I changed my blog header to the orange graphic that our neighbor Kristen made back in April for our campaign. I'm going to keep it there for a while. Orange for gun violence awareness.
Gun violence is something that hits home for me, because when I was eighteen years old, I watched my family be torn apart by a single gunshot. I will never forget the look on my mother's face when she told me. It was early on a Thursday morning, my cousin Karen and I had just returned from one of our all night adventures, where we had been terribly lost on Long Island and were giggling all the way home. The giggling stopped the moment I opened the door to see a look of horror on my mother's face. She looked as if she hadn't slept all night.
"There's been an accident," she said. Silence. I pleaded for more information "What kind of accident? A car accident? Who?" The seconds felt like hours. "Not a car accident, no. A gun accident."
A gun? I knew then it had to be my brother, Petey. He was the only one in our family who had a gun. "Where was he shot?" I searched my mind for what I thought could be the least lethal place someone could be hit by a bullet. "Was it in the leg?" My mother looked back, shook her head and said, "No, his head. The bullet is in his head."
He hung on in a coma for twenty four hours and then his light went back to the universe. Our family was never the same. We made attempts to come together, but every time we gathered seemed to only amplify the loss.
I started writing a song to express my grief, but couldn't finish it for a long time. Here it is:
No parent should ever bury a child. It upsets the natural order. My heart and prayers go out to anyone who has ever lost a loved one.
Today, I also dedicate this song to my friend Vince Welnick. It is hard to believe it has been ten years since he left this earth. I miss him.
p.s. My friends are playing at Vines in San Anselmo on Friday. Hope to see you there.