A lesser-minded individual would have given up by now. A weaker soul would have caved, but she perseveres. She continues to fight for herself and for her children. She stays sober in the face of defeat, not because the courts are telling her to, but because sobriety is her choice.
In the six and a half months since that tragic night, she has gotten certified to be a personal chef and a yoga instructor. She has continued her quest for a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She has taken classes to learn co-parenting skills, communication skills and anger management skills. She has read countless books. She successfully completed a month-long stint in rehab. She has told her story to substance abuse classes. She has endured the death of her grandmother. She has lost and regained partial custody of her two children. She spends every Saturday and Sunday with them. She attends church at least three Alcoholics Anonymous meetings every week. She reads her Bible every day and prays that God’s Will would be done in her life. She attends church every Sunday and teaches her son everything she can about Jesus Christ.
For all intents and purposes, the woman has been rehabilitated. What more could she possibly do to atone for her sins? Yes, she endangered her life and her son’s. I get that. But should a woman be seen only as her mistake? Did we not learn anything from “The Scarlett Letter?”
Her readiness conference yesterday was continued until October 29th. That’s more than six weeks from now! The emotions I felt in July are even more frustrated now. The District Attorney continues to try to make an example of her – offering nothing but punishment to the full extent the law allows.
Who would gain from such a sentence? What benefit would be added to San Diego County if she served YEARS in prison for driving drunk? Her children won’t be any safer than they are now. She won’t be any more encouraged to be a productive member of society. Putting her in prison puts a drain on the taxpayers, whereas allowing her to be free to work pays taxes. She won’t have a license, she doesn’t have a car – she cannot endanger anyone’s life any more than you or me.
I understand that she has shown that when under the influence of alcohol, she is capable of making poor decisions. However, time has proven that she wants to be sober. Forever.
What good is it doing anyone to continue punishing her and possibly even punish her more?! Who is benefitting from this? Certainly not her or her children, not Chris or Richard or me are gaining anything. She cannot go off base (except for meetings), so her shopping is limited to the convenience store at the hospital. She cannot go to Bible study. She cannot pick up her mail. She cannot even take her kids to a playground.
And this is where her strength, intelligence and perseverance shine through. Sure, she gets frustrated and disappointed every time her request for liberty is denied. But every time, she accepts it and continues her journey. She does not drown her sorrows in liquor, she does not throw up her hands in surrender, she does not change her course. She trusts in the Lord’s timing and wholeheartedly believes that “all things work for the good of those who love Him.” (Romans 8:26)
I can only pray that someone somewhere will eventually see and appreciate the amazing woman she has become and allow her the opportunity to be the beacon of light that she is to a greater audience.