Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Forgiveness Brings Unlikely Pair Together From Tragedy

If you've been around my blog for any length of time, you know I often share humor and lighthearted stories. I try to write content that brings a smile and maybe an actual chuckle. However, there are times we have to get serious for a moment. 

Sometimes people do some pretty extraordinary things that just have to be shared and we need to move it forward. So that's what I intend to do!

We've all heard about many drunk driving fatalities over the years and I'm always saddened and troubled when I hear someone has died due to a car crash involving a drunk driver. 

MADD organization was created to get the word out about the dangers and awful circumstances that can happen while driving under the influence. However, we still continue to hear about these tragedies.

So many lives affected. The ones who've lost their lives, the ones who’ve survived, and the families and friends connected to those involved. 

It seems, the drunk driver that caused the accident, many times ends up being the sole survivor. Knowing their life was spared makes a person question the meaning of such fate. I don't think I'm alone in saying, why did this person (drunk driver) survive? 

Personally, I've never had any connection to losing someone this way. My anger is very shallow compared to someone who has lived it and who has lost a loved one. 

Recently, a story was shared with me about a woman, Rita Seha, whose van was hit by a drunk driver. Not only did she lose her fiance in this horrific accident, she also lost her two children, her grandson and a close family friend. She was the only one in her vehicle that survived that day! 

There was one other survivor.

You guessed it, the drunk driver!

I can't even begin to fathom the hurt, the awful pain and anger that Rita must have gone through. It hurts my heart now to even think about it. The accident happened six years ago on Memorial Day weekend. What this woman has had to endure this last six years is beyond where my mind can go.  She lost so much. They say it was one of the deadliest drunk driving accidents in Minnesota history.

Image Source:  ABC 6 News http://www.kaaltv.com/index.shtml


However, there is one other person that has had to endure some immediate life changes. We often forget about this person, because we're so angry. After all, it was their choices that afflicted such pain on innocent people. This person is the drunk driver!!

What makes this story incredibly extraordinary is that Rita has forgiven the person that changed her life forever. 

Unless we're directly associated with the drunk driver, we manage to disregard what that person may be going through. We concentrate on the innocent people involved and forget that there’s another human being that, quite possibly, is feeling remorseful and hurting, as well.

In this case, Chris served five years in prison and has recently spoke publicly with Rita.  Amazingly, both Chris and Rita have traveled to schools to tell their story and bring awareness to others. I'm tearing up right now as I write this, because the strength that it has taken on BOTH of their parts is nothing short of a miracle. 

I'm sure, the day Rita's life changed forever, the last thing she thought possible would be to forgive this person. 

It's hard to understand and maybe it's true that things, sometimes unimaginable things, happen for reason. 

This inspirational story just may be a little glimpse into the reason this drunk driver survived. 

The lessons that Chris learned and the amazing strength it took for Rita to, not only forgive, but to actually consider him a side partner.  Together they spread the word, so others can learn from their life-changing experience.

Rita can put her arm around him and understand his pain and despair.  For Chris, it's a mutual feeling. Such courage it must have taken to get to this point. 

Many of us have had life situations that left us asking, "why me?" Or, "why this?" Sometimes we need to dig deep inside to find the answers. I'm sure that's what Rita and Chris had to do. 

I think this lesson is for all of us and why I felt compelled to write about it. 

Watch this link to KAAL News story to see the compassion and empathy they both have for one another.

Please share this article, as I believe this is the reason these two people survived. It’s to touch someone else's life, show us that forgiveness is truly possible and remarkable accomplishments can come from tragedy.

Thank you Rita and Chris!

God bless!


As always, put your smile on,
Laurie O

4 comments:

  1. What a story! Forgiveness is a gift but it can be hard to open. I'm always inspired by those that can.

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  2. I am humbled by those who can forgive such things!

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  3. Rita is a very dear friend of mine, as we're Heidi, Jarah, Ray, Carter and Terry. She is the strongest person I know. I cannot say that I could have gone through this the way that she has and be as humble and forgiving as she has been. I can say, that she is a better person for it.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jane, for stopping by and expressing your thoughts here. I have not met Rita, but I'm friends with her sister. They're a beautiful family for sure and I'm amazed at Rita's strength, as well. Again, thank you for sharing.

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