Michael was a quiet, sweet young man who had been part of our family since he was fourteen. My daughter met him while she was playing King of the Hill when she was 12 yrs. old. From that day on, I joked that he followed her home and never went away. They utterly adored each other through their time together. On February 15, 2009, Michael went away……or rather he was stolen away by a combination of alcohol and reckless driving.
He and Corteney were wed on December 28, 2009. My daughter woke up the morning of February 15th a blissfully happy newlywed who had just made the Dean’s list. By the time she regained consciousness everything was gone, her husband, school, her whole world had been shattered.
About 4:00 they went to see one of Michael’s friends who was going overseas. Corteney tagged along so she could drive Michael home, the irony being SO HE WOULDN’T BE DRINKING AND DRIVING, she left the party and went to her friend’s house to study for her chemistry exam. The boy’s came up to the friend’s and left Corteney’s vehicle about a mile away. When they got into the car to go get her car two hours later, they had no idea that within approximately 1 mile, with a driver BAC of .08 in a 40 MPH speed zone that car would be rolled into 5 x 10 concrete church sign at a speed of 86 MPH.
People tell me I shouldn’t be angry, it was ‘HIS TIME’ and that I should forgive….I CANNOT DO IT at least not now. Neither of my kid’s had even had a speeding ticket..they thought they were doing everything as carefully as possible. To have the police tell me that testimony they had received indicated the driver had been half laughing because Michael was scared of his driving absolutely enrages me. These people did not get that knock at their door at 1 A.M., they did not sit by her bed thanking God for sparing my baby and grieving for the child that was gone, they did not have to tell Corteney and hold her while she screamed, they didn’t hold his Mother as we made his funeral arrangements. They didn’t take his easter basket to a cemetery and set it on a grave. God forgive me, but I just cannot quietly accept this and I pray that this will prevent at least one parent from walking the path of burying their child. My favorite memory was 6 weeks before we lost him…after the wedding I was cleaning a counter and he said, “Mom” and when I asked him “What?” he said, “Aw, I was just testing it, because it’s for real now.” and he laughed. While Mom cannot change it or even remotely balance the scales, I will do everything in my power and attend every hearing seeking justice for you and my daughter. I promise you baby, that is “For Real”.