. My niece Jennifer and her family today.. This is her story, told by her friend Shannon..
Those of you who know me personally know that I have one child by birth. My lovely daughter Margeaux. Some though, don't know that I have another family. Jennifer Holland came into my life when she was 17 and I was 27. I became the grandmother to her children since she lost her mother to cancer when she was 12. Their names are Farrin, Shaylynn and Billy.
2005 they went to a Christmas parade. On the way home they were hit by a drunk driver. Billy, my five year old grandson will never be the same. He almost lost his life and had to live without his skull cap for almost a year since his brain had swollen do to extensive injuries. My granddaughter Shaylynn's leg was broken and Farrin....well, Farrin is now 16. This Christmas she gave her mother a letter. The letter was about her life. She wrote from the time she could remember until this year. I read the letter and could not stop myself from crying. The drunk driver who hit them has now died from a liver disease. What he left in the wake of his life will forever show its damages to my grandchildren. Billy has half the use of the left side of his body. His ability to learn is much slower than it should be at 11. Shaylynn has healed but will never forget the terror of that night and Farrin.....Farrin wrote in the letter that her reality is she may never be able to carry the weight of a child growing inside her. Her broken hips have given her little ability to live life without constant pain.
Their mother Jennifer.... It is not always easy to get her to tell you what her injuries were. She doesn't focus on what she went through except for the emotional pain of watching her children suffer. I kow though that she lives in a prison of pain that she cannot escape from. Rarely though does she ever complain. Her cup is half full because she knows she has the life of her children and so many mothers have lost their own families to drunk driving.
I have been guilty of driving with a buzz. I was lucky I didn't kill myself or anyone else. Being intelligent, fun, cool...that has nothing to do with stupidity and having the willingness to take someone else's life. You can take someone else's life without stopping their heartbeat. You can do it by marring them for life.
I am making the choice to not be that person.
There is no such thing as an accident if you are drinking and driving. You make the decision to drive impaired before you get drunk. You make the decision with a clear head to live with your choice or to die with it.