18 Jun 2013

Part II: You Can Forgive But Never Forget

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The following is the second part of my account of when I was hit by a drunk driver whilst on patrol. You can read Part I here.

Part #2 The Healing

Five and and a half years later; wow! It just seems like a dream ago. There’s not a day that goes by I do not think of my accident. It has been a life changing event. Some days I praise God I am alive. And sometimes I feel guilty of being the lone survivor. I often reflect on the family who lost their loved one from driving under the influence. How many tears were shed, how many sleepless nights were there. In some ways I imagine the family suffered more than I; of the loss of a son, a brother, than I did from my injuries.

I had learned weeks later after coming home, where the driver was buried. I felt an obligation to make contact with the family. I located the pastor of the church, where the driver was buried. I told the pastor who I was, and explained my situation. That I was having a difficult time dealing with the life lost. I had requested if the pastor could put me in touch with the family, I gave him my phone number.

A short time later I received a call. I do not know the identity of who I was talking to. I assumed it was a close family member. I told her of my grief, and that I would like to speak to the mother. She was very understanding. Within just a few minutes the mother called. I identified myself to her. I told her I wanted to see how she was doing; I could sense the stress and pain in her voice. She began to cry. I never thought I could be wounded with so many tear drops. She probably never expected a call from me. Not just as a Law Enforcement Officer, but as a concerned human being, offering a helping hand.

Days later, while visiting the grave site I noticed that his father had passed several years earlier. Father and son were once again together. Several months later I spoke again with the mother. We talked about her son, not knowing, this would be the last time we would ever talk again.

During my last visit on the anniversary date of the accident, in shock, I saw the mothers name on the headstone. She had passed earlier that year. I was frozen; I couldn’t even come up with words for a prayer. I just knelt down in silence; and wondered if the mother inside, ever healed, or if she passed away with a broken heart.

Till this day I have not found a way to escape my haunting memories. My nightmares keep chasing me down. They find me whereever I hide. I do find some comfort, knowing that the father, son, and mother, now rest in eternal peace, as a family, side by side.

To me, the son lives on in my personal testimony. I may never be able to surrender my memories, but I can definitely take a negative, and turn it into a positive. He lives on in my call to duty, our mission, together we will save lives. This is one of my most valued tools God has given me, I can offer in the line of duty…rest in peace M.J.

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