The lucky ones live and learn
Tuesday March 03rd 2009, 7:51 pm
Filed under: Life

We got a phone call tonight: my husband’s cousin.  A car accident.   Gone.

Richard then reminisced over dinner about someone he’d known in his high school back in the day, a kid who at 15 drank, stole his parents’ car, and then crashed it while fleeing the cops.  Not a smart move.

The judge could have taken away his possibility of getting a license till he hit 21, as is often done, but the judge wanted to change that boy’s behavior and make a difference to him.  So instead, he sentenced the kid to volunteering in his local ER.  During the midnight shift.  Where he got to see all the results of all the people making the same kind of mistake he’d made, or their victims, in all the reality of what that meant.

The kid never drank again.

40 Comments so far
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I’m so sorry about your husband’s cousin.

And I think that judge is a genius.

Comment by amy 03.03.09 @ 8:08 pm

I’m sorry your family is going through this loss. I think the hardest losses are ones that didn’t have to happen. I’ll keep you in my prayers for solice and comfort.

Smart judge.

Comment by LDSVenus 03.03.09 @ 8:19 pm

My sympathy to you and Richard on the loss of your cousin.

Comment by Eileen 03.03.09 @ 8:31 pm

Of course you have my sympathy. And I fully agree with Amy and Venus that the judge could not have done better.

I wonder if humor is appropriate at a time like this, but I will continue anyway:

Three women haud gone to lunch. One woman said, “My son’s just been made a Bishop, and when he walks into a room, everyone says ‘Your Grace’”. The next woman says, “My son is a Cardinal, and when he walks into a room, everyone says,’Your Excellency’”. The third woman, a little Jewish lady says,”My son is six foot four, has broad shoulders and a narrow waist, and is very handsome. When he walks into a room, all the women say ‘Oh, my God!’”.

Comment by Don Meyer 03.03.09 @ 8:54 pm

I am so sorry for your family’s loss. My sympathies & prayers are with your family.

Comment by TripletMom 03.03.09 @ 9:38 pm

I am very sorry to hear that you have lost a member of your family. I will keep your family in my prayers.

We need more judges to pass sentences like that.

Comment by Sonya 03.03.09 @ 9:43 pm

My sincere sympathy to the family during this hard time. I can honestly say I know how they are feeling–we lost our oldest daughter this way.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 03.03.09 @ 10:56 pm

Sorry to hear about the loss in your family.

Comment by AlisonF 03.03.09 @ 11:37 pm

Hugs to you and Richard. So sorry honey.

Comment by Tiny Tyrant 03.03.09 @ 11:51 pm

Yikes – I’m so sorry!

Comment by Amanda 03.04.09 @ 4:12 am

May God send strength and peace to Richard, his cousin’s family, and you.

Comment by Jody M 03.04.09 @ 4:30 am

So sorry to hear of your loss. It’s never easy at any time.

Wish more judges now were like the one from Richard’s youth.

Comment by Laura 03.04.09 @ 5:01 am

I’m very sorry for the loss. So sad.

Where have all the good judges gone?

Comment by Toni Smoky-Mountains 03.04.09 @ 5:06 am

Sympathy & love. Sorry to hear of your loss.

Wish judges were allowed to do that sort of thing now. I’m not sure they are with minors, which is a shame.

Comment by Amy 03.04.09 @ 5:13 am

Alison and Richard, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. May God wrap your extended family in His love and peace.

Comment by Barbara-Kay 03.04.09 @ 5:20 am

Sorry about the loss of your relative. Unfortunately, that happens way too often.

Comment by Joansie 03.04.09 @ 5:48 am

Oh, I’m so sorry.

Comment by Pegi 03.04.09 @ 6:27 am

My sympathies.

Yesterday was the coldest day we’ve had in your home town since 1986. I’m moving slowly as I get ready to go out into the cold, complete with icy streets. This morning I am going to think of Richard’s cousin and all of you. I’m thinking that I am here. I am going to be with friends. I am going to be doing something I love. I’m rather sorry it takes such news to bring me up short and remind me of all I have to be grateful for. It does, though, and so this morning I’ll have both the tragic and the wonderful on my mind as I knit. I’ll try, however, not to be so preoccupied that I’m careless about ice.

Again, my sympathies.

Comment by RobinM 03.04.09 @ 6:32 am

My sympathies. I know your faith will sustain you.

Comment by Channon 03.04.09 @ 6:56 am

I’m so sorry for your loss.

I really like that the judge thought carefully, and turned what could have been punishment without a long-term change for the better into a valuable learning experience.

Hugs to you both.

