Monday, 7 March 2011

A Sister's Pain

I search for the right words, the strangled words that will express my pain, but they won't come. Nothing is enough to express the anger I feel, the disappointment, the insult and the sadness that now engulfs me. I'm the sister of that thirteen year old, the one who you hit last year.

An accident. That's the technical term, but I refuse to accept it. In the middle of that dreaded afternoon you drove drunk, mounted the pavement on which she stood waiting for the green light that would allow her to cross safely. And you hit her, your impaired judgement showing no mercy. 

She lay in hospital for a week hanging by a thread between life and death, and another month in a coma. That whole time the doctors repeatedly told us that there was no hope.

She wouldn't live.

She wouldn't wake up.

She wouldn't recover.  

Funeral arrangements were prepared, and discussions about organ donation were started.

Then, in defiance, she started to breathe on her own.

This whole time since, she hasn't spoken once. She hasn't stood on her own two feet. She hasn't laughed. I keep waiting. I stand and watch her, and I pray for that one sign that she's coming back to me. But no one can tell me that it's going to happen.

As you stood in court, the judge delivered the verdict. The judge spoke of an accident with devastating consequences, told of your extenuating circumstances, and how difficult your life had become since you hit her.

And for all of that, all that devastation, you got nothing.

A fine and a suspended driver's licence.

Someone who drives whilst talking on the phone gets a fine.

Someone who breaks the speed limit gets a fine. If they do it twice, maybe thrice, they might lose their licence too.

You, you who took my sister's life away and destroyed her future and her family, you get to walk away and live your life as if nothing ever happened.

I wonder if you even gave her a second thought, or if you only ever thought of yourself.

I don't care if you admitted your guilt in court, saving your own skin and supposedly precious time.

Time is something I have plenty of. Over a year of her life has already been taken away. I can wait a little while longer for justice. But it doesn't seem forthcoming.

My heart, already broken, has been ripped out of me and stamped on. My baby sister, my parents' child, is no more than another statistic, another number in the eyes of the courts, and to you she means nothing at all. But to me she's my fun-loving, animal-friendly, bad-taste-in-music, drives-me-crazy sister, and I want her back, body and soul intact.

So whilst you walk the streets in peace, drinking away the days until you can drive again, she lives in a state of constant war. She fights for the tiniest movement, the smallest glimmer of hope, the simplest of signs to show that she's still with us, that she knows us, that she wants to keep up the fight.

As you walk back to your own life, I'll be here fighting her battles with her.

The translation and some literary license is mine. The story, however, isn't.


Kelvin said...

As is often the case words fail me.

smartwombat said...

You found the right words :~(

Just Me said...

The words came, and you have done them justice, my friend.

Oneunder said...

Powerful stuff.

Now that should be an advert. Get a young girl to read it over a few images and you will have a real impact.

Fee said...

Agree 100% with oneunder - very powerful indeed.

Anonymous said...


I followed your link from Tom Reynolds' page after reading his whole blog, and over the last few days I have done the same with yours. I desperately want to join your ranks further North but don't currently have that coveted C1 driving license, nor the funds to aquire it. I do start in May as a Porter in a MASSIVE hospital up here, which is a step in the right direction but in the mean time blogs such as yours keep me focused on my goal whether the post be heartwarming, funny or, as happened this morning, make me cry. They all prove to me that the rewards fully outweigh the deficits and your fantastically litarary writing style makes even the mundane "AFC", "No blankets on the ambulance" posts a joy to read.

So Thankyou, for keeping me focussed, and entertaining me while the wife watches Emmerdale.

A cornishman in the North.

Anonymous said...

It's a shame the idiots who drink drive will probably never think of reading blogs.

They're too busy putting other people's lives and less importantly, their own at risk...

Another beautifully written entry.


Anonymous said...

Another convert here - thankyou Tom Reynolds
Just when I thought I'd seen it all (yes I have read all of your blogs) this one has blown me away.
I can't find the right words, so please can I just send you my love and best wishes.

Eileen said...

"Extenuating circumstances" - there should be none: have a drink and drive - finish, no more licence, ever. The limit should be ZERO - no argument there.

Good, I hope their life is difficult - they still have one to do something with. She probably doesn't.

Michael Morse said...

Tremendous. I've been considering hanging up the blogging, It's good to know voices such as yours will carry on. Thank you.

InsomniacMedic said...

Thanks all for your comments, and I guess to Tom Reynolds for sending some of you my way.
Cornishman - I wish you all the best and hope you reach your goal!
Oneunder - I'm looking into the possibilities of using your idea.
And Michael - don't you dare hang up the blogging! Yours is the one of the amazing ones I aspire to!

Dave said...

Even more sad is that this case is not the only one. Here in Israel there was a similar accident leading a similar state - the driver got some community service and a derisory fine, thanks to a plea bargain that the authorities accepted. There is now a public outcry to cancel the plea bargain and at least give the driver a real punishment. I dread to think how many more murderers get off that way all over the world.