It’s been a while since I have posted here. That is going to change. Most DUI issues I come across, I post on facebook. From now moving forward those issues will be posted here and then linked to my Facebook page. I hope you will follow this site.
I did an impact panel tonight. At the conclusion the participants are asked to fill out evaluation forms about the speakers. I usually wait by the door to take the forms and shake hands with them. Most times they thank us and hug us. Tonight as I was standing by the door, a big guy, obviously a Pacific Islander, Hawaiian by the look of his tatts and brown skin motioned me into the hallway. I went out there with him and he looked both ways to make sure we were alone. He told me he was born and raised in Hawaii in a very traditional way. The small town where he lived, the name escapes me, and his family practiced old traditional ways including learning hakas. He told me of maha, a kind of vision or ability to see auras or spirits of those who are no longer with us. He said that as I spoke of Sheena he could see a VERY strong maha of her moving around the room and especially when I spoke of her as a little girl. He said that he saw her stand behind me and she put her hands on my shoulders as if to give me the strength to get the words out. He said that her presence was SO strong, SO present and the strongest presence he has ever felt that it made the hair on his arms and the back of his neck stand straight up and sent chills up his back. I told him I DID notice him squirming and rubbing his arms I thought he was cold. ” NO Brudda” he said. She was there as plain and clear as if she was actually standing right there.
I admit that I DO feel her with me when I do these things but I thought it was just me. When I leave to do impact panels I put her poster up front with me and I say out loud., ” Let’s go get em Sweety”. I KNOW she’s there and I’m really glad someone else noticed her too.
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.
Carol and I were invited to attend Governor Inslee’s press conference about NEW DUI legislation HB 2030. We were treated SO kind and SO respectfully and we SO are proud of The Governor’s leadership of HB 2030. We would also like to thank OUR representative Dawn Morrell (D-25) for prime sponsoring this vital public safety bill.
We set up a couple interviews with local TV stations who were VERY kind to us and did a magnificent job of covering this press conference. I have those on this site later this evening.
There are a couple of pictures I will post here now that show a side of this day that didn’t make it on the news, but is at LEAST as important to US as anything else that happened today. Governor Inslee asked to meet with us in his office before the press conference began. He didn’t NEED to do this, he did it to thank us for all we have done in the past and all we are doing now to help move this bill forward. THEN he brought all the key Representatives and Senators in and introduced them to us personally. AGAIN, he didn’t HAVE to do that, he did it out of the goodness of his heart.
Thank you Rep Morrell, thank you Governor Inslee and a special thank you to Jaime Smith the Governor’s communication director for setting all this up.
It’s just a little tree.
I transplanted it from our daycare. It was a gift from a dear parent who gave it to us after Sheena was killed by a drunk driver. When we left the business, we made arrangements for another dear friend to bring it to us when it would stand the best chance of surviving the move, she brought it over last night.
It is hard to dig a hole when your eyes are full of tears. I didn’t expect this reaction. I was just planting a little tree, but it is Sheena’s little tree. It brought it all back. Especially how much I miss her and that our life will never be the same.
I dug the hole in silence, except for the sniffing sound I was making and the shovel doing it’s work. After the hole was big enough, I saged the site, paying special attention to tribute to Natosi (the Sun) and our Mother, the earth. I cleansed myself, the little tree and the place where I was asking Mother Earth to hold it’s roots tight and nurture it with her bosom. I then made an offering and returned the little tree to the earth. After making tribute and respect to the four quarters of the world, I said a final prayer and walked away. Natosi warmed us with his warmth and bright light with blue skies overhead. Now that the little tree is in it’s place, I see that Thunder Being seems to be sending clouds from the west to provide rain to water and nourish Sheena’s little tree.
Next time you are out celebrating life with your alcohol, and you are reaching for your keys, please remember this story and Sheena’s little tree and just…..don’t do it.