It was 8 years ago today that Shannon McNamara was murdered. Since that day, so many of us were never the same again. In years past, I have dreaded this day. I’d feel anxiety for weeks before, accompanied by a dark depression for weeks afterward. Once we got past Shannon’s birthday on June 21st I’d start to feel better, and was normally back to my old self by 4th of July. But for the most part over the past 8 years, the entire month of June was dedicated to sleeping and crying and being pretty much a dark, sloppy mess.
But this year, things are different. There is too much light shining right now to let the darkness in. This year on this significant day, I still want to cry – but it’s happy tears because I have so much hope. This year I have a baby in my belly about 9 weeks from hatching. This year I have a team of 12 people working for Fight Back Productions. (Which encompasses Girls Fight Back, Students Fight Back and Women Fight Back – more on those coming soon…) This year, we will reach more people than ever with our message that each person in this world is WORTH FIGHTING FOR. And despite this being the hardest I have ever worked to make it all possible, I’m also sleeping more peacefully knowing that massive, global change is underway.
Next week I’ll be posting photos and videos of the incredible, first-ever Girls Fight Back Academy and I will introduce you to the marvelous women who will be representing us going forward. But for now, I just wanted to say that Shannon would be so proud of everything that has happened in her memory. She would be grateful that so many people are learning to prevent and fight back against the very situation that ended her life. She would be at peace knowing her short 21 years on this earth have left an eternity of change beyond her departure.
So I will leave you with this ancient Maori Proverb: “Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.”
Strong. Resilient. Spirited. Unified.