Back in December, a 22 year old woman in Wilmington, NC was involved in a drunk driving incident where someone was killed and another person seriously injured. How I found out about her case is a long story I won’t get into, but the end results is that I decided to reach out to her.
Because humans are fallible, we sometimes make grave mistakes, which is what she did when she decided to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. Many people make this mistake, sometimes leading to horrible consequences. Some people get lucky and no one is hurt. Knowing she was going through a great deal of pain, I felt compassion and sympathy for her. I decided to write to her. My initial letter was primarily to offer support. I heard back from her about a month later (she had received numerous letters from people she didn’t know, and was too shocked and ashamed to respond for a while). She wrote a very nice letter. She turned out to be an mature, polite, interesting, introspective, and intelligent person. She feels a great deal of sadness, remorse, and regret about what happened. She plans to talk to young people about the dangers of drinking and driving.
I wrote her back, and we have continued to write and stay in touch. We discuss a variety of topics and are getting to know each other. I plan to continue to write to her, offer my support through her stay in prison (she was sentenced to 6 – 8 years), and try to influence her life in a positive way. I think getting to know her will be a positive experience for me as well.