I was inspired this week to talk about an individual named Markki. She was a beautiful, smart, stubborn, and funny woman. Those who knew Markki by reputation feared her, but those of us who knew the real Markki — loved her.
I had the honor to know this amazing person in her life. Markki referred to me as “Miss Kathy” and showed me respect, sought my opinions and my approval. I want to believe that I helped her on her path to sobriety, but the call of the streets sent her back out.
Markki had many people in her life who loved her. She had family in recovery and support from local treatment agencies. But she had lived a certain way for a long time and found that it was hard to break the cycle of addiction. Sometimes old habits and behaviors are difficult to change.
Markki gave birth to a beautiful little girl named Amina. I was blessed enough to attend her baby shower and hold her in my arms. I was able to see the love that she had for her daughter. But that love could not keep the young mother clean. Sadly, Markki lost her battle with addiction on February 9, 2019. I stood with her Aunt Missy at her casket and said goodbye for the last time.
Last week, Safe Harbor Living in Ohio opened a women’s house named Markki’s Harbor. The memory of Markki will be remembered as a place of healing, hope and safety for women as they journey on their path to recovery from addiction.
Please join me in a moment of remembering all of those that we have lost. At the same time, please remember those that we are trying to help. Thank you.
In loving memory of Markki Bender.
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