Sheena Blair DUI

Moving Sheena's Spirit Forward

Sheena Blair DUI - Moving Sheena's Spirit Forward

Our friends in Everett

We went to Everett today, we try to get up there at least once or twice a year. We always go to the DUI Victim memorial wall at McCollum park. Carol usually brings a flower I always lay down some tobacco and leave a pepperoni stick. Sheena LOVED pepperoni sticks. We then went to a Safeway where Carol got some pretty spring flowers and we visited Sheena and Tony’s “Please don’t drink and drive” sign where they were both killed on Broadway under the 41st street overpass. THAT is hard. Seeing where this happened makes us sad and angry. Again.

We then were lucky enough to meet with the two most special people who were SO supportive throughout the Criminal justice part of this whole mess. The traffic Sargent and the Traffic investigative Detective of the Everett Police Department. These two gentlemen were SO good about keeping us in the loop during the investigation. They were also VERY supportive of us during court hearings. We would ask what to expect and they told us. They were right every time. When I called and mentioned that the victim advocate from the prosecutor’s office was not only NOT helpful but just ignored our calls and wouldn’t show up at court hearings, we weren’t even shown where the damn courtrooms were. When we went up to the hearing where the offender changed her plea from not guilty to guilty, they met us at the door and escorted us to the courtroom. They were also joined by eight uniformed police officers and two detectives. Quite an entourage. As we walked down the halls people would whisper “JEESUS. I wonder what THEY did”. They are very impressed and admirable of our actions in the state legislature, like helping to triple the sentencing guidelines for vehicular homicide. We are just as impressed of their professionalism and sensitivity in their dealings with us. We would have NEVER made it through all this without them.

Since this has happened to us we have met and worked with a LOT of AMAZING people. We have become friends with REALLY smart people in state agencies who LIVE this stuff, for whom traffic safety and prevention of deaths and injuries on our hiways is a mission. We have been places and been with high placed elected officials and high ranking military officers we never dreamed of ever being with in the same room. Goodness knows we have been in front of TV cameras and radio appearances trying EVERYTHING we can to make a difference and move Sheena’s spirit forward.

But at the end of the day we know why all this is happening. As inspiring as all the people we work with are, the pain we feel over Sheena’s loss is always present. We think of her every day. After a trip like today we ARE sad AND angry. This has left a huge hole in our hearts. And we miss her deeply in our guts. It doesn’t get easier. Never will.

Offguard

I was driving Sheena’s little sister Amy to her volunteer job at the Pierce County Humane Society when out of the blue she asked me, “Are you guys going to be around for a while?” I wasn’t exactly sure what she meant at first. Then she brought up that Sheena had always promised to watch out for her after we died. Now she’s gone and now Amy doesn’t know who is going to look after when we die. She doesn’t know this, but it’s ONE of many things that cause my eyes to snap open in the middle of the night.

I wasn’t sure exactly how to answer. The EASY way would have been to just say that we will ALWAYS be there for her and to not worry. She has disabilities but she’s NOT stupid. So I just told her that we had no control of when we pass on. We HOPE to be here for a long time. She added “You ARE getting up there ya know”………. Hard to argue with that.Then I told her that a LOT of people love her in at LEAST twenty states and at LEAST four countries. I told her that she doesn’t have ONE big sister anymore,she has dozens. She seemed to get it. I didn’t lie to her, I couldn’t. We are people of modest means and we do NOT have a million dollar trust fund set up for her. I DO worry.

Of COURSE the reason we are even HAVING this discussion is because of a damn drunk driver. SHE will get out of prison and move on. We won’t. SHE will have grandchildren someday, WE won’t. A few beers, a couple glasses of wine, a couple drinks a couple hits from a bong. Sounds innocent enough. It is NOT. Amy damn near broke my heart today. Is this “normal”? It is now for US at least. Although I think about stuff like this all the time now, this caught me off guard. Thanks Camille.

5 years ago today

It’s been five years since we lost Sheena to a drunk driver. Five years may seem like a long time. It’s not. We are just as sad, just as shocked, just as devastated. We continue to struggle as we do our best to move forward. We will also continue to do all we can to stop impaired people from killing our families. Please help any way you can.GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Validation when you least expect it

I found this message when I accidentally checked my “other” file on Facebook instant messenger. It TOTALLY caught me off guard especially as I was starting to question whether our activism was having any effect and if it was maybe time to slow down. This young woman in a few very well written and heartfelt paragraphs restored our faith in what we do AND the younger generation. I have this person’s permission to publish her note, name withheld of course.

Sept ’14 I was arrested for a dui. Hands down the most horrifying and thankful moment of my life. Since the arrest it’s been a roller coaster of emotions. Happiness that I’m still alive, and anger because I made such an awful choice that put not only myself, but everyone else on the road in danger. Hearing your story really touched me.
Long story (kind of) short, I come from a family of alcoholism. I was raised by a single mother who suffered from alcohol addiction until I was 11 years old. I am 23 now. She has been sober for about 10 years which I am more than proud of her for. My mother and I are closer than ever now. Growing up basically learning to numb any pain with booze hasn’t done me well. I’d been through rehab at 16 years as well as AA.
When you spoke about Sheenas friend who was “into slipknot” I couldn’t help but smile inside because it reminded me of myself when I was younger. I was that kid who also was into slipknot and had no clue what the heck I was doing. I have a friend who was with me throughout my “dark” phase, and we are still great friends. She always wants to help me, and encourages me to make good choices. That friend reminds me of your girl Sheena.
Another part of your story that made me think about the choices I’ve made in life relate to not having a father. Seeing how close you and Sheena are and the adorable stories about the bubble lawn mower and Sheena saving the worms just made my heart melt with happiness. Sheena is so incredibly lucky to have you as a father as well as your other daughter. I’ve never known what having a father would be like, but I do know that if I did have a father, I’d want him to be like you. (I hope this isn’t strange).
One last thing… You spoke about how Sheena always liked to help people, and save her worm friends from being the bait (ha ha). I am a huge animal activist. Unfortunately animals cannot speak for themselves so Id like to speak for them, and help them. If that makes any sense. Whenever I’m not working full time, I spread the word of anti captivity, Killer whales and other cetaceans in general. If I can’t ban captivity, spreading my awareness will.
I do feel as if I’m rambling now. And I hope I haven’t offended you or creeped you out. I printed out an article about Sheena and have it folded nicely the center consul of my car. I thank god every single time I get back into my car for granting me a second chance in life. I also think of your family and Sheena.
I will be done with the legal process of my DUI this February. I shared with my boyfriend how moved and touched I felt by your story. I would love to hear your story again but this time with my love to a future VIP at Tukwila’s North Star so he can hear your story as well. Please let me know when you will speak again at this location Frank. Your story has touched me beyond belief and I promise To myself and the entire world that I will absolutely never operate a vehicle again while under the influence.
God bless,

A request

I was just asked to speak to a group of Washington State Patrol troopers on Friday January 30th. I was asked to give them kind of a pep talk to motivate them before they go out hunting for DUIs.I have done this a couple of times and I really LOVE being asked to do this. I will tell them about Sheena and how and where she and Tony died. I will tell them what that horrid knock on the door is like from OUR side of the door. I will also share with them that they are intervening in these impaired driver’s lives BEFORE they kill someone………They are actually blessing them with a second (sometimes MORE) chance. In THAT they are actually angels. Not all of them may LOOK like angels but in our hearts that’s exactly what they are. Looking forward to speaking to these law enforcement officers.