Don’t be stupid~ drinking and driving is not worth it.

I’ve been thinking about this post a lot.  I knew this day was coming and I’m really not sure how to begin.  I don’t want to come across preachy or judgmental ~ but I want you to hear me.

3 Years ago today, I got a call from a friend.  Mutual friends of ours had been in an accident in the wee hours of  November 24, 2007.  This was a couple whom we had counselled, mentored, be-friended and enjoyed hanging out with.  They were a little younger than us; their oldest daughter was born 2 weeks after our youngest.   The shock of the call still echoes in my mind: Steve and Kim were in an accident.  Steve is badly hurt, Kim didn’t make it.

It is a very hard thing to process when you are 8 hours away and all you want to do is rewind and make everything the way it was.   I could not comprehend the news; it is still very hard to digest.   A vibrant young mom of 30, gone in an instant.  2 precious little girls now without a mama.  A mom and dad grieving for the loss of their only daughter.  And, a husband~ burdened by unimaginable guilt.   Steve was drinking.  Actually, they both were.  They were out for dinner.  I don’t know the whole story, and probably most of us never will.   My take is that there was an intention to get a cab home knowing that the few beverages had with supper and afterward were enough to bring into question the safety of driving.  However, for whatever reason, waiting for a cab became too much and they decided to head home on their own.   Now, I want to make something very clear: Kim willfully(albeit in poor judgement) entered the car knowing her husband had had more than a couple beers.   But this is where her responsibility ends.  At a speed far too dangerous and on a ramp that requires slowing down, Steve lost control and flipped the car.  Kim, not wearing a seatbelt, was sucked out and killed instantly.   In one split second this family’s life has been forever changed and those who knew them have been profoundly impacted forever.

I had to go to the funeral~ I had to.  It was so surreal to me that I had to know for myself.  I haven’t cried that much at a funeral in years.  This is sad.  This is wrong. This is stupid.

We are coming up to the “party” season.  The time of year when all the programs and offers of driving people home in an effort to diminish or eliminate senseless accidents and deaths.  Here’s the thing~ it doesn’t matter.   There will always be someone who ‘thinks’ they can drive.  There will always be those who justify their ‘one or two drinks’ as completely reasonable.  There will always be willing passengers who lose their judgement just as much as the driver. There will be more deaths~ maybe you or someone you love.  Maybe more children will have a Christmas this year without one or more parents.   I’m telling you, it’s stupid.

My husband and I don’t drink. We never really have.  I did not grow up in a household that consumed alcohol, I didn’t hang out with friends who drank and frankly, I hate the taste.   The first time I had a sip of champagne I was 18.  I was “legal” and it was my grandparents’ 50th anniversary and my family thought it would be funny to see me actually consume alcohol since I was a purist.  That annoyed me.  I took a sip but it was horrible. And the fact of the matter is, why does one NEED to consume any alcohol at all?  Why is it so socially acceptable and even forced upon the masses?  It seems like wherever you go there HAS to be alcoholic beverages to have a good time and “let loose”.  Really? Why? Because you got so drunk once and made a fool of yourself and you want to repeat that?  Because the next day when you had a headache and a hangover and couldn’t remember if you said or did anything really stupid makes you want to do it again?   Because you watched your buddy get so hammered that he fell flat on his face in a snowbank and nearly died before someone came to help him?   Wow.  Sounds like so much fun.

Thanks, but I prefer to be in control of all my faculties and have people respect me for NOT drinking as opposed to how well I can hold my liquor.

Now, I’m not saying that alcohol is wrong.  It’s wrong for a lot of people~ a lot.  In the Bible wine was used as a beverage because, well, there wasn’t anything else and it was the only way of preserving any food or drink so that it didn’t spoil.  It was served at feasts and weddings.  It was also used as a tonic, for illness or pain.   But they weren’t driving 140km down an overpass after supper.  They weren’t getting into the vehicle of someone who had been drinking more than them.

People, give your head a shake.  If you NEED alcohol to have a good time,

If you NEED alcohol to hang out with your friends,

If you’re a TEEN~ STOP!!! For one thing, it’s against the law!! Yes it is! Just like murder and rape and stealing~ it’s wrong.

Teens who drink become adults who drink.  You have a problem if every weekend is spent looking for the next drinking fest.  You have a serious problem and you need help.  I don’t have to list the statistics of what teenage drinking leads to but here’s a couple:

Promiscuous sex

Alcoholism

Drunk Driving

Violent behaviour

Suicides

…just to name a few.

I’m posting this because I’ve seen the worst.  I’ve felt it, I’ve hugged the guy who killed his wife.  It’s not worth it and it needs to stop.  You wanna have fun? Come to my house; we ALWAYS have a good time.  We laugh so hard we cry.  We eat, we play games, we sing,we dance…………without alcohol.

Don’t be stupid.

Kim with Grace~ 2002. A wonderful mom and a great friend.

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2 thoughts on “Don’t be stupid~ drinking and driving is not worth it.

  1. It actually really bothers me how acceptable drinking has become in the Church. Almost like it’s being blatantly flaunted. I don’t care if people have a glass of wine with their dinner but I have a real problem when people are saying in church on Sunday morning, “I’ll bring a 6pack later”. It is an epidemic and it is getting out of control. It is out of control.

  2. I find it interesting that social drinking has become so prevelant. I have asked numerous people if they liked their first taste of beer and invariably they all have said that no, it was not that great. Why would you willingly consume it again? No offense, but I hate brussel sprouts so unless my parents forced it on me I would never willingly eat them again (ditto for liver). There are so many options for drinks out there. We have so many more juices, punches, pop … than ever before so what’s the big deal about alcolhol? Plus, yes, I am cheap and to pay $2 more for a drink with alcohol when you can get a virgin one? I’m going with the cheaper one and the one that leaves me with all my faculties. I feel comfortable in my own skin and who I am and don’t feel like I need to loosen up; as well peer pressure has not seemed to affect me as it does others so I am blessed. I do hope people plan a ride home – no matter what. It’s not worth the risk.

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