Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My Heavy Heart

This week I've had a heavy heart.  The only way I can describe it is, I feel that I am May Boatwright in the book The Secret Life of Bees.  I feel that I need a wailing wall...or this blog!

The shooting in Aurora, CO.  When I heard this, my heart just dropped.  I don't know anyone who was involved but I just felt sickened.  I couldn't imagine enjoying the night seeing a movie with friends or a loved one and experiencing that.  There were children in the theater for goodness sake.  I understand that I wouldn't take my child to a midnight showing, but those other parents did's just awful.  I'm not sure why I've been sick to my stomach thinking about this, but I have.  I've been praying for victims and their families. 

Another aspect of the shooting that has my stomach in knots is the shooter himself.  I know I haven't talked a lot about G in a while and there is a reason.  I'm not sure if I'm ready to open up fully about him but he no longer lives with us and now lives with his mother in Arizona.  We made that choice after he raised his fist to me.  W had seen a progressively unstable mood, dispite the fact that he was seeing a therapist for over a year, he was on medication, and he was under the care of a physician.  Learning of the shooter in Colorado made me instantly think of G.  I know some of you reading this may think that I'm over-reacting and he can't be THAT bad, but I promise you, that he really is!  Moving on though...

I want to tell you about a friend of mine.  Her name is Jenn Gibbons and she embarked on a journey June 15 to be the first person to row solo the perimeter (that's 1,500 miles!) around Lake Michigan in order to raise awareness about the importance that exercise plays in reducing breast cancer recurrence.  Her goal is to raise $150,000 on her trip.  Monday (23rd) on her facebook wall this was posted: 

Unfortunately, the Row4ROW team has some sad news to report and we need your help. Jenn was set to row to Beaver Island on Sunday morning but was attacked and sexually assaulted by a man in the early morning hours. Investigators have reason to believe the assailant traveled a significant distance to commit the assault. The suspect is described as a white male in his 30s, approximately 5’8” to 6’ t...all, with a fair amount of facial stubble hair, but not a full beard nor mustache. The man has light eyes, an average to athletic build and shorter well-kept hair. He was wearing a grayish green t-shirt, jean shorts and tennis shoes. A bright yellow Jeep Wrangler was seen in the area. It has a spare tire on the back with a yellow smiley face on it. Investigators are seeking information about this vehicle. Anyone with information or investigative leads please call the Michigan State Police toll-free at 1-866-411-0018. Please know that Jenn is safe and in good hands. A statement from her about the trip and future plans will be made very soon. Please re-post and help us find this criminal. Thank you for your continued support of Row4ROW.

I was very saddened and sick to my stomach when I heard this news.  She is a strong woman because the next day she wrote this:

I have always tried to be transparent and honest about the obstacles of this trip in the hope that my openness and vulnerability might give someone strength or inspiration in their fight against cancer, or in pursuing a dream.

I know that I had a choice in telling people about the details of my attack, particularly that it was a sexual assault. To go through this at all, let alone publicly, is extremely difficult. I chose to talk about it in the hope that someone might be able to provide more information about the person who did this to me.

Thank you for the endless amounts of support, prayers, and love. Please know that I am in the best of hands–with my family and in the protection of the Michigan State Police.

I still believe that there are more good people in the world than bad.

I still believe that life is a gift, even when it’s scary and unfair. I still believe that life offers us the privilege, the opportunity, and the responsibility, to give something back, even when people try to take things away from us.

Regarding the trip, one thing hasn’t changed: I’ve still got this. But the trip plan will change in a few ways to ensure my safety.

Most importantly, I will no longer be alone.

Tomorrow, Liv will be trailered to a secure location in Muskegon, Michigan until I can continue the trip on water sometime next week. From that point to Chicago we can ensure my safety on water since we’re confident that there are enough harbors and enough resources and volunteers to make it possible. Because we are unsure that I can be kept safe on the water in the miles between where I am currently and the point at which I will start rowing again, I will tackle them on land.

With thanks to a generous donor and the support of amazing volunteers, later this week I will continue traveling Lake Michigan’s perimeter by bicycle. A support crew will accompany me and ensure my safety day in and day out. When I get to Muskegon, Liv and I will reunite and keep pushing to get to Chicago sometime in mid-August, as we had originally planned.

My chin is up, my eyes are open, and we’re going to get this show back on the road (then water).


She is a strong and amazing person...I am grateful to have a friend like her.  I am hoping that my heavy heart will stop being so heavy.  I've just been in this funk and I can't seem to get out of it.  Tomorrow Mr H. and I have a meeting with the Stake President.  I'm hoping that it's about the cancelation of sealing.  I'm really not sure what's it's about and that makes me nervous.  I am, however, getting an hour long massage.  Hopefully that will ease some of my built up tension...


  1. Chole, hold your chin up high. I love ya girl!

  2. There is so much heartbreak in the world today. It's a scary place, especially when you have children to think about. Sending prayers your friend's way, and to you as well. <3


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...