Share this article:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter

On Mother’s Day, Sadness and Celebration

This Mother’s Day, like most holidays, will bring with it an acute awareness of our family’s missing piece. Nineteen years ago, a drunk and marijuana impaired teen driver killed my firstborn child and only daughter.

Helen Marie made me a mother and watching her and my younger son, John, grow into thoughtful, confident, well-adjusted children was my greatest joy. Then in a moment, Helen Marie was gone, violently run down while rollerblading on a bike path just a few blocks from home.

She had just turned 16.

Weeks before, I had celebrated what would be my last Mother’s Day with both my children. I had received what would be the last tangible gift from my daughter: a poem, simply titled “Mother’s Day,” a girlish missive in which she sought to capture a mother’s sometimes-thankless sacrifices.

The sudden loss of my beautiful daughter left me broken and barely functioning. It left me uncertain of my own survival; surely, the grief would kill me.

Over time – thanks to MADD, thanks to my faith and my family and friends who propped me up – I learned that I could survive. I learned, as a dear friend and fellow victim often reminds me, to incorporate the sadness into my life without letting it become my life. I learned to remember my daughter without constant pain. I learned to remember with joy.

Helen Marie is with me wherever I go. She is with me as I travel across the country as MADD National President. She is with me as I meet law enforcement officers who work every day to fight this crime. She is with me as I listen to the stories of victims and recognize in their faces the crushing pain of loss. As I greet the volunteers and MADD chapter founders and staff members dedicated to our cause.

This Mother’s Day will hold both celebration and sadness. But I would not trade the 16 years I had with Helen Marie for anything. She was my daughter. She will always be my daughter. And I will always be her mother.

devteams

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.