Lorna Ashton wipes away tears as she remembers the tragic details of her teenage son’s murder. Vali Ashton went out with a friend the night of Nov. 3, 2006, and never came back. "He never came back," she repeats for emphasis.
The 18-year-old’s body was found in a creek on Nov. 20. Ashton buried him last year, one day before Christmas. "It’s very painful," she said. "Very painful."
Ashton was one of a number of mothers and grandmothers at a Christmas party yesterday sponsored by United Mothers Opposing Violence Everywhere. They paid tribute to their children, gunned down across the GTA.
It is the first time the group has gathered at Christmastime and it was a respite for many who have been overcome by grief and their memories.
For Nancy Logan, yesterday’s party was an opportunity to put away the pain — even if only temporarily. In March, Logan’s 21-year-old son Jonathan Chambers was kidnapped in Markham and then murdered in Barrie.
"Every day is a struggle," she said, fighting back tears.