Emotional Gauntlet

Every 15 minute bannerThe blog has been a little quiet the last couple days as we have been through an emotional gauntlet over the last week.  On Monday night right before the Troop meeting we were visited by two Police Officers from the Gresham Police Department.  They asked my wife and I to come inside and sit down.  We were informed that our youngest son Josh had been in a fatal car accident.  He was struck head on by a drunk driver and was killed instantly.  His girlfriend, who was in the car with him was transported to OHSU (Oregon Health and Science University) and was in critical care.  The drunk driver was unharmed and under arrest.  The Officer informed us that the coroners officer would release Josh to us in about 48 hours.
My heart shattered.
Yesterday, my wife and I spoke at the High School at their “Every 15 Minutes” assembly.  We shared the feelings and a few thoughts on the impact of Drunk and Impaired Driving.  It was an emotional and devastating message.  During the assembly a group of Seniors put on a skit.  In that skit there is a party and one of their classmates decides to get behind the wheel and drive home, clearly intoxicated.  He and his girlfriend are in a fatal accident, this time the girlfriend is killed.  A field sobriety test is given and the young man is found guilty of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter.  He is placed in hand cuffs and taken off stage.  This visual is stunning to the audience, his classmates.  Teresa and I are then invited to the stage to say our comments and in the darkness of the auditorium our son Josh appears and we are reunited.  I lost it.
Josh is a part of the student group that hosted this event and we agreed to help.  We knew, in our minds, that Josh was safe.  Monday night, the Police took him and the rest of the group to a local hotel where they stayed the night apart from family and friends.  We were the only parents contacted by the Police and informed of the accident, but all of the students in the program were “killed” by drunk drivers or drunk themselves when they were in a traffic accident.
The program is called “Every 15 Minutes”.
In the United States every 15 minutes someone is killed because of drunk or intoxicated driving.  This weekend is the Prom and the message was sent loud and clear that we do not want our kids to be the next one to be killed needlessly.  Drunk driving is a selfish act.  The self-centered idiot that makes the choice to get behind the wheel of a car and put our lives in danger needs to understand the impact of their actions.
Monday evening, even though I knew it was not real, my world stopped spinning.  Emotionally I could not process the difference between a high school program and reality.  It hurt.
It has taken till this morning to fully process this.
I never want that to happen to me again, and I never want it to happen to you.
Every 15 minutes in America someone we love is killed for nothing.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

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8 thoughts on “Emotional Gauntlet

  1. I’m so very sorry for your loss Jerry. It’s so sad to hear. My heart goes out to you and your family and you will be in my prayers.

    • I am thankful that we did not actually experience a loss. Josh is safe and sound, but his leadership in this at his school has opened many an eye to the reality of drinking and driving.
      Thanks again.

  2. A vEDSer

    Prayers

    • Thank you. I appreciate everyone’s reaction to this blog post. Its intended affect was to make the point that our roads are not safe because of intoxicated motorists.
      Thank you to everyone for their prayer intentions. Josh is safe and sound and as of today at least unharmed. This ordeal has opened our eyes even further to this terrible scourge that hurts people in America every 15 minutes. After going through this I hope to never have that feeling again.
      Thank goodness it was only a demonstration this time.
      I pray that we never have to see the real thing.

  3. David Lauermann

    OMG, my heart sank after the first few sentences. This can’t be happening to you.
    I have to rush home and hug my son. I pray for all our Teen age children that they make the right decisions.
    I also pray they are kept safe from the idiots that Drink and Drive without a care.

  4. Goodness me Jerry, the first paragraph was very hard to read and my heart fell into my boots as I did so.
    I’m glad that all is well and it was staged to raise awareness.
    An extremely powerful way of bringing the message home!

    Glad all is well with you and yours!

  5. Dustin Tarditi

    I had to re-read this post several times before it all clarified. Not because of the style of writing, but because of the flush of emotion that happens when read.

    What a powerful program.

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