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The Drunk Driver Always Lives

The Drunk Driver Always Lives

You know, for some reason, I feel as if my mother’s side of the family is essentially trying to break the world record for most emotional deaths. I mean, I don’t blame HER obviously, and I don’t think we’re cursed, because that feels too melodramatic, but dang it if we can’t have our people live to ripe old ages and cry because they are gone from living a full life instead of having it snatched away from them in the most insane way possible. 

Randy Ross

Photo courtesy of Nakai Photography

This is my uncle Randy, who died at the hands of a drunk driver. The drunk driver was someone whom he called friend. He happened to be in the car with said drunk driver, and I have no idea if he knew that the driver was drunk or not. I’m not even going to hurt my brain thinking that he would willingly trust his life to someone that way, so I’m going to pretend that he didn’t know, and that the drunk was so convincing that one of his best friends decided to hop in the car, and trust that he would get home after a night out celebrating said drunk’s new job and purchase of the new car. 

Obviously, from the tone of this opening, you know I’m mad. Nay, I’m livid. That drunk driver killed two other people in the car, in addition to my uncle, and yet, he is slowly regaining the strength to continue living, while in a hospital bed. I’ve perused the Facebook page of said drunk, and with each “get better soon” and “God’s got this” I can feel my blood turning to ice. 

This is an eerily familiar feeling for me. I had this feeling when my sister died suddenly at the age of 18. With so much life ahead of her. Snatched from this world after we had just spent a full two weeks with each other, laughing and talking about everything under the sun. She entrusted me with some super secrets and I felt that I had hit the sister jackpot. 

My uncle Randy was five years older than me. I jokingly referred to him as my uncle/brother because our relationship resembled more of an older brother younger sister type, than uncle/niece. He was funny. He was my uncle. He was a father, a brother, a son. He was quick witted. He was. 

He was supportive of me, and my blog, and my ventures in life. One of the last very serious conversations we had centered around the We Sow, We Grow initiative and how he wanted to make sure to be on the delivery path for the vegetables that I was growing this year. He was watching me, he was sharing what he saw. 

He. Was. I now have to refer to him in past tense, because some selfish person decided to hit Jameson Whiskey so hard that he couldn’t keep his car under control. He decided to throw caution to the wind, and as a result, he killed three people. Yet, he still lives. It’s the biggest load of bull dookie that I have had to deal with in recent years, and it hurts. It hurts so much, and when I thought I was finally getting to a place of being able to get through the grieving process with my sister, here comes another reason to grieve. 

I’m struggling to understand. When my uncle Leodis was murdered by a cab fare that he picked up in May of 2011, I urged my family to forgive. To still hurt, but to forgive the young man because he was obviously stupid. My uncle Randy read me the riot act for that. It still smarts to this day, and now I feel like such a hypocrite because I don’t have the desire to forgive. I want the drunk driver to be where my uncle is, and for my uncle to not have had anything to do with the accident in the first place. 

I’m praying that my heart can be softened to a point where I want to forgive him, but at this moment, it’s just too hard. To see his family talking about what  a good guy he is, and how much he loved life makes my jaws clench. I’m trying to hold on to the test messages, and Facebook interactions, and family gatherings that I have burned into my memory. I’m trying to take solace in the fact that he has video on his Facebook page that I can view. I’m trying to wrap my mind around the fact, that I’ll only be able to see his face in his children. Children who now have to grow up without a father on this Earth. 

I keep crying. Crying to the point of hyperventilation, and a hurt chest. I want to throw things, I want to punch someone in the face, and I don’t have a Ouizer at the moment. My kids are noticing too, and deep down inside I feel guilty about that, but I can’t stop crying. I can’t stop waking up in the middle of the night, wondering if I would have called him, maybe talked to him for a bit, he could have stalled the driver until he sobered up. So much regret about not having the power of seeing the future. I am SO ANGRY. 

I’m trying to practice the level of Christianity that this world says that they have, but obviously lack. I don’t want to be those people. I don’t want to build walls, or even ban people from being able to support the drunk driver in the way that they see fit. I mean, they are his family and friends, and they’re grateful that he’s here. 

But, the drunk always seems to live, and there is no way for me to come to a resolution about that. 

UPDATE: On January 31, the driver of the car passed away, and surprisingly, I don’t feel any sort of relief. I don’t feel sad, and I’m definitely not happy. Just stuck in an odd space of disbelief.

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Wednesday 29th of March 2017

My deepest condolences. There's nothing wrong with how you feel for you have to go through to get through. Praying for Gods abundant grace as you walk this road. Ps I'm seriously praying for you. Hugs.


Wednesday 1st of February 2017

Natasha, you wrote this very well, even in the midst of your pain. I can understand your perspective and sadness. Praying for you and your family.


Wednesday 1st of February 2017

Oh Natasha, my heart is hurting for you. This sounds so like something I could have written when I was in the throes of our struggle with pregnancy loss. I was so angry that people who didn't deserve it (my view) would have pregnancies thrive and flourish while I lost baby after baby. This place you are in is such a painful place to be in both spiritually and mentally. MY prayers are with you and I am here if you need anything.

Andrea Bates

Tuesday 31st of January 2017

Oh, goodness, Natasha. I hadn't had a chance to read this until now. My heart hurts for you and yours. I don't know why I assumed it was a car accident where the other driver was the drunk driver. But to see that your uncle was in a vehicle with a friend. And so many lives lost. And to see that the 'friend' is the sole survivor. Goodness. I'm so sorry. I can say that he'll experience survivor's guilt if he survives, and heals, and if that helps you a bit hold onto it. And if it does not, it's okay. We're all allowed to be angry at the loss of a loved one. No matter how we lose them.

Grief has no timeline, those are the only words of wisdom I can send your way. Love you, my friend.

GaNeane Lewis

Tuesday 31st of January 2017

Sister, I am so sorry for your loss...and I fully understand your anger. You will be ready when YOU are ready and that is all there is to it.

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