It has now been a little over twelve years since Daren was taken from our family by a drunk driver. That may seem like a long time to most people but, to me, it seems like yesterday. I can still tell you everything I did every minute of that day.
In the beginning, when I was still going through the "what if" phase of my grief, I would go over all of the events of that day. I would say what if I did this or what if I did that to change the events of the day. Since I have been working with victims, I find that almost all of them go through this phase.
Now, I always wonder about what might have been. Where would Daren be now? What would he be doing with his life? It was Daren's lifelong dream to become a doctor. He had just graduated from the University of Illinois and was ready to go on to medical school. Would he be in private practice? Would he be on staff at a hospital? Would he be doing medical research, searching for a cure for cancer or some other disease? Would he be married? Would he have children of his own? I have no answers to these questions. I do know that whatever he would be doing, he would be doing it with a great degree of dedication. If he was married with children, I know that he would be a devoted family man.
In contrast, what about the drunk driver, Charles Blue? He was sentenced to eight years in prison for killing Daren, but, back in 1998, defendants only had to serve half of their time, unlike the eighty-five percent that they have to serve now. Actually, he got more time off for something else and only served thirty-seven months.
I would like to say that he served his time, turned his life around and did something good with it. However, I just found out recently that he is doing fifteen to twenty-five years in Michigan for two counts of criminal sexual conduct and one count of assault with intent to commit murder.
Thirty-seven months for killing Daren and fifteen to twenty-five years for trying to kill someone. What's wrong with this picture? Are the Scales of Justice really that far out of whack?
It hurts to know that Daren's beautiful young life was cut short and Charles Blue's was spared to go on and continue a life of crime.
God bless all of the victims and their families.
Father of Daren
Victim Advocate for AAIM
This tribute sponsored by Sally Hoffman