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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Patricia Maisch

In memory of Christina, Alex, Lindsay

As a very fortunate, physically uninjured survivor of a mass shooting on January 8, 2011, in Tucson, Arizona, my life saved by two good guys without guns, I can say that my life has changed.

It’s never a bad day for me anymore because I have a new standard to just what makes a day hard. Burying a child, burying a loved one of any stature, is hard; this is easy. That is my response to some who tell me that the culture isn’t changing fast enough, that it is too hard to keep going… this is easy, burying a loved one is hard. Keep working!

Three silicone memory bracelets and one leather bracelet are on my wrist whenever I leave the house. The purple, gray and pink three have an association to Tucson. The leather bracelet is a result of the Isla Vista murders; it says NOT ONE MORE. I consider that bracelet for all victims of gun violence. The other three are Tucson related: The first one that goes on my wrist is the purple one for Christina-Taylor Green, the little 9-year-old girl that was murdered in my sight at our mass shooting. The second is the gray Alex Teves bracelet. Alex was a grad of University of Arizona that was murdered in the theatre in Aurora on July 20, 2012. Caren and Tom Teves #honorwithaction in several significant ways. The third bracelet is the hot pink one of Lindsay Key Parker. Lindsay was murdered while sitting on a porch in Chandler, Arizona, with some of here friends. Lindsay’s mom, Deborah Parker, lives in Tucson.

Its an honor to call the Greens, the Teves and the Parkers friends. And it’s an honor to work in their children’s names. When actively working on gun violence prevention, I wear about 15 bracelets. People who see my bracelets ask what they are for; that is one way the bracelets help bring gun violence to the forefront daily. They give me an opportunity to explain to people what they are and what needs to change so that it doesn’t happen to others.

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