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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Mary Long

In memory of Eric

My only child, Eric, was shot and killed while walking to his car from a local restaurant on March 12, 2012. Eric contributed to society as a whole. He worked hard as a union carpenter. He was an amazing father. His relationship with his daughter was PRICELESS! He was a wonderful son. Bottom line, he was a mama’s boy. He enjoyed traveling with his family, he enjoyed taking his daughter to water parks and taking her out to eat, and to recitals, he enjoyed teaching his daughter how to read and write, he enjoyed teaching his daughter how to tie her shoes and riding a bike for the first time, he enjoyed playing dress up with her and acting silly. He was funny, smart and very respectful. He loved to participate in youth services at church. He would remix rap songs and make them gospel raps. He loved rapping, dancing and acting. He wasn’t big on sports, but he would go to a basketball game occasionally. Eric Williams. My only child was a third year apprentice carpenter. His plans were to get married and build his family a home. The Christmas before, he built his 5-year-old daughter a doll house. His fiancĂ© was a month pregnant, they were planning their wedding. His son, Eric, is now 5 years old. His daughter is now 11 and still seeking therapy for her grief. No one has been arrested.

Because of my strong Christian background, I thought that I had it all together, until I received that call. Once I learned how to breathe again, I realized that my DNA had changed. I was not the same person that I was before my son was killed. I had started an anti-violence organization the day before my son was killed on March 11, 2012. My assignment was given a completely new engine. Now I eat, sleep and dream violence prevention. I’m fearless and passionate about preventing violence. My in-laws give me Mother’s Day cards and birthday cards from heaven every year, with my son’s picture and inspiring words from him. I don’t even know how to describe 2012. I graduated from college the night that he was killed, my grandson was born 8 months later. I launched Sacred Ground Ministries Anti-Violence Movement on August 12, 2012. I really don’t know what’s going on. All I know is that I believe God. He promised me that he will use what the enemy meant for my harm, he will use it for my good. Every promise has come true.

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