On Sunday, October 10, 2010, the DGMS community lost one of its brightest stars, most loving hearts, most engaged-in-living members - Toni Wilkerson.
Toni's life was a testament to optimism in the face of adversity, constant hope even when the struggle seemed hopeless, and the basic human recognition that by giving selflessly to others, your own soul is enriched in return.
In the emotional aftermath of her tragic passing, Toni has helped to further disprove the notion that the internet is nothing but strangers, dangers, predators, and potholes. But we at Don't Get Me Started have always known this. For it is here, in this little corner of cyberspace, where real people share real emotions, and come together to effect real change in the lives of others.
Our blog has had a link for helping others called Yes, Virginia. First inspired by a desire to keep Christmas alive for children in financially imperiled families, the scope of its purpose quickly widened far beyond holiday giving. Soon it was helping a young girl go to college, saving beloved pets after attacks, buying mattresses so a mother and son may know peaceful sleep at night, even securing a deposit for a family so they could move into their new residence.
It's scope widened once more on October 10th when we began coming together to help Toni's children with the expenses involved in releasing her beautiful spirit into the universe.
In honor of Toni WIlkerson, in memory of every laugh she gave, every virual hug she shared, every word of wisdom she offered through her years of unconditional love and friendship to the DGMS blogmunity, today we officially change the name of our fund to Namaste.
As a Buddhist, the word often popped up in her comments. One word which meant many: "I honor the place in you in which the entire Universe dwells, I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Integrity, of Wisdom and of Peace. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are One."
Love, Integrity, Wisdom & Peace. I can think of no better words to honor her spirit, and no better way to keep her spirit alive than by allowing her life to inspire us all.
In honor of Toni who always understood that in reaching out we are also reaching in.