Pictured above: During an orientation for Journey of Hope participants, Jack Payden-Travers and Connie Watts point to the route the entourage will travel as they make their way across the state.
This is the second in what will be a series of posts from Robert Hoelscher, campaign coordinator for Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation and a participant in the Journey of Hope...From Violence to Healing.
Last night I dreamt that I kept going into the wrong rooms - naked - at the hotel where we are staying these first four nights. Five bucks to any shrink (amateur or otherwise) that can translate that piece of "too much information."
This morning while out on a run I was looking for a store to grab some orange juice and a snack bar. No surprise, I find a neighborhood 7/11. There's a million of them of course. But there were only a few dozen in 1961 when my father, the manager of a suburban Houston 7/11, was murdered during a robbery. I've gone into 7/11's a million times since then and rarely associate the visits with my father. But today it felt different. Today I was remembering.
This morning we had our orientation and training session. We started out by being led in song, "break 'em on down these walls between us, break 'em on down."
Then everyone introduced themselves and I saw a glimpse of the power and poignancy of these stories. We not only have murder victim family members, but also family members of death row inmates, and former prisoners who were exonerated from death row. Along with the dedicated activists who are the logistical backbone of this great project. I can sense the magic about to be unleashed.
We leave in about an hour for the kick-off march and rally. I have my Journey of Hope t-shirt and I'm good to go.