Khary Penebaker Profile picture
Jun 25, 2018 14 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
On this day, June 25th, 1952, my mom, Joyce was born. Today would've been her 66th birthday. But sadly, she will forever be 27 b/c she shot & killed herself on Sept 8th 1979. This is the 39th birthday that I don't get to spend with her.
This the 39th year that I won't get to sing #HappyBirthday to her. Its only the 4th year that I've actually known her birthdate. Thanks to the @AMarch4OurLives students & an audience of strangers, I finally got to enjoy singing my mom Happy Birthday.
We take those moments for granted, but for me, this will be with me for the rest of my life. A group of strangers felt compelled to do something so amazing & life-changing for me & my mom. To allow me the chance to just live in that moment & enjoy something that I've never done
I am partially filled with a gripping & debilitating grief that won't go away. But, I am also filled with a sense of pure joy knowing that my mom is smiling down on all of us right now. She's so happy & proud of what I've become. That's what I like to tell myself
I think that she's so happy to see that I've found my way into caring hands & am doing my part to prevent tragedies like hers. What I wouldn't do just to hear my mom tell me she loved me; to hear my mom tell me how proud of me she is; just to enjoy a single hug; to see her smile
My mom was a special needs teacher. She loved her job & loved working with & teaching her students. I love the fact that my mom was trying to make the world a better place, despite the demon that was inside of her
This was her class's picture from 1976. She looked so happy & at peace
I love being able to look at this picture of her, my dad & me. I don't know what year this was, but we all looked so happy, at least in the moment of the picture. Look at this, you wouldn't know that she was hiding a pain that would eventually lead her to end her life
Today will be difficult for me. As I write this, my face is full of tears and I am a mess. I know I will get through the day, but I also know that far too many won't. By the end of the day, on average, 59 people will shoot & kill themselves like my mom, Joyce, did.
If you're in crisis, I beg of you to call a friend or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. I hope fewer and fewer families ever have to endure this and your life is worth fighting for. Your birthdays are worth celebrating with you present at them.
I ask that you respond to this thread with comments about how you're making someone else's day better. Go buy a stranger a cup of coffee. Smile at everyone you see. Do something to make the world a better place today just by being kind. And, please be kind to yourself.
I leave you w this, 1 of the most amazing moments of my life. The #Parkland students from @AMarch4OurLives & an audience of strangers being kind & decent human beings as they sing my mom Happy Birthday. Live in those moments that remind you of how much beauty exists in our world
Happy 66th birthday mom.
Your son,
My mom’s best friend just sent me this. In this message, she talks about the night before my mom shot & killed herself. Good to see, at least, that when depression didn’t control her, my mom made other people happy 🧡

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More from @kharyp

Oct 1, 2018
1 year ago today, innocent people went to the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas Strip in Nevada. A gunman fired more than 1,100 rounds killing 58 people and leaving 851 injured from gunfire and the resulting panic. Let us remember their names:
Charleston Hartfield, 34, Las Vegas
Brett Schwanbeck, 61, Bullhead City, Ariz.
Austin Meyer, 24, Reno
Pati Mestas, 67, Menifee, CA
Nicol Kimura, 38, Placentia, CA
Christopher Hazencomb, 44, Camarillo, CA
Keri Galvan, 51, Thousand Oaks, CA
Tara Roe Smith, 34, Okotoks, Alberta, CAN
Andrea Castilla, 28, Huntington Beach, California
Carly Kreibaum, 33, Sutherland, Iowa
Steve Berger, 44, Milwaukee, WI
Brian Fraser, 39, Walnut, CA
Derrick "Bo" Taylor, 56, Oxnard, California
Denise Cohen, 58, Carpinteria, CA
Laura Shipp, 50, Thousand Oaks, CA
Read 10 tweets
Jun 27, 2018
Never give up hope. When we give up, there are countless others whose lives will be hurt far more than they are now. This is when we find out what we are made of. Get involved & channel your anger into electing candidates at all levels of government.
Let's elect candidates who will fight for universal healthcare, who will fight to end gun violence, who will fight for women's rights, who will fight for our union brothers & sisters, who will fight for #Dreamers & those who want to come to America for a better life
Don't allow this dark cloud that this current administration has caused to be the reason we stop fighting. That's what they want & what they're counting on. Let's show them that America is truly better than racism, xenophobia, trans & homophobia, Islamophobia & outright hatred
Read 7 tweets
Jun 17, 2018
This #SundayMorning let us remember the #Emanuel9. The 9 innocent people who were shot & killed by a man armed w a gun & filled w hate. Let us remember them. Let us ask for grace & remember what it was like to have a president who possessed the words to speak to our broken hearts
Clementa C. Pinckney found that grace
Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd found that grace
Read 20 tweets
May 31, 2018
I got an orange tattoo for my friend @fred_guttenberg whose daughter Jaime was shot & killed in the Parkland mass shooting. I didn't get the honor of meeting Jaime, but I've met Fred & I proudly stand with him. It's position right under Dawn's name!
#NeverAgain #NeverAgainMSD
The good pain of this tattoo is nothing compared to the never-ending pain Fred & his family have to now endure. This weekend is #WearOrange weekend & I thought it was fitting that I got an orange tattoo to start the weekend & to honor Jaime. #SurvivorStrong
After Jaime's murder, Fred started Orange Ribbons For Jaime which is a 501(C)(3) foundation whose purpose will be to support causes important to Jaime in life, but also causes that will deal with why her life was tragically cut short.
Read 11 tweets
May 27, 2018
School shootings...

Columbine High School.
Heritage High School.
Deming Middle School.
Fort Gibson Middle School.
Buell Elementary School.
Lake Worth Middle School.
University of Arkansas.
Junipero Serra High School.
Santana High School.
Bishop Neumann High School.
Pacific Lutheran University.
Granite Hills High School.
Lew Wallace High School.
Martin Luther King, Jr. High School.
Appalachian School of Law.
Washington High School.
Conception Abbey.
Benjamin Tasker Middle School.
University of Arizona.
Lincoln High School.
John McDonogh High School.
Red Lion Area Junior High School.
Case Western Reserve University.
Rocori High School.
Ballou High School.
Randallstown High School.
Bowen High School.
Read 21 tweets
Mar 24, 2018
My name is Khary Penebaker. I’m the Everytown Survivor Fellow for WI, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America volunteer & proud WAVE board member.
#SurvivorStrong #MarchForOurLives
I’m glad to see you all at this march, but I wish the context of it didn’t exist. I’m inspired by the young folks here & around the country who’ve mobilized and organized around the issue of gun violence prevention
Read 38 tweets

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