Why are you LOUD?

Why are you LOUD?

Why are you LOUD???  I am LOUD for….

Those were the phrases echoed through the ballroom at the Sheraton on February 26, 2015 in front of nearly 1,000 KCSARC supporters. I was not one of those voices on that day…but I am today. My voice is the loudest when I write.

Why am I LOUD for KCSARC?

I am LOUD for my Aunt.


She was like a second mother to me. She had no kids of her own, so we adopted one another. We have always spent a lot of time together, but 2014 was a particularly hard year for her. I had the privilege of being at her side every day. She was confined to a bed with chronic, excruciating pain after she broke vertebras c1, c3, c7 and c8. I learned so much during those days.

I learned that joy is a state of being and not an emotion.

I learned that honesty is rooted in humility.

I learned that the wisdom gained in adversity carries scars to remind us of our strength.


I learned that it is never too late to BE LOUD.

The last lesson was the hardest for me. This story begins from a lesson I learned after my dad passed away on the last day of 2013. I told my aunt that I have come to believe that it is important to leave no words unspoken with people we love. From that day forward, we began to share our words freely, openly and with total acceptance. We shared stories filled with both tears and laughter in the midst of my daily visits. She was known by all to be sweet, soft spoken and generous. But I am here to tell you, that girl got into some “deep kimchee,” as I like to call it, when she was in her 20’s. I laughed for hours at her stories. They all had the same theme…she made the best of any situation.

One day, I was running a little late at work. When I arrived she had a look of worry, almost panic, on her face. I immediately asked if she was alright. She looked me straight in the eye and said “it is time to tell you something.” My heart sunk. Over the last 35 years, I have heard that phrase uttered over and over from survivors I have worked with. I don’t know why I KNEW the story that was about to unfold, but I did. At the age of 92, she told her story of child sexual and physical abuse, by her step-dad, for the first time. I was deeply saddened to be the first person she ever told. It began when she was 4 years old. She was silent for 88 years.

The days to follow were filled with her tearful recounting of abuse. Memories came flooding back and she processed each one with clarity as if it were from the day before. Each day that passed I could see her countenance become more at peace as she talked through the burdens of her yesteryears. My Aunt passed away on January 9th having left no words unspoken.

My journey of understanding who I was during her silent years is still unraveling. I am realizing that the BE LOUD tagline of the agency I have devoted my career to may be a message to me as much as to anyone else. I can give you a hundred and one reasons why I rarely tell people where I work or specifics about what I do. I have thought about that a lot.

What would have been different if I was able to BE LOUD about BEING LOUD?


The words written here made

The words written here made me speechless for minutes. Bad, painful, ridiculous ,touching. That's all i can say.

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