Sunday, March 31, 2013

Did He Deserve Better?

Photo by M Barrett Miller

Did He Deserve Better?

Last Monday, a man, driving while intoxicated, ran down four people crossing the street a half block east of a Seattle Middle School.
A couple died on the spot leaving behind, on the street, a daughter in law and grandchild who are presently fighting for their lives in the critical care unit of a local hospital.
He was arrested.

The week’s news has been all about his previous DUI’s and how he was driving drunk, without a license or ignition lock on his truck.

Everyday the Seattle papers have investigated the mans record, present state law on DUI, other state laws, penalties, technological remedies, and the open question on what can be done to curb driving while intoxicated.

I haven’t seen any articles about the man.
The man who was driving, that is.
There have been a few anecdotal comments about his coaching, his battles with booze, his divorce, what a good guy he is etc.

What I’m wondering about is why he was unable to tame the monster inside telling him he needed to drink to feel better.
Of course, I don’t know if that’s really his internal question but I’ll risk it based on others I have known who literally drank themselves to death.
Some couldn’t leave the jungles of Vietnam.
One couldn’t cope with the loss of his wife and kids.
One never got the message that she was intrinsically okay.
Some will never shake the smells of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Lots of messaging pushing one towards the door to oblivion!

No, I’m not justifying any behaviors.
I’m just wondering what went so wrong that this driver showed up for a previous DUI hearing only to be charged with being drunk at the hearing.
Why would anyone do that?
You’re saying, “Only an idiot would show up at his DUI hearing drunk.”
Perhaps not an idiot, but one so broken there were no other good options on his table of choices.

So, what do we do?
Crucify him!
Throw away the key!
More laws with stiffer penalties!
Better vehicle technologies that will recognize an inebriated driver?

Perhaps, we need to see this man as someone who needs what is the hardest thing for us to offer-love.
Not all forgiving love, but the love that tells us, when we are young, that we are valuable and worthy of love.
That this journey is enough by itself and we can, with help, take a sword to the demons that call for our self-destruction.
I hope he, and the injured families, find some kind of peace in this maelstrom of sorrow.

* Homestreet Bank –Wedgewood Neighborhood, Seattle, 98115, has a medical fund you can contribute to for the two in critical care. Acct #5322733430 Routing #325084426 

M Barrett Miller
Let Kids Be Kids, Inc.

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