Thursday, November 19, 2009

Getting back in the groove

I've been gone forever.

I have been sick, the boys have been sick, I am sick...again. I am on my third cold in four weeks and this one is, I believe, developing into a sinus infection. Just in time for Thanksgiving I might add. I have a sinus infection over Thanksgiving EVERY SINGLE YEAR! It's like clockwork. I can measure time by it.

Anyway, I am starting to come out of my cold medicine induced haze and trying to get back to life.

Today is a birthday. The birthday of my uncle Kevin. He died when he was 35, a year younger than I am now. He has been gone for a long time now, somewhere close to 16 years, maybe 17. The sad thing is, that his death was pointless.

He didn't die in a war defending his country.

He didn't give his life to save someone else's.

He didn't make a great sacrifice, his life was stollen from him.

He was killed. Murdered if you ask me, by a stupid man. A man with weaknesses. Addictions that he couldn't control.

My uncle was hit, on a freeway, on his way home from vacation. The man who hit him was lighting his bong. He crossed over into the opposite lane of traffic and hit my uncles truck head on.

He died because he was crushed by the steering wheel. They had to cut the steering wheel off to get him out of the truck. He didn't die immediately, he was screaming and in pain for HOURS! Brenda, his girlfriend, was pinned underneath him and had to listen to his screams for help, knowing she couldn't do anything to help him. She had serious injuries as well that have changed her life for the worse. She was still in the hospital on the day of Kevin's funeral. Cherie, Brenda's daughter was ejected from the vehicle. She landed on her face on the road. She was at the funeral with her broken arm and her damaged face.

There is a hole in our family where my uncle belongs.

There are holes in many families where someone, who was loved, is now missing. Missing because someone made the choice to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

I don't care if you're Superman, I don't care how FINE you feel, I don't care how competent you feel, if you have been drinking, or using drugs PLEASE do not put keys in the ignition of a vehicle and turn it on. Call a cab, call a friend, call your parents, walk, ride a bus, get home some other way.

I will never EVER forget the sound of my mother's gasp and the sight of the phone flying across the room as the Sheriff told her that her baby brother was in an accident and he didn't make it, and could my mom please make the two hour drive to be there when the sheriff came to tell her parents that their son was dead.

I will never forget that numb, lip tingling feeling. The surreal feeling that life had changed and my consciousness hadn't caught up yet. The drive that seemed endless, the look on my grandma's face when we walked in the door and she turned and put her face in the corner of the wall and said "No no no, I don't want to know, don't tell me, I can't hear it!" She already knew, she KNEW, in that sense that mother's get, she knew her son was gone, and she couldn't bear to hear the words that would make it all real.

Please, PLEASE don't drive under the influence!

Don't leave parents without children, don't leave children without parents. You may make it home alright this time, but that's just sheer luck, you were LUCKY that someone isn't getting a phone call tonight saying "I'm sorry, we did everything we could".


Arnden said...

I have no beautiful words to express my sympathy, but I want to send you a virtual hug from a stranger and thank you for sharing the story of your uncle.

DottieLou said...

i think I know some people I would like to show this to

Julie said...

Boy you have been gone for awhile! I hope you all get well soon. What a sad story about your uncle. I lost a friend in high school because someone wasn't very smart!

Melissa said...

Thanks for sharing. It's always a good reminder to hug those you love a little tighter. Thanks for your encouraging words. It's been a rough week. I had a hysterectomy. You understand. I tried not to tell too many people, but AJ announced it to his school class.

Liz said...

As hard as these stories are to tell - people need to hear them.