Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dear Driver

In this post I want to share some of my feelings about the driver that ran the red light, hit my car and changed my life forever. People have often told me that they've been curious how I feel about the person that hit me, but they usually don't feel comfortable bringing it up because they think it's too sensitive of a thing to ask about.

The driver who hit me was a 17-year-old girl. She wasn't drunk or under the influence of illegal drugs or anything like that. I don't know if she was on her cell phone or texting or anything like that, but I assume that she just let her attention slip for a brief second and before she knew what was happening the damage was done.

I hold absolutely no ill will or bad feelings in my heart for this girl. I never have and I never will. I know that my car accident was actually no accident, and that becoming paralyzed was something that was supposed to happen to me. I don't believe that most major things that happen in a person's life are coincidence. That being said, I have often wondered why God chose this particular person to be the one to impact my life in such a major way.

After my accident my mom hired a lawyer and we investigated the possibility of suing the girl (and her family since she was a minor at the time) but when our lawyer found out that the girl came from a family of average means, I told the lawyer that I wasn't interested in pursuing the matter any further. You might think that suing the family sounds vindictive, but being disabled is very expensive, so if the girl came from a wealthy family, it would've been nice to get some sort of settlement. But like I said, when I found out that the girl didn't come from a wealthy family, I didn't want the legal matters to go any further. There was no reason to try to get my "revenge" by ruining this girls future, financially speaking.

I know if our situations had been reversed and I had been the one to run a red light and paralyze someone from the neck down, I would feel like I had ruined their life. However, I don't want the girl to feel this way so I sincerely hope that she doesn't feel this way, because it's not true; my life hasn't been ruined. Yes, the car accident has been the worst thing to happen to me physically, but on the other hand it was THE BEST thing to happen to me spiritually and emotionally, and I honestly wouldn't go back and change things even if I could. I've learned so much and gained so much, and those things far outweigh all of the physical things I've lost.

I've also had people ask me if I forgive the girl. I don't think there's any reason for forgiveness in this situation. The girl just happened to make a mistake. I know the girl wasn't intending to do anything wrong or trying to hurt anyone.

The one thing I hope this girl does take away from the car accident is to always be a cautious driver. I actually hope that everyone that drives is a careful driver, but there are so many people who are way too reckless and distracted when they drive, and it usually isn't until some sort of accident occurs that they remember to slow down and be more cautious behind the wheel.

My hope is that everyone who reads this post will remember to be safe, cautious drivers, and to never text behind the wheel!


Adam said...

Wow there's a powerful message in those thoughts, thanks.

Patty said...

Your post is a good reminder that we all have a purpose in life and there is a plan. We cannot dwell on the what-ifs only on what we are going to do with the lot we are given. You are something special to have been given this lot and challenge as your life.Thanks for your great attitude! Have you ever read the NieNie dialogues? I bet you could relate.

Kathe said...

Thank you for sharing your feelings. You are truly amazing. I really enjoy reading your blog.

Loretta Valenta said...

Heather, I know that I am not alone in thinking that you have an amazing attitude. The fact that you have progressed beyond any bitterness in your life is very inspiring. I love the fact that you don't hold anything against the young driver of the car that hit you. While certainly not the same as yours, she too has her burdens to bear after being the cause of something that so drastically altered the life of another. What an inspiration you are Heather!

ionamin-W8FW8 said...

You are such a forgiving soul! We can all learn so much from you!

Mrs. Connor said...

Has the girl ever reached out to you, expressed sympathy or remorse for the accident? To what extent? I am just curious? I am loving the blog posts! (Melissa Tanner/Connor)

Jessica said...

This is an old post, but I just came upon your blog today and while you mentioned that you don't know why God chooses certain people for things, it's so evident to me why God chose this life for you. We all are here to endure challenges. Our purpose is to overcome them and turn them into something that serves others. I believe your life is as it is because you are an advanced soul and strong enough to live it so you can deliver this powerful inspiration to others. You are doing this with your blog. If you were able bodied you may have more "things", but our purpose here is to awaken and recognize that we are MORE than our body and that we are NOT our body.

To be be able to dis-identitify yourself with your body, is truly the meaning of living in your highest self. You have achieved a state of mind that 99% of the rest of us can only dream of. That gift truly makes you more "able" than almost every other person. To live an active physical life where one crumbles or becomes enraged at every little adversity or person who wrongs them is FAR more disabled than you are. You are a true inspiration and blessing. :)

Mary M. said...

Thanks Heather for being patient while I found the answer to the question I had. I had heard when the accident happened that you were hit by a drunk driver, so I am glad I got the true story. I was worried about the financial burden, but again you came through with the perfect perspective. I admire your mother as well and realize she must definitely be a support for you in a multitude of ways, well beyond the physical. What an awesome example we have as well from our Heavenly Father that sacrificed His son and allowed Him to suffer for our sakes. I know our Savior lives in glory forevermore and has prepared a place for each of us if we choose to follow in His way. One of my favorite scriptures is in Ether 12:4. I am grateful you use your life and what happened to you in a way to bless others.

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