My cell phone rang and I saw that it was Sarah. I figured she was calling to wish us a "Merry Christmas" so I answered with a cheery "Hello!". I will NEVER, EVER forget the sound of the "hello" I got back. It chilled me to the bone and brought my stomach to my throat. She told me to sit down and although I didn't know what was up I already had tears in my eyes. She told me that her little sister Laura, who was only 25, and Laura's fiancee Steve had been in a car accident early that morning. They were on there way home after doing some Christmas shopping after Laura got off work. She had been really excited cause she was able to buy presents for her whole family that year. It was also her nephew Isaac's (Sarah's son) first Christmas so it was going to be a good one. Another car had crossed the center line and hit them head on, neither one of them survived (nor had the 4 boys in the other car). I was at a loss for words never in my life had I felt like I did at the moment. I was mourning the loss of a friend/little sister AND feeling so much pain FOR Sarah. You see, I feel like Sarah is my sister even if we don't share blood. I love her as much as I love everyone else in my family. I knew she was in unbelievable emotional pain. I didn't know how to help ( I still don't) all I knew is that I wanted to fix it and fix it NOW! I also knew that her mom and sister Amanda would be hurting. I knew that Sarah would want to be strong for them, and I wanted to make sure I was strong for Sarah and that she had someone there to be strong for her. Lucky for me she has good taste in husbands, because I knew that although I couldn't be there, Bob would be strong for her.
As the next days past I got all my news from 3000 miles away. The more news I got the more angry I got. The boy who was driving was driving on a suspended license. He should not have been on the road. Then it was confirmed that his blood alcohol level was WAY over the limit for a person of legal drinking age (which he was not). This whole tragic, terrible thing could have been prevented.
So it has almost been a year. I am still mad, I am still sad and my best friend is about to face her second Christmas without her little sister. I am afraid that this one will hurt even more because last year they were all so numb from the newness of it all.
I asked myself today what can I do? I cannot fix this. I know that. No one can, but there are things I can do. I will NEVER drink and drive. I NEVER, EVER, EVER, had anyway. I have always been ULTRA careful about that. I am the type that doesn't get behind the wheel with even ONE drink in her system, I can talk to my students (even though they are very young) about not drinking and driving, I can talk to my children about it as the years go on, I can also write this blog and get it out there. Tell Laura and Steve's story so EVERYONE who reads this can see how many lives drinking and driving can effect.
So I write this for her:
and for them:
Sarah and Isaac
beacause I love them and I think that MAYBE if someone reads this and remembers they will think twice before getting into a car after they have been drinking.