Yes, it is!

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Tragedy (or Tragedies) of Driving Under the Influence

This is a topic that has been on my mind for some time, especially during this past week when one of our Whiteside students was killed in an accident that was a result of driving under the influence.  I'll get to that in a moment. 
I'm not ashamed any longer to admit that I grew up in an alcoholic home.  I remember as a child having to ride with my drunk dad.  I remember him coming home reeking of alcohol.  I remember the violence that came after my dad fueled up with alcohol.  I grew up terrified of alcohol.  For a long time, I couldn't even stand the smell of alcohol, mainly beer, without feeling nauseated.  Being around alcohol used to scare me.  I am thankful for that as it probably prevented me from following in my dad's footsteps.  I've never even tried illegal drugs. I have been a designated driver in the past because people knew of my drinking (or non-drinking) history.  I admit that I now enjoy the occasional glass of wine or mixed drink but I know my limit is no more than one drink. Having said all that, I have no tolerance for drivers who take the wheel knowing all too well the risks involved, not only to themselves but especially to innocent victims. 
My family's pastor was nearly killed in an accident last October.  He was involved in a 5-car crash which began with a drunk driver.  Pastor B suffered numerous injuries, including serious head injuries.  And to make matters worse, Pastor B is insulin dependent diabetic.  In case you don't know, those who suffer with diabetes often experience slower healing from injuries.  Since the accident, Pastor B has dealt with many ramifications as a result of the injuries he suffered in the accident.  As tragic as the accident, one good thing came out of it.  With all of the injuries Pastor B suffered, he underwent several medical tests/x-rays and during one of those procedures, a tumor was discovered on one of the kidneys which was subsequently removed.    As I mentioned in the previous post, Pastor B preached this morning from his chair.  The reason for that is because Pastor B has been having some problems with one of his feet which requires him to keep it elevated just about all of the time.  Hopefully, he will experience complete healing soon.  And that the drunk driver will pay the consequences very soon after being free to walk since the accident. 
A week ago this past Friday, a serious accident occurred in our community.  The accident claimed the life of a beautiful 12-year old girl, Amari, an only child to her mother.  It was so preventable just as the case involving Pastor B was preventable.  In this case, the other drive swerved into the car Amari was riding in.  Amari survived the crash only to succumb to bleeding during emergency surgery.  I was heartbroken after reading that Amari was a fellow Whiteside School warrior.  She was beautiful, polite, and well-liked by her teachers and fellow students.  Her life was ended all too soon all because a young man, high on heroin, decided to get behind the wheel while he was under the influence.  A preventable situation.  And a very sad outcome.  I was pleased to read that young man was arrested within a couple of days of the accident.  Too bad that didn't happen in the case of Pastor B, who nearly lost his own life to a drunk driver.  Here it is, just a little over a week later and I couldn't help but remember this beautiful life cut too short.  I can not imagine the pain that Amari's mother must be experiencing having to bury her only child and then celebrate Easter, all in one week.  I just cannot imagine.  I don't want to imagine.  To hear about the loss of this beautiful girl has affected me.  I don't know if it's because I am also a Whiteside parent or if it's just because I am a mother.  Here is a link to the story. RIP Amari.

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