Hello my beloved supporters! After close to 100 hours of combined labor with my amazing angel of a web designer Eric Frederick I am ecstatic to announce the birth of The ELLA Foundation™ website!
The website weight is not to measured in pounds and ounces but in the amount of love and pain that went into its creation. As I sit and write this I feel my Ella on my lap with her arm around my neck, whispering in my ear, as she often did, “Hey Mama, you know I love you right?” To which I would always whisper back, “Hey Ella, I love you too…you know that right?”
The night Ella was murdered I sat outside my house for six hours while the police processed the crime scene. Close to dawn the coroner wheeled my daughter’s lifeless body outside, ready to take her away from me. I was allowed only a brief moment to see her, talk to her, touch her. The body bag was zipped up to her chin to shield me from the sight of her beaten and abused body. Blood, both dried and fresh, covered her beautiful face. At that moment all I wanted was to die, drop dead on the spot, so I could find my Ella, hold her, fix her, tell her how sorry I was for not being there to save her. But I could not. I still had a son to live for so instead I lost my legs, screamed, cried, and fought the police off of me when they tried to stop me from touching her. I could not see anyone but Ella. I could hear nothing but the beating of my heart in my ears. Life became a black hole and Ella was the only point of reference I had to see by.
I covered her body with mine and kept repeating, “I love you, don’t leave me” over and over and over again. I kissed my daughter and tasted her blood in my mouth. At that moment, when I put my warm lips to her cold ones, I felt her touch my neck and heard her say…
“Hey Mama, you know I love you right?”
So, of course, I put my lips to her ear and whispered back, “Hey Ella, I love you too…you know that right?”
The last time I saw my daughter was on February 14, 2007, the day of her cremation. I miss her body more than words can express but her soul is as close as ever. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t feel her presence next to me. Every day she puts her hand on my neck and whispers in my ear she loves me. Every day she sets my soul at ease. She guides me through the horrible twists and turns my path takes since I lost her. I love her every moment, with every breath and heartbeat, and I know she does the same for me.
Ella spent four years bringing light to my days, songs to my ears, smiles to my lips, beauty to my eyes, and love to my heart. I hope The ELLA Foundation™ is able to bring the same to you. Please take some time out of your hectic day, grab a cup of coffee, your favorite wine, your child, your cat, whatever helps you to relax, and spend a little time to get to know both The ELLA Foundation™ and me, Charity Lee, a bit better.
The site is simple and straightforward to reflect what the love in our lives should be. The colors, pink and purple, are Ella’s favorites. The words are all mine but they are, and always will be, inspired by both Paris and Ella. If not for my children I would have no words to speak, no love in my heart or my life. My children were my world and satellites of love. The loss of them knocked me out of orbit and drove me to create The ELLA Foundation™. They are no longer here in my arms to hold and love so I chose to take the love they would have received and give it to the world instead. I am back in orbit again.
I could not do the work I do without the support, encouragement, and love hundreds of you offer me on a daily basis. Words cannot begin to express how grateful I am to have each and every one of you in my life. Whether you have been with me since the beginning of my nightmare or have only recently found The ELLA Foundation™, whether I know you personally or virtually, my Ella and I love you all.
My friends let us keep my Ella Bella alive by spreading her name and her love far and wide. Let us show the world what the power of love is capable of. Let us use our Empathy, Love, Lessons, and Action™ to make the world a loving, compassionate, just, and humane place for our children and ourselves to live in.
Butterfly kisses from Ella and I both.