Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lord, hear our prayer, ease our hearts

I normally try to only post about things that bring me joy or make me laugh. But today I feel I must share a tragic event.

Today, DearHusband, DaughterA and I did something we and close to a hundred other people should never, ever have to do.

We attended the memorial service for a former teammate of my daughters', a bubbly, sparkly and joyful young woman whom my husband enjoyed coaching, and we had the privilege of sharing ten years of our life with when it revolved around tournament softball.

Chrystal Anne Hansen, age 22, engaged to be married and six weeks pregnant was killed in a car accident, only 3 minutes from her home, by a drunk driver who blew through a red light and t-boned her in an intersection with such force that it pushed her car through the intersection and into the roadside ditch. Her fiancee later suffered a brain aneurysm. The drunk who committed double-murder with a ton of moving metal, walked away without a scratch.

If so moved, you can read the newspapers articles here.

The service was a wonderful gathering of friends and family, and I feel we were again privileged to be in the company of those who loved her, to listen as they shared stories of laughter and adventures enjoyed by Chrystal. I thanked her father for having the service and for giving us the opportunity to share in the obvious love that abounded in the room full of people.

It must be true, that God gives you the strength when you need it. I don't know how her parents were able to be there, dry eyed and calm, actually giving comfort to others as well as, hopefully, gaining comfort from those around them.

Her father said something, while we stood near the table that held lovingly made posters and collages of photos taken throughout Chrystal's life, that continues to reduce me to tears each time I think of it. It a quiet voice, he said to my husband, "I was going to be a Grandpa..."

All I can say of the man who killed Chrystal and her unborn child, injured her beloved and forever changed the lives of their families, May God have mercy on his soul. Because, believe me I certainly would not, do not, will not ever. In my humble opinion, I believe we should bring back public floggings for people who deliberately get behind the wheel after drinking and cause the death of another person. It wasn't an accident that he drank and drove, you cannot accidentally get behind the wheel while impaired. It was a conscious choice he made, and now others will continue to suffer for it. The current slap on the wrist these criminals get isn't sufficient. They should be flogged, and perhaps, if they survive the shock and injury of having the flesh stripped from their backs, the memory of the pain and humiliation will keep them from drinking and driving again.

Please forgive me if I sound hateful, if my words injure you, my innocent readers, but justice needs to be served and examples set.

An example DearHusband and I have set for our children, friends and family is a zero tolerance for alcohol consumption in relation to the privilege of driving motor vehicles. Knowing the alcohol impairs judgement, we have removed the danger of inaccurately judging our level of impairment by making it a HARD AND FAST RULE, if we have even so much as a sip of alcohol, we do not get behind the wheel! Is that an inconvenience? You bet it is! It means only one of us can imbibe when we are out to dinner by ourselves, as we live too far out into the county to take a cab. But let me tell you, I and my beloved, will never take the chance of injuring ourselves, or worse yet, someone else by a poor decision that might forever change the lives of those we come in contact with.

I know this is, what some may think, an extreme attitude, but once again, a drunk driver has taken a life, two lives actually this time, and I hope my children will remember this event and our family rule when they are out for the evening and choose to have a drink. Honor the memories they have of Chrystal, remember the terrible impact on the lives of all who knew her, step up and be responsible for their own decisions, and put the car keys away when the alcoholic beverages come out.

I pray God give comfort and strength to the families and friends of Chrystal, may they find comfort in shared memories, may time ease the pain of separation, and the promise of seeing her again, restored and in heaven give us peace.

No comments:

Post a Comment