Kevin left work at 1:30. The lady who was the drunk drive was taking her friend home. She was driving so badly that it was scaring her friend. Her friends made her pull over. One of her friends following in the vehicle behind, who were less intoxicated, drove the rest of the way to her friend’s house. When that person got out of he vehicle no one turned it off. No one took the keys. No one did anything. So, she climbed over into the drivers’ seat and drove away. She entered highway 153 at Jersey Pike in Chattanooga, TN driving the wrong way into oncoming traffic. She drove over 4 miles, almost hitting three people before she finally hit Kevin’s car head on. Kevin sustained a large gash down his face, and his eye sockets were even broken from the impact. He was just very badly broken.
As I was praying I heard the words, “God I forgive her for what she’s done to our family.”, come out of my mouth. I my head I’m thinking, “Wait. What are you saying?”, but in my heart I knew this is what I had to do to be able to get my prayers answered because the bible says if you have anything against someone you forgive them, and then your prayers will be answered. I couldn’t afford not to forgive. I had family members that were very upset with me for that, but at that point it wasn’t about them. It was about me and my relationship with God, and it was about Kevin. At that point we started going through the process of making the decisions for organ donation, which was a very grueling, intense time.
I left the hospital without my son!
We started the court process. All the family were able to go in this room with her, sit across from her, and tell her our feelings about what her getting behind the wheel while intoxicated had done to our family. I showed her pictures of him in the hospital, pictures from the wreck. I played an audio from one of Kevin’s voicemails that I had saved.
He loved friends and family and having fun. His main thing was, “Let’s have fun.” Just two weeks prior the accident he had gone to the bank to begin the process of starting his own gaming cafe’ because he wanted to have a safe place for kids to come and play and hangout.
I looked at her and said, “The main thing I want you to know is that I forgive you.” I heard God say to me, “Offer your help to her.” For ten years prior to this we had been in prison ministry teaching people how to change their life, how to be able to walk their life with God. I’m having this conversation with God in my head, like, “Really God? Seriously?” He said, “Offer your help.” I said,”Okay.” So, I looked at her and said, “I would like to be the person to help you be the person God created you to be.” I want to help you find out who that is if you’ll let me.” She shook her head, yes. Then God said, “Now go hug her.” I thought, “Wow, this is really really stepping out.” I thought, “I’m going to be obedient. Because if I’m obedient God can do way more with this than I could ever imagine.” So I asked her, “Can I hug you?” She said, “Yes.” We got up and walked toward each other, and we hugged and cried and cried and cried. She kept saying over and over, “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.”
I was one of the ones that spoke for her at her parole hearing. I started my speech to parole board by stating, ‘I’m guilty of murder too, and the father of the person I killed forgave me and welcomed me into his family. So, who am I to not extend that same forgiveness to her? That person was Jesus. I’m responsible for his death, and his father forgave me, loved me, and accepted me as family.