Letter from Cara's Mom

My name is Melody Hafner and I am a mother who has lost her child to dating violence.  The character Cara is based on the experiences of my daughter, Dayna Fure.  On May 24, 2004, just 10 days after her 18th birthday, Dayna’s ex-boyfriend shot and killed her and then killed himself.

I feel that my daughter did what she thought was right, but many people that she went to for advice needed more knowledge.  Had we known then what we know now, could we have saved her?  The answer to that question is “I don’t know,” but I hope that in experiencing In Their Shoes you have gotten more information about what to look and listen for.

I have learned from many of Dayna’s friends, as well as acquaintances who didn’t even know her, that something as simple as a smile or asking, “How are you?” can change the whole outcome of a moment or a day.  Think about that for a moment…so simple and it doesn’t cost a cent!  A willingness to listen, to get involved, and to take someone’s feelings seriously can change someone’s life without you even realizing it.

My daughter Dayna was all about being positive and making changes to improve the lives of others.  If just one life is saved by this effort, it will be worth the time and money because Dayna’s legacy will have a chance to live on.  Thank you for coming together today to talk, listen, and learn.

Melody Hafner