My dad’s trial is set to begin September 13th. It is unfortunate I will not be there. The decision was difficult for me to make. There are several factors that played into my decision. Fortunately my sister and my step mother will be there to represent my dad. I never thought I wouldn’t be there, but when it came down to it, I just could not go.
We had the choice to either accept a plea agreement, or go to trial. It was explained that these jury members are often liberal in their decision-making process and that they believe in rehabilitation. Armed with this knowledge my family opted for trial. They want my dad’s story to be told out loud and to real people. They want the people in the community to decide what is a fair and just punishment. I fully support this decision.
I have the best memories of my dad. Thoughts cross my mind and I want to pick up the phone, or email him. I really want to talk to him.
Losing a family member to something that is preventable is a tragedy. Drunk driving is preventable, it is much more preventable than cancer and heart disease. If you drink, do not drive. I do not condemn anyone for drinking. I don’t hate the man who killed my father. He simply did not choose correctly. When faced with the choice to pull over or stop he choose to run. That choice affects the rest of his life and the rest of my life. He came to our country to live as an American, twice. He wanted freedom and opportunity. His wife lost a husband. His choice destroyed all he hoped for. He will spend a portion of his life behind bars and possibly be returned to the country from which he fled all because of one bad choice. Over the past year I have thought about what losing of my dad means to me and I have to think about what this man has lost. No one wins.
All I am left with is the fact that this did not have to happen and sadly can’t go back and change time.
My dad had years of life experience. He had knowledge, understanding. He had foresight and he understood the idea of sacrifice for the greater good. He will be proud of his family for telling his story. If one person hears his story and decides they will not drink and drive then his life and death will have a positive impact. This is important to my dad.
Change begins with desire and it begins with one person. My dad continues to live through his story. His story must be told, many times, over and over. His earthly life has ended but his legacy is far from over. Good things can come from tragedy. His memory demands it and it’s up to us, his family, to see that it happens.
It begins with a choice, do not drink and drive. These words have never been more important to me. They should be important to you.
To sum up all that is my father he is gentle, kind, empathetic, encouraging, stubborn and always learning. He is a big kid at heart who loved his family, dogs, and his hobbies. He always believed good would come and he wants you to believe that too.
Yes, telling his story is important, it always will be.