Post by Category : Advocacy

Technology teaches and aids…  1



IMG_1428-marker 4 blogSarasota Red-Light Safety Camera Footage Leads to Surrender of Fatal Hit-and-Run Suspect

According to this June 12 report from First Coast News:

Malik Clyburn bonded out of the Sarasota County jail. He stared straight ahead despite a barrage of questions from reporters.

Why did he turn himself in? Sarasota Police Detective Kevin Schafer said, “After he saw the video we put out to you guys and you shared he said that’s when he knew he couldn’t live with himself.”

The red light camera video showing Clyburn’s 2012 gray Kia Optima striking the man in the wheelchair. The accident happened around 8:45 p.m. Tuesday at the intersection of U.S. 301 and 17th Street.

Continue to article:


No Matter how you look at this article it is a very sad and sensitive subject. This person made a devastating decision that will be with him for the rest of his life. This crash was not his fault BUT because he left the scene of an accident where a fatality occured he will now face felony charges.   He is young and had his whole life ahead of him. He is really going to need support to figure out how to maneuver this decision that will affect him for the rest of his life.


The Red light safety Camera Law in Florida, otherwise known as The Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act was established in 2010 to illustrate the solution to Red Light running and help to curb and combat this deadly behavior that is taking the life of our most precious loved ones. Contrary to the critics these cameras are doing what they were designed to do. They are saving lives and preventing negligent crashes.

This article is obvious and points out how effective these camera systems are in relation to helping law enforcement combat crime as well.

A note from ATS:
“American Traffic Solutions (ATS) is pleased that video evidence from one of its
red-light safety cameras assisted the Sarasota Police Department in their investigation of this tragic fatal collision. Authorities say the quick sharing of the video from ATS with the police, the media and the public proved to be a contributing factor in the suspect’s decision to come forward. ATS offers its condolences to all family members touched by this tragedy.

Since July 2010, Florida law enforcement agencies have requested red-light safety camera video from ATS on more than 8,000 occasions as part of official investigations ranging from hit-and-runs and kidnapping, to murder and sexual assault.”


This article does a great job of letting the public know that in no way did this young man run a red light. Just because the video footage was captured does not mean that this individual would receive a red light running violation. In fact the spokesperson for the Sarasota Police department says, “”The light turned yellow which we saw in the video. He did not run the red light or commit any traffic infraction,” said Schafer. I point this out because numerous times the critics believe that the cameras systems are a scam and that people are being ticketed for going on yellow. ” A money grabber, they say.” You will only get a ticket if your front tires go over the white line on red! This means you are blatantly ignoring a safety law that could result in death.

I personally believe that people need a reality check. Unfortunately we have proved as a society that we no longer know how to STOP ON RED. We need technology to provide us “training” so that lives can be saved! We live in a reckless and righteous society where risky behavior is occuring and people are paying the ultimate price.  People are  actually blaming a system for  “invading their privacy.”  We live in this society where people actually believe that negativity, anger and yelling loudly about their rights WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

My husband died at the hands of a negligent red light runner. He is not coming home! He will never be a father to my daughter and we will never know the beautiful life as a family we “could” of had. Instead of being angry, yelling loudly or spewing negativity towards people I made the decision to take action in hopes of preventing this type of negligent behavior that resulted in death for our family. With conviction, compassion and common sense I WANTED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Law enforcement, Education and Red Light Safety Cameras take part in saving lives and preventing deep heartache, they illustrate a step towards curbing this deadly behavior.  As motorists we have a responsibility to obey traffic safety laws so that we can keep each other safe. Technology is here to stay as long as we, as a society continue to grossly neglect that responsibility.


Empowering From the Heart  2

Never give up on what you believe in. Stay true to your purpose, your mission and your core values. The only one that can “derail” one is oneself!

April 2010 the House voted in the Mark Wandall traffic Safety Act that gives communities in Florida the consent to install red light safety cameras to reduce the risk of being seriously injured or killed by red light runners. A red light runner killed my husband Mark.

The love for my husband Mark and our daughter, Madisyn Grace; born just 2 short weeks after this preventable crash fuels my endless desire to never give in to the skepticism, fear and negative “opinions” brought on by the opposition.

I am a “tireless” advocate and I will see through the longevity of the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act. Each preventable crash protects a life from injury or death and in turn reduces economic impact to our communities. Yes; even if it is one life.

The Red light safety cameras are absolutely doing what they were designed to do. The cameras are not failing our communities; due to fear SOME of our elected officials are failing our camera programs that were put in place to protect our communities.

As I look back on this video from four years ago I still feel the pain as I did that day but I forever march forward because I know that my advocacy has saved some family from wearing my grief-laden shoes. We all have to pick our battles in life. Do not ever give up on your mission but know when to give in and work with people that may not necessarily share your compassion for your cause but are willing to compromise on a solution that works for the health and safety of all involved.

