I’ve written often this year about how thankful I am for many things that happen on this little Vigil for Justice. I am fortunate my little vigil is at Holy Cross — where I’ve had such great experiences talking to people and where I have constant reminders of the wonderful teachers I had.
Today I am grateful again for neighbors — people in the Worcester area who stop to talk to me. People stop on their way to work, some people drive to Holy Cross just to meet me, people stop when they are simply driving by. I’ve had so many interesting and helpful conversations. It “normalizes” things. We talk about our dogs, about trees, about hardships, about deaths, about sexual assault in the military, about genital mutilation, about sexually abusive priests and the power structure that protects them — we talk about anything!
But something new began to happen recently. When I am out walking, miles from Holy Cross and not “vigiling” and not carrying signs, people wave and honk at me. It blew me away the first day when it happened many times. Yesterday it happened again — drivers tooting friendly hellos and waving at me — several miles from Holy Cross where I have the Vigil. One driver tooted his hello for a quarter mile down the road when I was out walking — it was hilarious! People know me from the Vigil!
I really never predicted so much of what I have experienced on this road. All I knew was that I could not be silent or walk away after my letters to Holy Cross were ignored for years. I knew I had to take a stand and make this ordeal public. All the rest — nice people, unexpected support, good conversations — it’s all wonderful and totally not imagined ahead of time. I am a very blessed and fortunate woman to have this experience — and to have this experience in the midst of exposing how poorly Holy Cross handles sexual assault — well, sometimes the world works in a sweet way.