“All human life has its seasons, and no one’s personal chaos can be permanent: winter, after all does not last forever does it? There is summer, too, and spring, and though sometimes when branches stay dark and the earth cracks with ice, one thinks they will never come, that spring, that summer, but they do, and always." T.Capote
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March 1, 2002 marked the third year since my beautiful daughter Cory Beth was senselessly and brutally murdered.
It also marked the third year of my struggle to survive this tragedy, rebuild my broken life and heal my broken heart.
Today, as I continue on this journey filled with loneliness, grief, despair, rage, sadness, longing and uncertainty, I want to send a personal message of thanks to people who have made such a difference in my world.
To Jeff Woleschok, for loving my Cory, encouraging her to fulfill her dreams and for making her the focus of your world.
To Jeff's parents, Helen and Richie, for welcoming Cory into your home and your hearts and loving her like she was your own child. She truly loved you both--and little Abbey, who added so much laughter, love and joy to my Cory's life.
To Sister Marjorie Sweeney and Father Joe from Pottsville Hospital for holding me up during those first few days of this horrific loss in my life. They were there every minute to listen to me cry, hold me and hub me and to give me their strength and their faith, to make sure I survived.
To Pennsylvania state troopers. While doing your jobs, please continue to be compassionate with people who are so grief-stricken and shocked that they don't always behave in a rational way.
To Lynn Shiner in Victim's Assistance office in Harrisburg, who watched over me and took care of me. Lynn is an incredible example of a courageous human being, who has made it her mission to help others and carry on despite the loss of two of her own babies. Lynn, you are my hero.
To Irene Docherty in the Schuylkill County District Attorney's Office. She has been there for me and has helped me, through her compassion and caring, to make it through the last three years.
To Karen Byrnes-Noon, the assistant district attorney who worked on Cory's legal case, I know we didn't always see things the same way, but you listened to me, explained what was happening, and gave me your honest, but difficult, answers, always maintaining your humanity and compassion.
To all the people at the nursing home where my Cory worked, her patients, her friends, her classmates at nursing school, her teachers and her mentors, for adding so much to my Cory's too-short life. She blossomed into an even more beautiful your woman while in your little town.
To Ellen Vinck, you were and are my guardian angel. You dropped everything you were doing, left your own family and job, flew to Pennsylvania with me, and literally took over my life. You held me and comforted me when I was my beautiful Cory for the fist time with no life left in her, even while coping with your own tragic loss of your sister, Carla.
I also want to remind all of the people involved in the legal system that you all have a moral and legal obligation to protect innocent people from the predators in our society. Keep these people in prison, where they belong!
The man convicted in my child's death had a long history of criminal behavior, dating back to his teen-age years, and was out on bail for a rape when he killed my Cory. People like him should never be allowed to walk the streets and live among good, law-abiding folks.
To the people of Pennsylvania, stay involved with your communities. Take care of your neighbor's children, Be nosy! Watch over each other. Report suspicious people to the authorities and insist that they do something about it.
Don't take "no" for an answer! Complacency is the friend of the criminal and your enemy. Make sure that your elected officials give more than lip service to their promises. Hold them to their vows to protect you. If they don't, vote then out of office.
Look at the current laws. If they don't work, word to change them. It's not an easy fight, but it's a lot easier than dealing with the aftermath of the failure of the system to protect the innocents.
And please don't forget my Cory. She so loved your little city.
(from the mother of Cory, living in San Diego, Calif)