As I look back on this video I am also reminded of the constant love and belief that I had in my heart to pass this bill that still remains with me today. I have not wavered I still believe that this program will continue to heal, give hope and save lives for years to come.

Nonsense, both political and otherwise will come and go. It is unfortunately a part of our society today. It is we who have to look at ourselves and remember how and why we got here in the first place. With grace, purpose and a pure heart.

Your heart will shine through your mission and empower others. Don’t ever give up on yourself or your cause and your cause will never give up on you.

Time & Courage to Face the Empty Space  0

It has been 10 years and it still aches as if it has been 10 minutes. Life is furiously passing me by. I am strong. I have dealt with my husband’s death but not the aftermath that piles up such as the closet, the drawers, the pictures, the same bedroom set. Can you relate?

People often comment on my being so courageous. Am I really?

As I look around my home (10 years later) my husband’s physical life still has a position in our home. In every room, corner and closet.

I believe my fear is that the last remnants of my husband physically living in our home will now be absent due to his substantial presence that he so faithfully depicted.

If I clean out, get rid of or throw away his material presence will the vast hole in my heart “grow” beyond repair?  Or will that hole slightly diminish knowing his love is still present and cannot be depleted by physically removing items out of our home that we shared.

With the absence of his “items” will there be a fresh vibrant space that will allow new “light” to shine in? I am reminding myself that unlike materialistic “things” Love is ever- present, everlasting and irreplaceable.

In my heart I know it has never been about tangible “things” that has kept his memory alive but about the intangible gift of love that has lived on and taken on a new form in his untimely noticeable absence.

I have never felt it necessary to clean out until now. In order to move through my personal grief journey and not get “wedged” in it –it is time. I know now that getting rid of the “things” will not take the immeasurable love away that I was so privy to receiving when Mark was physically present in our home. In fact I can hear him whisper– “Clean out! Get Rid! Let it all go.” The murmur awakens me; in my mind I see that playful smirk on his face – one that conveys to me, “ I will always be with you, no matter the time, distance or space. “ Comfort has set in and I am now ready to clear the clutter.

I have judged myself harshly and have kept this a secret to the outside world for fear of being criticized. No matter where we are in our grief journey (whether it be 10 minutes or 10 years) none of us has the right to be critiqued.   We did not enter this journey voluntarily. From the moment we lost our partners, life took on a whole new formula. We were headed down one road and suddenly hit a big curve! We had to take a turn down a road that was unknown; there was no map and no GPS to guide us. We all took the road that we were most comfortable knowing at the time.

I am writing this in hopes that someone else out there is seeking solace.

We are in this together. We are a force to be reckoned with and each of us has our uncomfortable grief space that we are terrified to share for fear of judgment.

Trust me…trust yourself…you will know when the time is right.

If you can relate, I am hoping that by sharing my “space” it will ultimately allow you to know that wherever you are in this process it is exactly where you need to be.

*This post was first written for Modern Widows Magazine.

10/24/13 An Honored Love Lives on  2

IMG_2633- always my support IMG_2629-the great love IMG_2628-A kiss IMG_2627- take the cake       Today marks 10 years that you were taken so suddenly. It is unimaginable that I have walked these last 10 years without your physical presence. Your love changed my life and I live my life in gratitude (in part) because of it. I fell in love with your pure heart! When your love entered my life it became a huge part of who I am today. No time, space or distance will ever lessen my deep love for you. Our attachment to one another is still on a deep level- just in another way. My belief is that once you have loved someone- you don’t just stop. Your love will run through my veins for the rest of my life.

I am much less since you were taken in a tragic and preventable car crash yet I am much more because of who you were and how you loved me in this life and the magnitude of love that you have surrounded me with in your Death.

There will never be a day in my life where I will not mourn your absence.
You taught me to visualize, believe and achieve!
You taught me there is nothing in this life I cannot accomplish (if I believe in it) and that you would always support me! You showed me this in life and you have showed me this in spirit.

I thought that losing you in a moment was hard.
Raising our daughter without you is excruciating.
She needs your love, understanding and advice.
There is a slight emptiness about her that I cannot begin to satisfy.
“They” say that what you’ve never experienced you could never miss.
That is not true when it comes to the value of the human soul! I believe you are the “slight emptiness” in our daughter’s life.

When we married we promised to love, serve and protect each other well.
When you passed that night at that intersection I was able to come say goodbye. Once again I promised you I would love, serve and protect our family well and that I would make sure our daughter would be born into love and light, not tragedy or negativity. My promise to both you and our daughter is ever present in our lives today.
I do not believe that a vow dies when one spouse has to physically live on this earth without the other.
I believe that love goes on just in a different form; I have vowed to show our daughter just this.

