I remember the day it happened, 16 years ago yesterday.
Rhonda (my wife) and Jenni our 10-year-old daughter ( it was her birthday) and I starting on our trip to Orlando. We had promised Jenni we would take her to DisneyWorld for her 10th.
The morning had been crazy busy, the packing, the phone ringing from my boss who needed help covering one of our large accounts, Rhonda asking a million questions, not the least of which was making sure we got yo the bank in time it was Saturday morning). By 11 am I was already a basket case. So I slipped into the kitchen and poured a stiff drink ( my first mistake) … Finally, we got it all done and were on the road. Jenni kept asking how far we had to go, Rhonda had a weak bladder and asked to keep stopping for bathroom breaks every hour. Then we had a flat and also a flat spare. We made it by the skin of our teeth to an auto dealer who fixed the spare and we had to buy two tires.
We stopped for an early dinner and I had two beers (Rhonda said no but I felt I needed them (my second mistake).
We hit the road again and twilight came then rain and darkness. The rain hammered the windshield, and it was tough to see. I was going to pull off the road and should have (my next mistake) but kept going to get to Orlando. The miles kept passing by and the rain kept coming down and I was getting tired. Suddenly I heard Rhonda scream, I had crossed over into oncoming traffic and then the crashed head-on with a van full of what I found out later was Little Leaguers…
I woke up in a hospital, I kept asking about Jenni and Rhonda but got not answers. My left arm was in a cast and I had cuts and bruises on my head and face. Two police officers a nurse and a doctor came into the room. They told me Rhonda and Jenni were “gone”… I went numb… They also told me that I was under arrest for driving while impaired. I called my lawyer eventually we went to court and I was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Two of the Little leaguers had died as well. I served 7 years and had lost my wife, my daughter, my house, my job, my license, I was sued all I had was $19.87…
So here I am on the street homeless, living on and off in shelter, a pariah to society and I guess to myself.
I never went to church nor learned to pray, I tried but prayers went unheard. I went through a time where I kept telling myself I could shake it off and come back but now no more. I spend my days looking for something to eat, a place to sleep somewhat safely and yes drink it seems there is nothing else.
Someone told me I need to forgive myself, just cannot do it. I caused all this and deserve my fate whatever that may be.