Prayer Vigil for Jamie Gallegos
When I was posting those press releases yesterday there was something missing that was integral to the message. Who was Jamie and why did this happen to her? How do some people in our society lose sight of how valuable life is? I think those people must get lost early on and they never find their way back. I don’t know. I don’t understand it.
Arline and I needed to see the human side of what happened so we went to the prayer vigil for Jamie at Christ The Victor last night – we met a lot of new people, saw some familiar faces and met Jamie through stories of her life. Pastor Larry Kassebaum lead us through the spiritual aspects of trying to come to terms with this tragedy. There were music, hymns and prayers. There was a reassuring confirmation that although Jamie was taken too soon, she is in the arms of God. There were pies, and there were tears of sorrow.
As Pastor Kassebaum was nearing the end of what he had to offer Tony walked in, shook hands with the pastor and sat down. Tony placed his head deep in his lap and cried silently. Tony and Jamie had only been married a short time. One of Jamie’s co-workers said that Jamie told her when she met Tony that “I can finally breath again”. Testimony on where she came from and where she was now. And where she wanted to go. They were happy. Tony has a young daughter, Jamie two sons age seven and ten. All full of love, hope and future.
The pastor asked for family, friends and co-workers to share their stories of Jamie. Most were hesitant; too sad, too soon. Then Tony got up.
Through heavy emotions and courage, Tony told us why he wanted to be there this night; he didn’t want Jamie to be remembered as the woman that got shot in a parking lot. There was so much more to her… and to them. There were spontaneous vacations. He cracked an inside joke – “look want happens on a spontaneous vacations” and pointed to a ring on his finger. There were laughter in the tears.
Jamie’s Father got up and hugged Tony and they had private words. Jaimie’s Father kept clutching his heart – broken and beat but so full of love for his girl. Jamie’s Father had just flown in from Pittsburgh – it was the first time he and Tony had met.
The lives affected by this are many. A Grandfather will raise his Grand-kids. A husband will walk into a silent house without the normal smells of dinner cooking or the well timed buzzzzzzzzzzzzz of the dryer going off when you open the door coming home from work. It will be devoid of any tangible evidence that a really neat woman once lived there. All Tony has left are memories, photos and dreams. The touch of his wife has been taken away.
Jamie worked in the ER at Banner, she helped save lives. Besides her kids and new life with Tony, she loved her job. A co-worker got up and described how Jamie had taken her under her wing when she went on the ER floor. Jamie told her not to be scared, that she could do this. They became “The Dynamic Duo”; making it happen on the ER floor in record time and damn proud of it. There were high fives.
Another co-worker and committee person went to the mic and was talking about relationships and I think this point struck me as the most poignant of the night. She had seen Jamie before Tony. She had seen the distress and chaos in her eyes and actions. She said (and I am paraphrasing here), “If you are in a relationship, and something is not working – if you don’t feel you are absolutely cherished, get help. There are counselors, pastors… people to talk to. You need to work it out. If you do not feel loved as you feel you should be, get help or get out”.
When a life is in turmoil as Jamie’s was with her ex-husband, it shows. There are signs and the people that love you have a responsibility to act when something is not right. It’s part of the “marriage contract” between friends and family.
Tony mentioned that we shouldn’t save “I Love You” for ending a phone conversation, or heading out the door to go to the store or coming out of the bathroom (more laughter through the tears). Save “I Love You” for walking through the park and give her a quick jab with the elbow, then say it. Save it for the times we don’t normally use it. Let “I Love You” come at a time when it means I cherish you.
From the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- One in four women will experience domestic violence
- An estimate 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year
- The majority (73%) of family violence victims are female. Females were 84% of spousal abuse victims and 86% at the hands of a boyfriend
Because of the tragic loss of Jamie Gallegos and the impact on her family, friends and co-workers we have added a new links category, Resources for Domestic Violence. If you feel threatened in a relationship or you suspect someone you know is, we urge you to please use this information.
Jeff and Arline Studley
Posted on November 5, 2010, in From STHCW, In the news, Meeting and tagged crime, jamie gallegos, news, PCSO, pinal county, san tan heights community watch, san tan valley, sthcw. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.