You Know Who You Are

Saturday afternoon, DH decided to go for a ride on his motorcycle. Great day, beautiful weather; it’s the weekend, and what better way to enjoy it than taking a quick ride. He’s fifty-three years old and a careful, responsible driver; he’s done this every weekend.

Hours go by, and wife and youngest daughter are worried–he should’ve been home by now. They’d been shopping and returned to an empty house. Bike is gone, he must be having a great time to still be out.

More time goes by, the sun sets. DH isn’t home. Then the bell rings. Uniformed officers with hats in hand tell DW and YD they’re very sorry. Words come out of their mouths that don’t register in stunned minds. Accident. DOA. Drunk Driver.

But I imagine you don’t know any of this. You were probably sleeping it off in a hospital with a special bracelet attaching your wrist to the bed frame. Or maybe you slept it off in your jail cell, and you’re just now wondering what the hell you’re doing in there.

I bet I could tell you:

Saturday. Party time. Texas is well-represented on the sports stations. Texas A&M. University of Texas. SFA. They were all on TV. You had two beers per quarter. Maybe you’re a UT fan and downed a shot for each point scored. Still, you declared yourself to be the most sober man at the party and appointed yourself gofer for the hot wings. Or more beer. Or another bottle of Jose Cuervo. So at five o’clock in the afternoon, you’re on the road with no more sense than God gave a turnip, thinking you can drive.

You idiot. You don’t know what you’ve done.

Let me fill you in.

DH’s oldest son is just in his early twenties–now he’s the man of the house having to shoulder the responsibility of a shattered mother and two heart-broken sisters. He’s learning more about his father’s finances than a young man his age needs to know. He’s being turned to for wisdom he doesn’t have. He doesn’t have time to grieve because everyone is expecting him to be a man, while inside he’s six years old and looking for a lap to hide in.

Youngest sister is numb. She was there to hear the garbled message that her dad was dead. She was the only one there to hold her mother up and help her try to think. She isn’t even in high school yet and she has to hold it together until someone more responsible comes along and allows her to be a child. She has a long wait. The nearest family and Mom’s closest friend are three hours away. Older brother and sister are six hours away and too torn up to drive in at night. Besides, Mom’s terrified something will happen to them too. Best not to have her oldest two children on the road on a Saturday night for some other idiot to kill.

Middle child is the one who’s dying inside right now. She and her father were going through a rough patch–something that happens in every family where a college girl wants to spread her wings and her father isn’t ready to let go, wants her to stay his child. The arguments were bitter–and unresolved.

And that’s your fault. All. Your. Fault.

See, you didn’t kill just “Some Guy,” you killed a father and a husband. You killed the family’s soul provider. Mom devoted her life to her kids and making their house a home–she hasn’t worked in twenty-nine years. Now, she has a child at home and one in college, and no job experience. And no husband. Just a young man she’s leaning on harder than she should right now. But he’s trying. He has risen to the responsibility. He is swallowing his tears so he can shoulder the tears of his sisters and mother.

This is what you did Saturday, October 16, 2010, around 5:00 p.m. You know who you are. Live with it.

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
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25 Responses to You Know Who You Are

  1. OH my!! Did this happen to you this weekend?? My heart & prayers go out to you or who ever this happened to this weekend! I can’t even imagine having to deal with this.

    I pray that God’s comfort peace & strength surround you, & everyone involved


  2. KatC says:

    Oh Linda, this has left me with tears in my eyes and a broken heart for that family. I pray that the Lord of Lords will provide comfort, strength & guidance to that family – and to you, too. God bless you!


  3. K.M. Weiland says:

    Praying very hard for everyone in this situation.


  4. Winter Peck says:

    You know, there’s not much I can add to this, you’ve said it all.

    Stick tight to the family. They’ll need all the God-given strength they can get.



  5. brad says:

    My condolences to you, your friend and her family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.


  6. Linda Yezak says:

    Winnie, Brad–thank you.


  7. Jess says:

    I feel your anger, your frustration, your helplessness, your fear, Linda. I’m so sorry for your friend and her family. Thanks for sharing so we can keep this family in our prayers.


  8. Chris Solaas says:

    Oh, wow.

    So sorry to hear about your friend’s loss, Linda. Your friend needs a friend like you just to be there.



  9. Linda Yezak says:

    Chris, Jess–thanks for your prayers. They’re appreciated.


  10. Susie says:

    I am so so sorry to hear.

    Sending prayers.


  11. Nikole Hahn says:

    First of all, I’m sorry to hear about your friend. This blog had me nearly in tears. I can’t imagine what your friend or you are going through. Ever hear of the song by Jamie Slocum, the one about the drunk driver? I think you and your friend should listen to it when the pain ebbs a little. It’s comforting. I can’t remember the name of it though.


  12. Sally Bishop says:

    May the author of strength and peace light up the darkness and carry you all through this valley.


  13. Lynn Mosher says:

    What else is there to say? You’ve stated it so well. It’s just so heart-wrenching that no words come. Peace and comfort to your friend, her family, and you. (big hugs to MVFRH)


  14. linda yezak says:

    Sally, Lynn–thank you both.


  15. Melanie Gillon says:

    Hopefully this post will be beneficial since it is much “needed” to raise awareness and possible prevent. My heart goes out to this family along with the others who have commented but what particularly spoke to me was the 20 yo son who was taking on undeserved responsibility. Hitting close to home since there is another 20 yo son I hold dear who has had to take on responsibilities due to a messy and way too costly divorce, a father who is taking his 3rd DUI in 2 yrs. to jury trial in supreme court and a mother unemployed due to her dept. being closed down in today’s “no job” economy. My heart aches not only for this family but for the many families with children who are forced to endure the results of bad choices made by adults. I will pray and also strive harder to be the parent we all should be. Thank you for your insight. God Bless.


  16. Raw. Painfully raw. Praying for this family.


  17. linda yezak says:

    Melanie, thanks for the comment. I wish everyone could see this post so they’d realize drunk driving is serious.

    My prayers go out for those you mentioned. When parents’ mistakes affect their kids, it’s tragic.

    Sandy–thanks for your prayers.


  18. Keaghan says:

    Praying for this family…I cannot even fathom how broken their hearts must be.


  19. joannesher says:

    Oh, Linda. Praying for this family. This has me so sad, and SO angry. Thank you for this post!


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