Text and images © Purple Project. All rights reserved.

On August 19, 2012, our daughter, Alisha Bromfield, and her unborn child were brutally murdered. My husband, Joe, and I were devastated when we heard the news. After the shock wore off, we each struggled with grief in our own way. I was left with two overwhelming emotions, anger and guilt. I felt so much rage for the man who took Alisha and her baby, already named Ava Lucille, from us. I also felt guilt, wondering if there was something I could have done to save them. A mother’s job is to protect her children and I felt that I had failed. 

 

After two trials, the man who killed Alisha and Ava was convicted of both of their murders. Although greatly relieved, we were left with the aftermath of tremendous loss. My ongoing prayer to God was to heal our family’s broken hearts. I kept hearing a voice deep inside whisper, “Choose love, not hate.” I knew my anger would destroy me if I didn’t learn how to let it go. I had to replace it with something. It came to me that I needed to begin focusing on the love that I had for my daughter and granddaughter. It was time for our family to honor Alisha and Ava by giving back the love Alisha had so freely given us.

 

Shortly after that, the Purple Project was born. Our mission is to keep our daughter and granddaughter’s memories alive by extending love and hope to people in need. To date, we’ve done this by giving financial and emotional support to single mothers in the community. This year, we've made a decision to only sponsor one young mom annually so we can shift our focus to helping others heal from the death of a loved one. Because we struggled to find affordable help dealing with our anguish, The Purple Project is now moving in the direction of grief counseling and retreats. As time moves on, our love for Alisha and Ava continues to grow and give back in ways we that we never could have imagined. 

 

- Sherry Anicich and family