In July of 2003, a very dear friend of mine was taken from this earth. She was about to graduate college, had just been promoted at work, an all around great person. She would make you smile always, never judge, and ask to pray with you and would pray for you anytime she saw you in distress. One of the most beautiful people I've ever known, inside and out. I could go on and on. I still miss her. I think of her all the time.
Andrea had never taken a drink in her life. Not because she was too good, but because she chose not to. Her life was full without those things. Andrea was a senior in college, had just been promoted to manager, she had eyes that would light up the room and beautiful fiery red hair that matched her personality rather than her temper! She was killed by a girl about our age, who decided it was okay to drink and drive. Murdered. My friend was murdered by a drunk driver.
I was 19 when my friend left this earth, and still as I sit here, I cry again. The wound will always be fresh, so I do what I can to honor her life.
As the year end rolls around, I keep getting letters and emails about making that last tax deductible donation to various non-profits. This morning, I was reminded yet again of my friend. Not that I needed a reminder, as she is always on my mind, but I was reminded none the less. I made a donation earlier this year, in honor of my friend to M.A.D.D. Somehow, it seemed like a good way to honor her.
M.A.D.D. is an organization you may or may not have heard of. Mothers Against Drunk Driving. M.A.D.D. was founded by Candy Lightner in 1980 after her daughter, Cari, was killed by a drunk driver who had repeatedly drove drunkenly. M.A.D.D. provides victim services for Victims and Survivors on their website, as well as a support line at 877-623-3435 where you can speak to a victim advocate to help you with what you are going through.
I am writing this post both for selfish reasons-my love and pain for my friend- and for society-to do my part to help others not have to know the pain of having a loved one or themselves become the victim of an inconsiderate idiot who couldn't suck it up and call for a ride, or sleep it off at the very least!
If you have a few pennies, go here and donate. If you don't, show your support via facebook or twitter. Share with your friends. Help by being a safe driver for your friends, making a 'take the keys' rule for those drinking. Just do something. Help us make sure we do something to help!
Everyone keeps saying it, so I guess it's a marketing strategy. I will pass it on. It's a good point. You have until December 31st to donate in order to get it written off of your 2011 taxes. Why not get one last donation in to help an organization who is helping you daily by promoting awareness to protect you and your loved ones.
Please, stay safe and don't drink and drive. If you can't get any way from point A to point B after you've been drinking, find some food, eat, and wait a few hours before you get in your car. Take precautions before you go out by having a Designated Driver.
I wrote this post in Memory of One of My Dearest Friends, Andrea Beth Doyle who left this mortal coil to be with our Heavenly Father on July 23, 2003. Her life was cut short, but her impact on my life will remain forever. She taught me many things but the most important lesson she taught me was through her continuous, unfailing dedication to Him by never judging or following the ways of everyone else and always living for God.