March 31st. It is my least favorite day of the year. It is the day of the year I dread the most. It was on this date in 1991 that I experienced the worst day of my life. Since that date happened to fall on Easter that year, Easter has become a holiday I despise. A holiday I resent. It is a holiday that brings so much hope to so many. Christ was resurrected. Nevermind the fact that I don’t believe it, the general focus of this holiday – faith, hope, rebirth – fills me with seething anger. All because I lost someone I loved on Easter. All because fate brought a drunk teenager barreling down the wrong side of the interstate, ending three lives including his own.
Last year, on this date, I talked about my inability to forgive. How I felt that despite it all, I should try to find a way to forgive. I know now not only that I can’t forgive, but I won’t. Only two weeks ago, I learned that a good friend of mine from high school and college, who I had unfortunately lost touch with, had been killed by a drunk driver four years ago. A drunk driver with a blood alcohol level of .38. A drunk driver who already had two DUI convictions before he found his drunken way onto the road and slammed into my friend. Luckily, this man is serving the maximum sentence of fifteen years for killing Sherri, and he was denied his first parole, thanks to a phalanx of family and friends, along with the support of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. Still, it doesn’t seem like enough. No one has to drive drunk. And to think that there are people out there who have imbibed enough alcohol they can probably barely walk getting into their cars and driving away as if they are invincible. To think that there are people who do this repeatedly, get punished for it, and still don’t change their ways. I can’t forgive these people. I won’t. They don’t deserve my forgiveness. They have robbed the world of three young lives that were worth something, and for what? Simply because they have no common sense. I don’t judge them for being alcoholics. I judge them for driving while intoxicated. I wonder, would they change their ways if it was their son or daughter they had to identify, cold and dead on a metal table?
Perhaps I preach too much about this subject, but it is something that has permanently changed my life. It has changed my personality. Sixteen years have passed, and still it can seem like yesterday. The pain feels the same. The loss feels the same. Does the memory fade as the years pass? Of course. But I know I will never forget exactly what I felt on
This Easter, if you intend to give a little more, consider donating time and/or money to the efforts of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers. They are a tireless organization dedicated to eliminating drunk driving, and they assist grieving families in their fight to prosecute the drunk drivers who killed their loved ones.