ELLA Foundation Blog

Dear Mothers...

On April 12, exactly one week from today, I will be sitting with my sister-from-another-mother, Marilyn Shankle-Grant. We will sit together that day as two mothers; two mothers brought together and bonded by two things: murder and love. 

We will sit together that day to face what no mother should ever have to face: the loss, or possible loss, of their child. 

April 12 is what would have been my Ella Lee's 15th birthday. Would have been becuase she was murdered by her big brother ten years ago. I normally try to celebrate the day with my 3-year old son Phoenix, and a cake, and a letter of all I think, I hope, I would have said to Ella at 15. 

April 12 is also now the day that Marilyn's son is scheduled to be executed by the State of Texas. Just the insanity of scheduling the death of your child should be enough to cause any mother's mind to reel & heart to break.

Instead of celebrating Ella's birth as we have in the past, Marilyn and I will sit together this day, this year,  as two mothers in the grips of death. 

I don't know what will happen this year on April 12.

I do know that no matter what happens, Marilyn and I both will continue to do what we mothers do best...love and carry on the best we can for the children we have left to hold. 

I also know that no matter what happens on April 12, the love and the enduring will never be over for Marilyn and I. No matter what happens to our children, we will feel it. No matter the day. 

April 12 is going to be a day like no other, but at the same time, April 12 will be a day like all others for mothers like Marilyn and I. Mothers who love our children. Mothers who mourn our children. Mothers who do their best to do what is best under conditions like no other. 

Next week, I will remember my Ella on her birthday. I will be with Marilyn and Paul, even if it means being witness to a murder. And then I will fly home, take my Phoenix to soccer practice, rest for a day with family, then pick up the fight all over again. 

Becuase really...what else is there to do but continue, with all your passion and might, to create beauty out of pain, life out of death, and some sort of sense out of all the insanity that is your life? 

It's what we mothers do.


To learn more about Paul Storey's case and cause, please click here

To email the Texas Board of Pardons & Paroles to ask for clemency for Paul and his mother, please click here

To learn more about The ELLA Foundation, please visit our website at www.ellafound.org or like us on Facebook or Twitter.

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Topics: Charity Lee, Motherhood, anti-death penalty, capital punishment, TDCJ, The ELLA Foundation