Comment by (formerly) no-blog-rachel 03.04.09 @ 6:57 am

You and your family are in my thoughts.

And so’s that judge – wish there were more like him.

Comment by Lene 03.04.09 @ 7:52 am

I am so sorry.

Comment by karin 03.04.09 @ 7:56 am

I’m sorry for your loss.
That’s one smart judge!

Comment by Alicia 03.04.09 @ 8:17 am

I’m sorry to read about this sad news.

It seems car accidents are “in vogue” sadly enough. I learned, Monday, that the brother-in-law of my good friend in Belgium had a car accident too – an oil patch seems to be the cause. No word yet if paralysis is in the cards. He has broken ribs and clavicle.

35 years old, two young childer.

Life is so precious, isn’t it?

I hope the both of you are recuperating well.

Comment by Suzanne 03.04.09 @ 8:20 am

I’m so sorry for your loss.

Comment by Michelle 03.04.09 @ 8:44 am

Please accept our sympathies for your loss. Cousins are a very special part of the family, aren’t they. And I think that was one seriously smart judge. Wonder how we get more like him?

Comment by Debra 03.04.09 @ 8:48 am

Suzanne, when I was 17 three close friends died in car fatalities in quick succession. It seemed I barely recovered emotionally from learning about one then I got to hear about another. Sadly some things just don’t never go out of fashion, do they?

I think that year (1982/3) instilled a hatred of car transport in me. I drove until 1989, sold my car (one of only two I’ve ever driven) and never drove again. One good thing about the driving age being 18 in the UK is that a lot of careless behavior is avoided with simple maturity.

I’m so sorry for the “accident” that claimed the life of your husband’s cousin, Alison. I think that judge’s ruling was so wise it should be the mandatory sentence and handed down to every single driver who is caught driving recklessly, whether it’s simple carelessness, weaving, speeding, talking on the phone, whatever. This is an epidemic. If people were more aware of the toll they’d be outraged! I can’t believe more aren’t.

Comment by LynnM 03.04.09 @ 9:09 am

My condolences on your loss.

Comment by Gigi 03.04.09 @ 9:22 am

I too am sorry to hear of your loss, Alison. And, I also agree that judge was very wise…it’s a shame there aren’t more who think of such ways of truly reaching people going down the wrong path. I wonder what the rest of the story is for that young man…did he maybe become either a doctor or a judge?
Thinking of you and your family today,

Comment by Abby 03.04.09 @ 9:49 am

(((((Hugs))))) to you and Richard, Alison. It’s never easy to lose a family member, and it’s especially hard when it’s something completely random and senseless that takes them away from us.

Ditto on everyone else’s comments re the judge. That’s one of the most effective “community service” stories I’ve ever heard.

I know God will comfort and uphold all of you in this sad time.


Comment by Paula 03.04.09 @ 10:43 am

If only all judges thought more like that.

Comment by Carol 03.04.09 @ 10:50 am

I’m so sorry for your loss.

Comment by rho 03.04.09 @ 11:04 am

My sympathies to you and your family.

Comment by Vicki 03.04.09 @ 1:10 pm

I’m so sorry to hear about Richard’s cousin.

I only wish that judges did the same thing to adults who drink and drive! I knew several kids in high school who were killed when drunk adults hit their cars. So sad…

Comment by Jocelyn 03.04.09 @ 1:33 pm

I am so very sorry about your husband’s cousin.

What an act of wisdom on the part of the judge in that story!

Comment by Renna 03.04.09 @ 2:07 pm

There was a fatality on our country road last night and I went to bed wondering if I knew that person. I found out this morning that he was a very nice man I used to work with. Just made a stupid mistake passing another vehicle and now he’s gone.

I’m sorry about Richard’s cousin. You’ve just got to be ready to go at any moment, don’t you?

Comment by Cindi 03.04.09 @ 4:04 pm

I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. The story that you shared was powerful. Thank you.

Comment by Shirley 03.04.09 @ 7:53 pm

I send my condolences to you and your family. My father died in a car accident when I had just started high school. It’s never easy to lose someone. Take care.

Comment by Debbie 03.04.09 @ 10:58 pm

I am so sorry.

We have so many friends who have lost family members in car accidents. One couple lost their daughter, one friend lost his father, another his niece. In an instant they were gone. It’s heartbreaking.

Comment by Momo Fali 03.05.09 @ 7:24 pm

I’ve had my head so buried in this chart I’ve not even read a blog in days.
So sorry to hear about your husband’s cousin. My cousin also died in a car wreck. It’s so wrenching.
But I do love that judge’s sense of justice. He was a man who deserved those robes!

Comment by Helen 03.06.09 @ 10:52 pm

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