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  • Bevin L.

Meggie's Voice - A Mom's Fight for Change

How does a mother sum up her child’s life? It is impossible to put it completely on paper or into words. Meghan made me a mom, a mommy, a mother, a Madre. And most of all she made me proud. Proud that she loved without end and always wanted to help others even when she couldn’t help herself. I know she had her flaws - we all do. But she loved hard and that’s what matters in the end. Not the mistakes made along the way but the love for others.

Meghan loved so many things and so many people. Sunrises, sunsets, all animals, food - especially tacos, sushi, and steak. She loved people. She loved babies. She loved her family - myself, my husband who raised her and who she called Dad. Her sisters, her bother. She loved them so very very much. She was always proud of their accomplishments, and she has missed such milestones and won’t be here for anymore. And the special people in her world - Kayla, Ashley, Staples, Sarah, Megan, Marissa, Grandma Buddy, Meena and her grandfather – Pop Pop. I take comfort knowing she is with her Grandma and her grandfather Felix - aka Boobie. She loved her aunts but especially her aunt Christine & her aunt Karen, all of her uncles and all of her cousins. She loved camping in Montauk and the families we camped with - especially her Tommy Kirby. She loved Law & Order SVU & Ghost Whisperer - she would call or text me whenever there was a marathon on. She loved laughing and her nostrils would flare in and out when she did. She hated clowns, scary movies, and needles - which is ironic considering how many tattoos she had.

At her funeral there were so many people. So many and we didn’t know more than half. They were people that Meghan had touched, impacted. They shared stories with us about how she would help them when they were in dark places - even if she was in one too.

Meghan has missed so much and will miss even more. She’s missed milestones for her sisters and brother. Milestones for her friends. Milestones for herself - things that will never happen now. But we know Meghan’s with us always. We feel her.

Meghan often at times seemed like an enigma, but she wasn’t. She just wanted to love and be loved. the essence of her spirit, her personality, her being - truly can’t be described by words. To know her was to love her, even when she drove you crazy.

I am forever and will be forever grateful for our last phone call at 334 on October 23, 2021. I am grateful for the chance to tell her she was worthy of more than someone like the defendant - that she deserved better. That I wanted her to know her worth. I am grateful the conversation ended with I will call you later - I will be out text me first. Ok - love you Madre - I love you too Meghan. I went home to take a nap and at 450 something made me wake up and jump off the couch. I didn’t know until I heard the Sgt testify that it was right before Meghan took her last breath - a bond between a mother and her child is so strong. I will always carry her with me.

These pictures of Meghan – one was taken exactly two years ago today – the one of her and her dog Supreme. She loved Supreme so much. And the other was from her 27th birthday – June 29, 2021. Her last birthday here. We spent her 28th birthday spreading her ashes in Montauk– all because of the acts of another.

There are no words that can bring Meghan back to all who love her. There’s no sentence long enough to undo the hurt and the pain we all feel. All we can do now is to try and pick up the pieces and live a life that would make Meghan proud.

These words were what I read at the sentencing of Meghan’s murderer. Meghan lost her life to domestic violence on October 23, 2021. She was 27 years old. Meghan led a life that was not always easy, she had many obstacles and challenges to overcome. It took her many years to truly realize her worth, remember her worth. Meghan was a victim of domestic violence more than once. She had a few ex-boyfriends that were abusive, and the forms of abuse ranged from verbal, emotional, financial to physical. Each time a relationship ended, she and I would discuss how she needed time to herself, to work on herself, to heal herself.

When she left Albany to move back to Long Island, it seemed like she was ready to work on herself, that she was recognizing her worth. Her friend helped her pack up and leave – leaving her dog behind because she just needed to get out.

Her murderer eventually followed her down here. He used the dog and the car they co owned as a means to reconnect with her. They did not get back together but she did let him stay by her until he got on his feet. Shortly thereafter Meghan needed him to leave as her grandmother was due home from a rehab facility. It was becoming a matter of time being the essence and he had to go.

She texted me that morning that she was trying to get him to leave, and he was being difficult and she did not want to call the police. I replied that if he would not leave that she would have to call the police. I spoke to her five hours later. She said he was leaving – but he was mad because he had nowhere to go, that he had no money and would rob a drug store if necessary, but that he would not go back to prison. That he would rather suicide by cop. She told me that her response to him was that sounded like a personal problem and not her problem. We talked about how she really needed to focus on herself, healing and growing. It was our last conversation.

When Gabby Petito was missing and then found, I remember sitting at my kitchen table and crying. I remember saying that could have been Meghan. Six weeks later – it was. Here’s the thing – domestic violence – it does not discriminate. It does not care your race, your financial status, your age, your upbringing, your career choice. Your educational level, your friend circle, your religion – all of that is irrelevant. Domestic Violence affects so many. Take a look around you – if it is not you – then it is most definitely someone you know. Victims of domestic violence often have the feeling of shame. And they should not. To be able to leave an abusive relationship is not always easy – as a matter of fact it is so much harder than people realize. There are so many moving components and there is a chance of more physical harm to come. It is the harsh reality of being in an abusive relationship. If you are a victim, please know you are not alone. There is support for you and many of us – we are survivors ourselves. We do understand and we do care.

When I sit back and think of things that I regret, one of the biggest regrets is not knowing about all the agencies and resources that are available to help victims of domestic violence. I feel that if we knew, maybe things would have been different for my daughter…maybe she would still be here.

So, what I ask of all of you, is to please always remember your worth, your importance. And if someone tries to take that away from you – even if it is just a friend – please pay attention to that warning sign. Because people who love you will not try to make you feel less valuable.

And if you are in a situation like that now, please know that you are not alone. There are so many people available to help. You matter. You are worthy. You are important. Together we can all make a change and work to stop domestic violence.

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