Not every post of mine on my opinion side here is going to be a vent about things…I’d also like it to be a place where one can hopefully find hope and inspiration…
About two weeks ago, I learned a dear friend of mine was brutally attacked in his home in Florida in what police are classifying as attempted murder. I was able to lend my knowledge and assistance, along with my friendship, support and love and because with my work, I have amassed an incredible amount of resources and connections of those who help people overall…and specifically those who have been victimized.
It was a shocking thing to know someone I care about was nearly swept away from my life because of a hateful attacker, and who, by the grace of God, survived blows to the head with a socket wrench. Unfortunately, those who attacked him are still on the run and may have taken his precious fur baby when they fled his home. He has survived and is on the road to recovery in terms of his healing.
The external wounds may be fading away and for those who have survived violence now have physical scars, yet victims and their families must adapt to a new way of life…picking up the broken pieces left by those who brought harm to their lives…and learning to restart their journeys on a different path.
In other words, there are internal scars that must be dealt with. There is no magical formula or timeframe to physical and emotional healing and many factors come into play.
One of my resources I was able to provide to my friend who suffered this recent trauma is a friend named Helga Luest. Helga and I knew each other in high school and graduated a few years apart, so we were on different life paths and lost touch for approximately two decades. We happened to meet again while I was on assignment in 2009 and I learned of a project she had embarked on with another alumnus from our high school, Nick Kline…the Glass Book Project, in which art students of Nick’s at Rutgers Newark created Glass Books that expressed what resulted emotionally from particular situations, such as trauma.
Like my friend who was attacked recently, Helga was also the victim of attempted murder in 1993, also in Florida, as a victim of a carjacking. She was millimeters away from paralysis and death and still suffers with the after effects of what her assailants did to her. To help others, Helga formed her organization, Witness Justice, which provides support to victims…and was one of the first to reach out to me after my friend was attacked recently.
I’d like to share this video of Helga that shows how she has gotten back on her feet, literally…and is running marathons again…it took her years to even learn if she would be able to run again and then be able to do it. And she has! This video of her story is so inspiring and I encourage everyone to watch it. I was welled up after I did.
We all have hurdles we must endure and we need to keep plodding ahead…Helga puts it best when she says in the film, “You can’t change what happened to you, but you have choices of what you do with it.”
On My Mind: I feel blessed I had the opportunity to watch this film as it is truly inspirational and shows the strength in the human spirit. I pray that no matter what life has thrown at you, you keep moving ahead and persevere through it. I pray for those who have been victimized through acts of violence and that justice prevails in their cases.
What do you think?
If you or someone you know has been a victim of a crime and need help to pick up the pieces again, I encourage you to take a look at these resources…click on the links below. Witness Justice is the organization Helga started and the New Jersey Crime Victims Law Center is the first pro bono law center in the nation…Richard Pompelio is the Executive Director and started this center in memory of his son Tony, who was one of my high school classmates and a murder victim…like Helga, Richard has taken his experiences and found a way to help others.
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