November 19, 2008

I HAD TO ADD TO MY DUI DEATH LIST

Sadly, this post isn't about my art work. This post is about two deaths that occurred over the weekend in my community. The link to the article is http://www.herald-review.com/articles/2008/11/19/news/local/1037128.txt I've been around for awhile now. I've raised two young men that are responsible and trustworthy. They are hard workers, know right from wrong and don't take unacceptable risks...."usually". I'd say that describes us all. We all make a bad choice now and then. My boys knew the young men that were killed over the weekend. My husband and I knew one of them. When I heard about it my heart sank and I had to add them to my mental and visual list of people I know that have been killed in DUI accidents. The first goes back to 1979, his name was Dave. He was in a one-car DUI accident, hit by a train of all things. The second was my cousin. He was a victim that did NOT die. A drunk driver of a truck decided to play chicken with the car my cousin was a passenger in. Out of four people in the car, my cousin was the only one that lived. He never lost consciousness and had to listen to the death sounds, with a chunk of the driver's hair lodged in his hand. Permanent scars folks. Permanent scars. This shit doesn't go away. My list is much longer than these two and I will spare you from reciting all of the horror. Just know the list is long. I've always been amazed that we even call these "accidents". In my mind, shouldn't it be expected that if a car is being driven by someone intoxicated there is a good probability you will be injured, will injure someone else or die? We've all been guilty of this practice. Some of us learn from the mistake and if we have the luxury of surviving we never do it again. Some of us don't and continue to play Russian roulette with our lives and the lives of strangers. It sickens me. I may be a hard-ass but when you choose to drive drunk, or you choose to get into a car that is being driven by someone that is intoxicated this is a choice, not an accident. To say that these "accidents" are unintentional just doesn't pacify me the way it pacifies the rest of society I guess. The social acceptability of this issue angers me to my very core. So, read the article from the link attached. You will see that these boys were well mannered, athletic and smart young men, active in sports, made responsible decisions, were loved by all, and made one bad decision. One very tragic decision. So many in my community loved these kids and they will be missed. So, with the holidays upon us, let the partying begin. But please folks, if someone you know is going to drive drunk, take their keys, their purse, tackle them in the parking lot, punch their lights out, chain them to a wall, do whatever needs to be done. You will, in all likelihood, be saving lives, including theirs. A black eye in the morning is a small price to pay. It is this serious of an issue and accepting this as "just the way things are in our culture" doesn't cut it. Not for this mourner. Laurie B.

8 comments:

Amy Lilley Designs November 19, 2008 at 6:28 PM  

Oh my...I am so deeply sorry...such a terrible tragedy...I too, can look back and count the old and very young who have perished in car accidents...drunk divers and just horrific accidents...hard to shake how life can change in a flash.. we PRAY for our kids to remain safe.

blessings,
Amy

Scary Mommy November 19, 2008 at 8:19 PM  

How horrible, I'm sorry. I will NOT allow anyone to drink & drive- I'm nuts about it. I drive people crazy, but that's a small price to pay. :(

Laurie B. November 19, 2008 at 8:53 PM  

Thank you for your kind words Amy and Jill. Jill, bless your heart! You're scary in a wonderful way my friend. I would imagine you have saved countless lives. Yes, being socially unaccepted for taking a stand on the issue is no small feat but well worth the price. Safe travels my friends. With gratitude, Laurie B.

Anonymous November 19, 2008 at 9:09 PM  

Thanks for sending me the heads up on your recent blog. One can only hope this tragedy might prevent others. What a senseless loss of precious life!

Mom

Anonymous November 20, 2008 at 2:05 AM  

Steve McMillen commented on your status:

"I remember very well the wreck involving Rick and the three precious girls ... I'm holding you close in my heart right now, Laur."

Laurie B. November 20, 2008 at 2:08 AM  

Dearest Steve, whew, you brought tears to my eyes! Getting your message at 1:55 am. while I couldn't sleep. You neither? Thank you for holding me in your heart, mine continues to break over this issue. And thank you for calling me Laur. Only those that REALLY know me call me Laur. You're a wonderful friend. With gratitude, even in the face of death, Laurie B.

Anonymous November 21, 2008 at 12:35 PM  

Hi there,

I just read your blog spot. I agree a DUI is not an accident. As you said, it is definitely a choice.

But the underlying issue here, in my opinion, is a willingness, in a sacrafice/scapegoat based society to sacrafice our children to the drug (any kind) gods. So, a few kids die so the adults can keep abusing alcohol...it's sort of unspoken. And calling it an accident hides it even further. That's the motive behind "calling" them accidents.

It seems to me that most people need some kind of "substance" to affect their minds and they either aren't willing, or are unable to give it up. I wonder if that is a choice? Can someone who is addicted to a mind altering substance really give it up without the intervention of the Universe? So, there's the void.

I observe adults failing children in many ways, now that I'm a parent. Most of all, it's an unwillingness/sometimes inability? to control OURSELVES, and thus not control them when they are small. It's not what you say, but what you do that people pay attention to-as we know. Children learn from what they see.

I guess I would take the issue all the way back to the beginning of the party when the teen thought it was ok to abuse alcohol (social affirmation). Where did that social affirmation come from? The suggestion to pin them against the wall to take the keys out of their hand doesn't address the underlying issue and I think is co-dependent. If someone routinely abuses alcohol, eventually, they are going to make a risky choice (could be anything) that could cost their lives while their drunk. All you're doing by confronting a drunk is forestalling the consequences of that choice, or lack of making a choice. I think it's wiser to address the issue way before that. After they go and start drinking, it's too late. In fact, in a way, we're saying, "OK-go ahead and abuse alcohol if ya have to, JUST DON"T DRIVE!"

I'm sorry for your loss of these fellas you knew.

Sis Lisa

Patricia Hecker November 23, 2008 at 1:19 PM  

Laurie,
This is heartbreakingly sad.
We can all too easily think we are invincible and unbreakable. Truth be told, we are fragile creatures made of water and the love of those we leave behind. We are all part of one another and this makes for tragedy shared.

As the holidays approach, perhaps someone will be more careful because of this tragic loss.

Thanks for sharing~
Love,
Patricia

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"All images and content of Laurie Beggin's Glass Musings and Through The Looking Glass © 2007 Laurie Beggin, unless otherwise noted."