For as long as I can remember, I’ve found great comfort in the thought that indeed, everything happens for a reason. My maternal grandmother really felt that way and it’s been passed through her on to me and hopefully, down to my girls. But there have been events in 2010 that wouldn’t have been possible without what has happened before, and not just in my life, but in lives I’ve brushed up against as well.
Everything Happens For A Reason
Within a month of moving out of my house on March 25, 2010, after going through my own living hell I met Veronica Galaviz. She had obtained a protective order from the Family Law courts of Dallas County, Texas in Nov. 2009. Her judge took action along the lines of actually applying the law and the consideration of evidence and issued a protective order restraining her estranged husband from contact with her.
Veronica made multiple attempts to notify her local police department that her estranged husband was in violation of the order. Citing lack of evidence, and thereby, lack of probable cause to make an arrest, the local police literally did nothing.
On the night of April 21, the estranged husband broke into her home at 1:30 a.m. and tried to kill her with a shotgun. A male friend, (not romantically involved) was spending the night in the guest room and was able to engage the man and allow Veronica to escape her home to call the police at a neighbors. The friend wound up losing a thumb via a gunshot before also escaping. When both were out of the house, the estranged husband set the house on fire and then turned the weapon on himself.
Six days later, through the request of my own divorce attorney who knew of my public relations background, Veronica and Julie Lucio were holding a news conference to talk about how after multiple reports of protective order violations, the local police had failed in their mission to serve and protect. Again, I scared up the media and that night on local TV news here in Dallas, Veronica garnered a total of 35 minutes of airtime in one evening.
Knowing she had a story to tell, I kept in touch with Veronica, and we began meeting every couple of weeks at a North Dallas Starbucks to talk about her healing and to talk about what might be her next steps.
In the resulting weeks, I presented a media plan to her. It made her flinch. She wasn’t ready. But we kept on meeting and through discussions, through my 20-plus years in public relations, web experience and social media work, we came up with a name for her organization: LivingToServe.org. The name made perfect sense. And she feels the essence of the name every minute of the day. Veronica Galaviz remains alive today so she can help others in domestic violence situations and raise awareness about how something needs to be done. Indeed, she is living to share.
2010 Almost Over
For me, the LivingT0Share.org project has become something of a calling as well. I don’t make heaps of money from that project; money really isn’t the issue any longer. Sure, I need money to help cover my bills and living expenses, but God has taught me in 2010 to re-evaluate my priorities; he’s shown me that I was living life a little too comfortably, and more importantly, he needed to put me back into the game. In the past couple of weeks, since we really began the resurgence in the media, Veronica now has been invited to speak to two different law enforcement agencies in North Texas. They want her to speak to police officers about domestic violence from the viewpoint of a survivor. They want her to possibly open the eyes a little of law enforcement so that their greatest priority on a DV call isn’t to hurry up and settle it and to get back in service (10-8), but understand, they’re possibly dealing with life and death. At least one TV station in DFW has recognized her as someone to call when a domestic violence attack happens. There are going to be more.
At the beginning of 2010 I was on a completely different path. I had the house of my dreams to live in. I had a wife, her four kids and my three. I had the sweetest dog ever, Molly, a Great Pyrenees that was given away within two days of my moving out. (I never even got a chance to say goodbye.) I had a decent job, making decent money–even though most of that was being taken away through deceit and lies in our criminal “justice” family courts system. My job was trying to raise awareness for a corporate social responsibility program; one I had come to some careful conclusions about, and one which with the work I’m now doing with Veronica and some of my other clients, are having a much greater impact than what I was doing with almost no budget.
I was barely keeping my head above water, but I’d been pulled under by the undertow at least two times.
Dec. 31, 2010
Today is the last day of 2010. (I couldn’t get to writing this yesterday as planned.) I’m doing all I can today to put away 2010. I’ve been hearing Jumper by Third Eye Blind in my head all morning. No, I’m not out on a ledge, but I’m definitely seeking to “Put the past away … put away all the lies that (you)-I’ve been living in….”
Christmas has almost been put away for 2011. The girls have returned to their mum’s and while the sounds of Disney Channel teen/tween programming has been replaced with the ticks and tocks of my many clocks, things are good. In fact, they’re better than they were 365 days ago. For for all the valleys and trials I’ve faced this year, I’ve returned to the deep understanding with God that what I suffered and endured this year wasn’t for naught. He had a reason for it, and there are many more ahead of me.
And now, Third Eye Blind….. And possibly the best guitar riff solo EVER!
- Arlington officer shot to death while trying to protect child (chron.com)
- Nashville Police Turn Blind Eye to Domestic Abusers on the Force (womensrights.change.org)
- National Increase in Domestic Violence Spurs the Mary Kay Foundationsm to Donate $3 Million to Shelters (eon.businesswire.com)
- Domestic Violence Victims Should Be Aware Of Protections Offered By Texas Law, Austin Family Lawyer Says (prweb.com)