they call out “Kelsey, your table is ready,” it makes us smile and we know he is with us.

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