I will always honor your memory through THE MARK WANDALL FOUNDATION ( I will educate and raise awareness regarding traffic safety and compliance through the NATIONAL COALITION FOR SAFER ROADS.( I will always make sure that the Mark Wandall traffic safety act is protected! “Those” that do not believe cannot stop me! Your love is much bigger than any of the negativity that people throw at me. I will continue to inspire and educate people on the value of life insurance and that LIFE INSURANCE TRULY EQUALS LIFE ASSURANCE! You were a gift to the financial industry! You “practiced what you preached.” You are a legacy in the Industry that you loved so much.

Through all of our causes I will show Madisyn Grace how great her father was in this life! I will show her what love truly is and never to accept anything less than the love that her father and her mother shared!

Love is a gift to be never taken for granted.
Our love together was not long enough and in fact it was way too short
but I will take that love and be grateful for it because most are never privy to experience a love like ours in a lifetime.

Your loss was my greatest fear in this life.
I miss you. I love you in so many ways! I am completely shattered and lost without you but I have truly been “Marked by Grace.” If that is the gift that I am given in this lifetime then I will take it, be grateful for it and share it always.
Continue to guide and support me. Help me to never lose faith, to always be on the side of hope and forever surround me with Grace.
May your gracious love always be present! I will forever be grateful for your life, your love and the resiliency to keep moving through each and every moment without you.

Today I celebrate you my love and the gift of love you so profoundly bestowed on my heart.

*There was never a moment in our lives where we were not laughing, loving or taking care of each other!
The pictures included in this blog are a grand, simple example of this.



It is easier; some may say to grieve in silence than grieve out loud. Your loved one…unintentionally has left this physical space and you no longer have their precious Hand to Hold. Who will you go to now when the one you needed the most …you miss? Who will you go to when you do not want to solve an issue on your own or when you have concerns and accolades alike to share regarding your children? The comfort that was there when you needed advice, support, or simply what to have for dinner is no longer physically present in your life. When your partner is no longer there to lift you up, greet you, assist you in the decision-making you suddenly feel isolated and overwhelmed.


Some of us may have relied right away on a friend, family member or a stranger that today has become your best advice-giver. You spoke up and asked for help because you knew it was a way to aid you in your newfound life!


For some of us we suddenly become solitary in all sense of the word. We didn’t necessarily want to but we knew it was the only way we would survive! (Or so we thought?)

For me I was two weeks away from having our child when my beautiful husband was “picked” out of our lives! In less than a second!! Immediately I became stoic, strong, resourceful and determined! No one or no thing would take the place of my husband and I would take care of my daughter and myself alone because I was a SURVIVOR and if my Mark was not going to Hold my Hand then no one was! I was not trying to be a hero I was just trying to survive!


Nine and a half years later I have done a lot of good on my own but they were hard, unnecessary sleepless nights, down right raw grief to deal with and way too much time dealing with “things” and trying to figure out difficult tasks on my own. If only I had asked for a “Hand to Hold?


For me it was my survival tactic. I was afraid of being seen as “weak,” unable to take care of my own affairs or unable to lead this little family to a new beginning. Deep down inside I was just so heart-broken and lonesome for my beautiful husband.


We enter this unchartered territory gaining so much responsibility in our deepest loss. We become Mom, Dad, counselor, mechanic, friend, sole provider and cheerleader. It does not matter how old or young we are, if the passing was painfully slow or furiously fast none of us can truly say we were ever prepared to say good bye to the hand that always held ours.


Whether we let someone else hold our hand or not is just another process that we all move through.

Today I am still trying to relax and allow others to “softly” hold my hand.


In our deepest, darkest space we feel abandoned.

You are not alone! All of the “Modern Widows” have most likely been where you are coming from or where you are going.  We have an experience and expertise that none of us ever imagined adding to our life resume. We are here in support to hold your hand. Not ever to replace but to help each other through.



There will always be mountains to climb, tears to wipe away and tragedies that will shake us to our core. If we embrace each other in these moments; allow one another to lend a hand, love will surround us in ways we may not have expected. When this happens healing takes place and?what will follow is a new flow of life, a new way to breathe; love and honor all that has made you what you have become.


Alone we stand for something good but together we stand for something great! Whether you are a “newbie” to our vivacious circle or a veteran we all need to know that comfort, empathy and great hope resides in our newfound space.


No one will ever replace the void that was left in your partners passing but support is nearby if you just reach out…ask for a hand.  I will hold yours if you will kindly hold mine!

* I would like to note that this article was written for Modern Widows Magazine – and was first published there prior to this blog. This is a wonderful organization for anyone seeking comfort, hope and healing. We laugh, cry and acknowledge our loss and work to move through it together!  Please sign up for the magazine or contact Carolyn Moor to become a contributor.  Peace, blessings and love my fellow (W)ise (I)independent (D)evoted (O)ptimistic (W)arriors!