Normally, I only blog about Marino or my experiences as a mom...this is, after all, intended to be an open love letter to my favorite boy. Tonight, though, I moved to blog about someone else, a very amazing person I met long before I even thought about being a mom.
I moved to Atlanta after I graduated college in 2000. My first job was with an advertising agency. I liked my job...we were always busy and there was always something going on. But working for corporate America didn't exactly leave me feeling all warm and fussy inside. I always thought I would work for the government, in politics, or with some liberal non-profit. I started searching to see what feminist non-profits existed in Atlanta and I found GARAL, the Georgia chapter of NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, know referred to as NARAL, Pro-Choice America). When I called to see if there were volunteer opportunities available, I spoke with the Deputy Director, Errin Vuley. Errin invited me to a meeting and that was how I got to know this amazing person.
You know how there are certain people you meet and within 2 seconds, you know you will love them? Errin was that kind of person. She was so warm and friendly. She could connect with anyone. After that first meeting, I stayed after and we talked for hours. That conversation we had on the first night we met was one of the most meaningful conversations I've had in my life. Errin was that special. Errin welcomed me to GARAL, where I ended up on the Board of Directors. Through Errin, I met so many of the other amazing women in the feminist community in Georgia. Looking at Facebook today, I was reminded how many amazing people I've had the pleasure of knowing through Errin. She brought so many people together for her causes (and for fun). Errin motivated me to get a job in politics. Yes, believe it or not, folks, I used to be passionate about something other than Marino.
After leaving GARAL, Errin went on to work for Georgians for Choice and later as the CEO of GOAL, a Girl's Journey of Growth, which is an organization that helps young women gain self-esteem and self-awareness (for more information, please go to http://www.goalonline.org/). She was also involved in many other events and organizations, like this final event she was working on, that will take place tomorrow:
Errin wanted to change the world and her passion was strong enough to motivate you to want to do the same.
My friend Ebony, who was one of my closest friends in Atlanta (who I met through Errin, of course), sent me a Facebook message today telling me to call her. She told me Errin was killed in a head-on collision yesterday morning. Unbelievable. Errin was 35. She moved so many people, she brought together a community, she was loved by countless people, she changed the lives of young women. Imagine what else she could done in her lifetime.
Today, I mourn for Errin, her family and all the people who loved her. I mourn for the loss of a beautiful spirit and all the other lives she could have touched if her life had not been cut short. Errin, you will be missed but certainly not forgotten.