A mother and grandmother speaks at sentencing following the tragic loss of a child and grandson. No alcohol, no drugs, no reckless driving, no intent to hurt anyone; but two lives are forever lost because the driver of the other vehicle didn’t stop at the stop sign.
I am Sara’s mother and Aiden’s grandmother. We appreciate the chance to make a statement. Max and I, and Adam and Laura, and Brandon and Harmony, now all face a life without Sara’s smile and the sound of her voice. She was the creative one in our very straight line thinking family. She gave our whole lives color. We will never hear Aiden’s laughter again or hear him sing a song. Aiden will forever be stuck in our minds as a three year old. He was Peter Pan to Harmony’s Tinker Bell. If he had lived to Halloween of this year, he would have been the frog to Harmony’s princess; a costume that Sara designed for her.
One night recently, I looked through pictures on the computer; Harmony came to stand beside me. We looked at pictures of her and Aiden, and suddenly a picture of Sara came up. Harmony touched the screen and said, “Mommy, mommy I miss you so much. Would you please come back”? There is no comfort for a five year old girl who just wants to feel her mother’s hug. It is inevitable that her memories of Sara and Aiden will fade. And this is very sad because Sara was a wonderful mother, and Aiden was a bright shining boy who loved his sister.
I tell you these things not to get sympathy, but so that you and everyone here knows that they were not faceless. Should I have to put my grief on parade for you to know that--and everyone else to know that I am sad, it should be enough for me to say that our lives have changed forever. Life without Sara and Aiden is our new reality. Not one that we like, but we will live it because we have no other choice.
None of us can judge Mr. Troxell. If you have ever driven while on the phone, or texting, or changing a CD, or eating French fries, or talking to your children in the back seat, or if you’ve been driving while you were tired, you were driving while you were distracted and your fate could be the same as Mr. Troxell’s. Just as our lives changed forever on October 19th, so did his. While I know that accidents happen, and I believe that that’s what this was, I do not want to hear excuses, not from Mr. Troxell, and not from people who feel the need to defend him. When you make a mistake, take responsibility for it.
If roles had been reversed here today and Sara were alive and receiving probation, I would tell her this, “You are being given a second chance to do whatever you want with your life. Use that second chance well”. I forgive you, because Sara would want me to and because hating you, or not forgiving you, cost me more than it does you.
Sara and I used to talk on the phone all the time, and I can’t tell you what I would give to see her name come up on my called ID, or to hear her voice just one more time. I read this line in a book recently, which describes our house now, “The silence here is very loud”.