Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What do you say?

I meet her for the first time tomorrow.

Most likely across the room while both of us face a judge.

She with her public defender, I with the prosecuting attorney.

I know it will be strange.

Seventeen months ago, she changed my life in a few short seconds.
How many strangers can you say that about?

In the smoky aftermath of a terrible high-speed collision, she ran.

And left me injured, struggling with a haunting guilt of "what if".

What if I'd seen her sooner?

What if I hadn't tried to swerve?

What if she's hurt badly?

What if she dies?

Robbing me of sleep, repeating like an endless record in the wee hours.

Until I remembered.

What if I hadn't seen her at all?

What if I hadn't braked?

What if swerving saved our lives?


What if Itty Bit hadn't woken up with a cough?

Mr. Prosecuting Attorney says it's a victim's chance to speak.

But what do you say?

I have very little anger. And it's somehow only intertwined with what I'm most grateful about.

Itty Bit barely wasn't with me. And I am thankful beyond belief.

The image of the carseat tipped against the smashed-in door is seared hotly into my memory. I struggle with surges of relief mixed with unbelief. How could someone care so little about taking away something so precious?

What do you say?

I'm left with more sadness than anything.

Two rounds of court-managed drug treatment have failed. Or rather she has failed them.

It seems like a slam dunk case.
Go in and play the victim card. Tell the judge how my daily life has changed. Show my scars, tell them what I can no longer do.
Walk in with my sign language interpreter, my 15 years in law enforcement, my witness husband, my totaled car, and a picture of my miracle boy who escaped the wreck.
Play it and ask for an exceptional sentence.

And in 29 months an addict will drive the same roads again.

What do you say?

Somehow I doubt my victim card will convince her to change.

Do I care about the punishment aspect? Or would I rather see her pass me on the road again in 10 months, happily clean and sober?

How do I reach her? This second chance for both of us is something I don't want to waste.

What do you say?


Elaine at Matters of the Heart) said...

Oh Rachel I will be lifting you in prayer. Specifically asking God to speak through you, he knows what he wants you to say, the words will be there. I pray you feel all the love and support that is coming your way.

Lisa said...

I would tell her exactly what you told us. It is what you feel in your heart, and if you let God lead your words and your heart, all will go well. I will be remembering you in prayer.

Mom Of Many said...

Praying for you sweet friend as I drive to Greeley...xo

Pam D said...

First of all.. make SURE you visit my blog before you go, because hey.. it might make you smile. *ahem* At least you, Rachel. Oh, and Happy Birthday, Mr. Daddy.. how's the Medicare working out for ya?
And Rachel, YOU can't change the woman. The judge can't, the sentence can't. God CAN, but she has to open up to that need first. Your best bet to see those last couple of sentences come true in your post? Is to pray. In the meantime, I would have to say that keeping other people safe while praying that she finds Him should be your first priority. What if you DON'T go in there and do all you can to keep her off the streets. And then you read that another little miracle boy wasn't so lucky because of her? Don't roll that particular set of dice; do what you can, and then let go.. and let God.

Brandi said...

You say exactly that. Praying for you Rachel, that you do reach her, and that she gets her life straight. So scary.

He & Me + 3 said...

I think that your heart is in the right place & if you go in there & try to see her the way HE sees her, you will find the right words to say. You may never know how the crash effected her or how this court case will change her life, but the only person that can really change her life is Jesus & if she doesn't know Him then you can share him with her that day by your words & actions. Praying that you have peace & that she will know that there are consequences for every choice we make, good or bad.

Anonymous said...

You've said it exactly PERFECT! You've been hurt. It could have been worse. And she left you. What you said is exactly what you need to see for OUR protection.

For HER protection, whether she receives it or not, I'd end looking directly at her and telling you...

I forgive you. Not because what you did was right or you do not deserve all the consequences lawfully you can receive. You are forgiven because I stand here forgiven, and the One that forgave my sins calls me to forgive you.

And then jump over the stands and punch her in her face...


no, no....

forget that last part, that's not nice. That was my DANA coming out...she needs CHRIST, not me.

{ahem} God will give you the words to say.

I'll be thinking and praying sweetie!

Alicia W. said...

Rachel- you need to speak just how you wrote to all of us.. Through your heart and out your mouth. That's the only way. You touched me with your words so how can you not touch a woman that could have killed you and your family? I wish you the absolute best and I'll be praying for you.

Ms. Sarah said...

Good Luck Rachel. I will be saying a prayer for you today.

Emily said...

Good luck Rachel. I know it will be difficult. I'm amazed that you have so little anger. I can feel my blood boiling just reading about it! I would just go in there and be honest to the judge and to her. Maybe if she continues to hear the truth she'll eventually start to accept it.

Foursons said...

Forgiveness does not mean you have to pardon her actions. Her actions were wrong and she has shown through subsequent behavior that she has not learned.

Forgiveness is for you, not for her.

I will say a prayer for you today. I'm sure this will be a hard day for you.

Stacy said...

I think you said it perfectly here in your post. Good luck today, and I'm sure that you will say what NEEDS to be said. She needs to know what she did to you and what she could have taken away from you. She needs to realize that her actions affect others.

I'm sure it will be hard...but I have faith that you have the strength to do what needs to be done. Prayers, my friend.

Kayla said...

Good luck, we'll be praying for you dear! :-)

Susan said...

Rachel, my thoughts and prayers are with you. In serious matters like this, I go to what I call "the bottom line". In matters like yours, the bottom line begs a Common Sense Response rather than a Gracious Heart Response. You touched on the bottom line in what you wrote, and Pam D echoed it. What if the next little Miracle Boy, or a mom of 4, or a dad of six, or an entire family doesn't survive this person's decision to drive while impaired? We leave our forgiving senses behind when we are charged with making sure those who come after us are protected from poor judgement and careless actions. Everything you said and the way you said it is reasonable and necessary to repeat in court. Good luck and God Bless as you face this unpleasant task.

Kmama said...

I just did a quick catch-up on the whole situation. Wow. I'm so sorry you've gone through something like this, and yet to have been able to put it all past you. I think what you blogged is perfectly fine to say. I'll be thinking of you.

Unknown said...

Exactly what you just said. I'll be praying!

RI Kids Consignment Sale said...
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Kameron said...

Does she get to speak too? It would be interesting to see what she has to say. if she is, in fact, ready to help herself. If she's not, at least getting her off of the roads for 29 months might save someone else's child, who didn't happen to have a cough that day.

Shanda said...

Oh girl, I unplugged yesterday so I am just reading this now. By now you will have already spoken. Your part in her life in a physical way will most likely be over; but no doubt God will be at work and bring your face to her mind several times after those moments.

Yours (or your miracle boy) may be the beautiful face that eventually leads her to realize that there has to be more in this life than what she is currently pursuing.

Please let us know what happened when you are ready to share.

We love you and rejoice with you that God protected your son!!

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

Beautiful post! So well put. I read this this morning and have been praying for you!

Mrs. Nurse Boy