This was a post from late last year, when I had to rush to Indiana for my father-in-law’s funeral. I wanted to make sure I still had this entry, so I copied it over here. It’s still powerful for me.
It has been difficult to put my feelings from last week into words. In the early hours of 8 November, 2013, my father-in-law, Terry Bailey, was killed by a drunk driver near Vincennes, Indiana. The last several days have hit me with a great deal of powerful emotions. Yet as saddened as I am for his loss, and my concerns for my wife, her sister, and the many people left behind, I have to admit that my primary feeling, even now, is that of anger.
I’ve never been particularly forgiving of drunk driving, and I’ve seen the results of it first-hand on several occasions. To be a drunk driver, someone actively has to make a choice to not give a damn about anyone else but themselves, drink up to ‘feel good’, and then get behind the wheel without a thought or care about others around them. And then, despite all their decisions, if the worst happens, suddenly (according to them) it’s not their fault, but the fault of the drink and merely ‘just an accident’.
The basic truth is that the woman who murdered (and, yes, I’ll use that term) Terry knowingly made a series of choices which culminated in her driving on a highway in the early morning at four times the legal limit (which is not the first time she had done this). There was no accident here. There was just a criminal level of stupidity and self-entitlement that resulted in the death of a beloved man and severe injury of his wife.
So I’m angry. I’m angry at the stupidity of the loss, the stupidity of the woman, and even the legal system that let her continue driving despite a history of DUIs and public intoxication. This time I hope the prosecution doesn’t try to ‘settle’ and give this murderess what she legally deserves. I’m angry that such a good man was taken from us out of this sheer stupidity. I’m also angry is that there is nothing, nothing at all, that I can do to fix any of this, or to make any of this right.
If anyone who reads this knows anyone who even thinks about getting behind the wheel while drunk or stoned, stop them. I don’t care how you have to stop them, just do it. No one should ever have to lose their lives because of someone else’s stupidity and callous disregard for the safety of others.