MADDvocate - Winter 2009 - (Page 22)

Healing Journey A Grandmother’s Heartache Family still struggles to cope four years after DUI crash robbed child of mother. by Lynn Darst ‘‘G randma, the kids at school asked He killed Kathy on Mark West Springs Road in me what my mom looked like, Santa Rosa, California. and I couldn’t remember. I told The ripple effect of her death has permanently them she had long hair.” altered many lives. Left in the wake of this disaster I was stunned and in tears when Ashley told me is a grieving husband, Hugh, who came upon the this. From then on, she carried a photograph of scene of the crash minutes after it happened. He her mom in her school backpack. And from time cradled his wife’s lifeless body in the street. Kathy to time teachers found her sitting under a table had been resting at the side of the road during a at school, staring at the picture. Kathryn Black, my daughter-in-law, To help alleviate my personal pain, was killed by a drunk driver on March 28, I have gotten involved with Mothers 2005—two months shy of Ashley’s 6th birthday. At her party, Ashley made a wish and blew out a candle. The wish? “I wish Against Drunk Driving as a victim I had magical powers so I could bring advocate. Every day, people are killed, my mom back.” Then there was Ashley’s heartmaimed or injured by drunk drivers, wrenching declaration that she didn’t want to play with her friend, because she changing many lives forever. was jealous that her friend had a mother. bike ride at the time of impact. She died instantly Once while playing in a soccer game, Ashley chased when her spinal cord was severed as the result of the ball and then stopped to lie down on the grass the violent whiplash. and look up at the sky. Later we learned that she had The effects of this terrible day’s haunting been thinking about her mom. images and violent death are with Hugh, Ashley During one family gathering, Ashley was preand the rest of our family forever. Kathy’s violent paring personalized place cards at the dinner table. death was an emotional assault on all of us. There It makes our hearts ache to recall that she had will never be a return to “normal.” We have a new written “Mom” on all 12. normal, and it includes missing Kathy daily. These have been our realities, our living hell. Driven Into the Wake of Disaster The unwelcome intruder in our lives was a repeat DUI offender with six prior convictions. Dealing with the Pain A man with a half-dozen prior DUI convictions chose to drink at his brother’s bar in Lark eld. MADDvocate | Winter 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MADDvocate - Winter 2009

MADDvocate - Winter 2009
Across the Nation
Court Reporting
Advocacy in Action
Insurance Crash Course
Stuck in Grief
Prepping for Surgeries
It’s Contagious
Legally Speaking
Healing Journey

MADDvocate - Winter 2009