You are about to read the second half of my two-part post. If you missed yesterday’s post, you will want to read it first here before reading part II.
My mother has never showed a hint of anger towards anyone over this accident. Yes she said, he was going too fast. Yes, he most certainly should have stopped, ‘but under different circumstances it could have been any one of my kids behind that wheel, making a foolish mistake at that age.’ I tried very hard to remember her words as I made my way up the courthouse steps.
Thankfully, I wasn’t alone. My husband was able to meet me at the courthouse and my nephew came as well. We entered the courtroom and slipped into the pew at the back of the room.
People were coming and going as cases ended while new ones began. The victim’s advocate saw us arrive and came back to sit next to us. She asked if one of us wanted to speak during the sentencing. I could not bring myself to do it without bursting into tears. I will probably always regret that I wasn’t able to get it together enough to do this one thing. My husband had a few words with the prosecutor and agreed to speak on the family’s behalf, for which I was so grateful.
We continued to wait for over an hour before a young man and two women sat down next to us. It wasn’t until the case was called before I realized I was sitting in the same pew as the man involved in the accident along with members of his family.
Two hours and several cases later, it was time. The prosecutor, defense attorney and defendant stood before the judge. When the judge asked if there were any witnesses, my husband was called to be sworn in and stood at his place in front of the bench. He recounted what happened while I watched the replay in my head for the hundredth time. When the defendant’s turn came to speak before the court I heard phrases like ….didn’t know anyone was hurt……thought I’d just hit a sign……so sorry for what I did. When the judge gave his sentence and it was over, my chance came to speak to the defendant and his family on my mother’s behalf.
For months we have ached over the events surrounding this accident, but my heart softened as a very young man and his grandmother stood in front of me on Tuesday; he looked me straight in the eyes and I saw the shame and guilt he felt over fleeing the accident. Suddenly I saw them not as enemies but as people – just like us. The first few moments were awkward, but the emotion we all felt was so overwhelming, so genuine, the words came quickly. We spoke; we cried; we even hugged.
And after four months of worry, it was over.
My mother may have physical limitations for the rest of her life but she is taking it in stride. As I watch her heal both physically and emotionally I realize that she has every right to say, ‘I’ve lost so much; where do I go from here?’ but she chooses not to look at life that way. She made the decision to forgive. She continues to live one moment at a time, and challenges her own comfort zone each and every day. I would be foolish not to open myself up for a life lesson, here.
I hesitated writing this post. Part of me felt like I was imposing on my readers. I want this to be a place where you can come, hang out for a minute or two, and maybe take something of interest with you as you move on to the other blogs on your list. Maybe this was a little too personal for you; a little too off-topic; but I just have to say how deeply touched I am with every single comment left for me yesterday. I was overwhelmed at the supportive and comforting words you all gave and I feel so much a part of this incredible community here online. I truly do have the best readers around.
Thanks for reading, as always. See you back here Sunday.