In memory of Frank Chiarini
7/25/33 – 12/13/12

When I was a little girl,
I would stand on my father’s feet;
he would dance me around the kitchen and sing,
We all live in a yellow submarine.

When my brother was a little boy,
we would all go swimming together.
John would jump into the deep water
from the top of my father’s shoulders.
John would jump into the water over and over.
My father would catch him again and again.

When my mother least expected it,
my father would sneak up behind her
and wrap her in a tight bear hug.
Someone took a picture of the embrace;
the photo hung on the wall of our house
for many years.

These are the memories we cling to
as we navigate this new world without
Our Frank. Our daddy. Our papa.
Some memories will make us laugh,
others will make us cry
but all will do the job of
keeping him alive.

It doesn’t get easier: It gets different.

Building a Coalition

Another representative from another Senator’s office contacted me today. Oh, but not ‘just another representative’ – the Chief Counsel rang me up! And he was brimming with advice about what I need to do next in order to see these bills into legislation.

He also reassured me that, so far, I am on the right track and getting the support of the right people.

And…he is going to “do some additional research into federal legislation on this issue as well as the upcoming Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) now pending in Congress”

Federal. Legislation.


Wow. I am completely overwhelmed. You see, to be even more brutally honest than I already have been, I was so inept regarding all things political, legislative, legal, criminal, etc, that I had to go to You Tube and watch the Schoolhouse Rock “How a Bill Becomes a Law: I’m Just a Bill” episode. Then I started reading about the legislative process and writing bills and lobbying. I studied statutes – the format, the language. I took copious notes and bookmarked dozens of reference links. While I’m far from qualified for a position in politics, I can talk the talk now and actually understand what I’m saying. Never before has the phrase, “I am always learning” been more apt.

It has been terrifying putting myself out there as I have over the past three months. I don’t do vulnerable well, but in order to be heard, I had to take this risk. I would like to say I am glad I did, but I am going to reserve that until these bills are made laws. Then I’ll be glad. Make no mistake, I am perfectly thrilled that I’ve come this far. And exceptionally motivated to push further. But I simply won’t be happy until I see this to its fruition.

Now to build a coalition (Once I look up the definition of ‘coalition’).

I also have to contemplate just how badly that County Cop failed me. If I feel it was significant, I can file a complaint. I haven’t thought of that. But I am glad I didn’t – in my fury I would have gone overboard, I’m sure. Now that I have let some of my anger go, I can approach that rather delicate issue more rationally. It is his livelihood, after all. Do I want to disrupt his as mine has been disrupted?

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