A year ago today, Alyssa Alhadeff was one of the 17 victims killed in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. In honor of the anniversary of the tragic event, mom Lori wrote a heartbreaking letter to her deceased daughter.
“Last Valentine’s Day was the last time I saw you… Today, like all days, I remember,” opens the letter, which Alhadeff posted on dearworld.org. She reminisces on the details of that day, including her daughter’s last words: “‘I love you,’ I said. ‘I love you, too,’ you said. Valentine’s Day. The last time I saw you alive.”
The 44-year-old former teacher goes on to update her daughter on everything that’s happened over the past year along with how her family is doing. She writes that Alyssa’s brothers miss her terribly (“they say thank you for convincing dad to get unlimited WiFi”), that “Dad fights for you every day,” and that “Grammy” became a school safety activist.
Alhadeff tells Alyssa that “there are things I do in your memory that I never thought I could or would ever do.” She explains that not only did she win a seat on the school board, but she also founded Make Our Schools Safe, a non-profit dedicated to improving school safety procedures.
The mom then mentions Alyssa’s Law, which was named after her 14-year-old daughter and requires silent panic buttons in all New Jersey schools. When pressed, the buttons alert authorities in the event of an emergency like a school shooting similar to the one that took Alyssa’s life.
“As I remember you, grief washes over me. But that grief emboldens me to fight for change,” Alhadeff concludes. “I wish I could take all the bullets for you. It’s been a year since I saw you… It feels like yesterday. I just want you back.”