This letter to the editor may sound familiar, because I tell this story every few years.
When I was 12, I had a huge crush on Joe. Joe was best friends with Mike. Mike’s family had invited us to their house for Christmas Eve. I was excited because Mike’s sister, Colleen, had told me that Joe would be there too. So I got him a little present, and wrapped it, and when we got to Mike’s house, I put it under the tree.
Joe and his sister were out at another party, but would be coming to Mike’s soon. It was a fun party—the grown-ups were drinking egg nog and hot buttered rum, and the kids were drinking what I remember to be a nasty red bubbly punch. There was a piano, and Christmas carols, and it was getting late, but we were waiting for Joe and his sister.
Finally there was a knock at the door—Mike’s mom, answered, expecting to give Joe a hard time for being so late. Instead, it was a police officer. Joe’s little car had been T-boned at an intersection by a drunk driver who ran a red light. Joe was killed and his sister had a serious spinal cord injury.
I will never ever forget that Christmas Eve, that feeling of horror.
My intention is to motivate all of us to make better decisions. The holiday season is so beautifully festive here. There are parties to attend and restaurants to enjoy and shows to experience, and many people enjoy adult beverages at the same time. I would like to ask everyone to use a designated driver, and to give over your keys beforehand, and then enjoy all the merriment you can.
But please, do not drink and drive.
Alison Smart, RN