Note: Kathy’s Legacy does not share photos of the children's faces or use their real names. Names have been changed to protect their privacy.
In early February 2013, Isabel met with her estranged husband in the parking lot of the Imperial Beach Sheriff substation for a court-ordered visitation with their two daughters, Heather and Hailey, ages 1 and 3 respectfully. While exiting the car she came face to face with the girls’ father who began stabbing her multiple times while the girls watched. He then grabbed the children from the car, rang the doorbell of the sheriff substation and told officers that he had just killed his wife in the parking lot.
After this horrific incident, Heather and Hailey’s grandparents legally adopted them. As with many children who witness the murder of a loved one, the girls were unable to sleep alone tormented by nightmares that resulted in screaming and crying. They love and care for the girls as they grow up and work through different phases of trauma.
Heather and Hailey became part of the Silver Lining program in 2019 after being referred by the District Attorney’s Office. After learning that the girls were sleeping on mattresses held up by cinder blocks, Kathy’s Legacy donated two brand new beds with pink bedding for the girls.
It is important for children in the Silver Lining program to not only receive necessary financial assistance but help with the mental and emotional components of experiencing trauma. Hailey, the eldest of the two daughters, struggles that she has similar physical features to her father, in particular her hair. Kathy’s Legacy provides resources for her to experience self-acceptance and confidence in her own skin. One of the girls has experienced severe depression and withdrawal. Unfortunately, this is a common and often long-term effect of trauma.
Both Hailey and Heather enjoy creatively expressing themselves through art and sewing. They have been taking classes funded by Kathy’s Legacy, which has been a positive outlet for them. To read about the impact these classes have had on children of trauma, visit our Healing Through Art blog from May 2020.
Kathy’s Legacy is honored to walk with this beautiful family through their grief journey providing tangible and emotional assistance.