For most of 2009, I have caught myself saying thinking that I want this year to be over. "I am looking forward to 2010 and want to grow from the pain in 2009." I have never wished for a year to be over as much as I have this one. I suffered several traumatic personal tragedies this year but none like losing a little sister. My sister, Tiana Angelique Notice, 25, was killed by her ex boyfriend James Carter III. They were in a relationship for around a a year and she attempted several times to break it off. On Valentine's Day 2009 (February 14th) he jumped out of the bushes in front of her apartment and stabbed her over 20 times.
Carter is pleading not guilty and the case is still currently going on in the New Britain (Connecticut) Superior Court system. I've always read and heard stories of families that have suffered tragedy but there is no way you could ever possibly understand that pain and unending devastation that one family will go through until you have experiences it first hand. The Carter's will always have their son even if he is in jail for life. (As a college student in Connecticut, I protested the death penalty in the state.) They can visit him, talk to him, send him gifts, tell him that they love him no matter what poor choices he has made. But my family will never get the chance to do that with my sister.
Shortly after my sister's death was the Chris Brown and Rhianna case and throughout the year there have been endless news on athletes, coaches and other celebrities in the public eye who are going through a similar domestic violence situation. Violence against women is finally a public health issue and it's really sad that it has taken so long. I'm still not convinced that it's an important issue to everyone but at least more people are now aware of it.
As a Women's Studies major in college, and a feminist activist who has worked at a women's center since I was 17, I started a foundation with my father. I honestly thought it would help me get through my grief better but it hasn't. I am glad that I've been able to honor my sister's name and help other women who are high risk for being attacked by someone violently. My hope for 2010 is that some of the pain of losing a loved one will be relieved and that The Tiana Angelique Notice Foundation save at least one woman's life and another family from dealing with this horrible pain and loss. I hope that all those who lost loved one's in 2009 will cry a little less, have a few more happier days, and has something more to look forward to in 2010.
I wish you all a Happy New Year and pray for less violence in our world!
Visit http://Tiananoticefoundation.org to learn more about Tiana's story.