Give all drink & drug drivers a automatic 10 year ban with no appeal .
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Living without a mother because of a drink driver
I lost my mother when I was 12 years old. I was one of 6 children aged from 18 months old to 13 years old, me being the 2nd eldest. I was there when my mother was killed. My last memory of my mum was not, playing in the park or Christmas, it of was her lying in a pool of her innocent blood, dead on the pavement. This memory is with me everyday I will never or cannot forget, how can I!
I was only 12 and did not realise my mum was dead, how could I when I was told, "Your mum is in hospital and you'll see her soon." I cried all the time especially as I was always with my mum. I just kept thinking she was just hurt badly that even when my younger brother asked me, "Why did they cover mum's head with a blanket, she won't be able to see us like that!" He was 10 and none of us had encountered death in anyway before and so never understood. We waited until we could see mum at the hospital because this is what we were told but that never happened. We were then prepped for mum never coming home as we were told, she had died. I still remember my father in tears, crying... crying, not being able to get the words out... even then, I still did not want to believe she had gone, she was 'my mum', of course she was coming home.
I waited and asked for her all the time as did we all. Then, I waited again...
Then, that unbelievable day came. There we were, all at the church, my beautiful, innocent mum lying in a coffin. Even then, we knew as much as we could understand, our mum was NOT coming home. I think I was 14 before I accepted that my mum was still not coming home. It takes time to comprehend the incomprehensible, "My God, it was my mum!" I would pray all the time for her, still do today and always will.
I was bit of a 'mummy's boy.' I was always with my mum, whenever I'd got the chance, I loved being with her. Even if she was at work (as a part- time domestic) I would go with her at the weekends or just to the shops for bread and milk. So you can understand why I missed her so much...but my younger siblings aged 7-8 they never really understood and the 18 month old, how could he ever understand? Well, they weren't even told 'how' our mum died until they were aged about 15-16. How could you say to a child, 'why, how and what?' happened about their mum? I was there and recall it all but I still never understood either. We had a strong family and the pivotal support was our fantastic father.
My father was a strong, family man but I would often hear him weeping in his room and as a young child, I would go and ask why he was crying. He would simply and softly say it was nothing and that I must be hearing things. I stopped asking as I got older as I never heard him cry again but I knew he hadn't. We all cried in our own times and ways, we missed our mum. In the months of growing up we would have people come to our home to check; we were okay, ask questions and even to take us away. Again, I never knew what was going on but later found out that these 'people' were social workers, health workers etc. I was not sure why they came, I had never seen them at our house before. They were always asking us questions, I found out later on in life that they thought, maybe, my father could not cope with our mum gone and that it would it be better for us to be put in care. This would never happen because, if you had known my father, we were his family and no one was taking us ,no one!
We did not appreciate what our dad did for us because that was his job, to protect, guide and look out for us . He had to give up his full-time work and be 'mum and dad' to us now. We were not rich but never hungry and even though he was a little strict we had a good childhood. He used to tell us, as we got older, that people would judge us because we had no living mum and if we caused any kind of trouble we would be judge more than others. We would always be good (as much as we could be) and we noticed as we grew up, our father would not say much about our mum. He never talked about her, maybe because the woman he loved so much was no longer here. This must have been so difficult.
My younger brother, Philip, when he started school, would often see the other children's mothers and ask,'Where is my mum, why doesn't she take or collect me from school?' This would upset my father and bring sadness back to him. These memories of my mum's death would be brought back every day...the sadness my father endured to the day he died. When dad was at work we would clean, wash, iron and do the things we all expect our mums to do. Growing up without our mum, life was hard and difficult,even today, 34 years later, it still is. She never saw us grow up, she'll never see her grandchildren, never have them stay at weekends, never have the chance to celebrate their achievements or help deal with their difficulties because she was not given the chance herself...it was taken away.
I will visit my mum's grave at Christmas as I always do. I will never forget my mum. Her death has never got easier I have just got used to it. How wonderful and lucky people are to have their mums.
Why I have not got my mum, is that on 1st June 1980, while she was waiting on the pavement for a bus, a drunk driver carreered over to the wrong side of the road, mounted the pavement, hit and killed my mum. He reversed off the pavement with the 4 passengers in the car and just drove away. Only the front bumper and number plate is what was left behind, they did not care, they worried only about themselves. The driver was caught serval hours later but of course, he being a coward, denied it. He was convicted and because of the law he only got 8 weeks in prison and a 5 year driving ban. Again, my family was served poor justice.
I tell you this story because we all think it happens to 'someone else.' That 'someone else' was me and my family. Not only was my mother's life taken away, literally, but my father's life was destroyed too, within him. My memories are as strong today as in 1980, standing over my mum lying in a pool of her innocent blood. We had to survive on one income which was not much back then. People were constantly checking that my father was doing his best for us, people always commented about us because someone had killed my mum not because dad was bad.
So again, drink driving caused this 'someone' to choose not to get a cab or walk. Perhaps, if someone had talked with him, told him (I know some will still drive) or at least if they had tried, then you know you've done your bit. I keep hearing that 'it's not my job to inform', it is or you may wish it was. How different would my life had been if, that night, that driver was stopped?Who knows? I know, that I wouldn't be telling you this factual account.
Drunk drivers are always "sorry" after but never care before there are always too many excuses. If you know you are going to drink then there is no reason to take a car. If you do, then you have preplanned that. Just how many people will be killed before we understand that this is a SERIOUS CRIME. Think, think again, when you are driving home today or tonight, is that driver in the car be behind you or coming at you had a drink?
We don't ask to die but drink drivers don't and definitely won't give you that choice.
Until the law becomes stronger these people will always take the chance.
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