This is Keian. He is 15 in this picture. Handsome, isn’t he? He is taking the typical teen selfie — ok who am I kidding, even adults do this now! He is taking the typical selfie pic with his phone in the mirror probably before he heads out the door for school.
Keian’s mom, Marcy was taking her kids to school on October 31st, 2012. She dropped off her two sweet girls and probably gave them all kinds of tender advice for their day. Then it was time to take Keian to the High School.
But they never made it to the High School.
A 21-year-old woman was headed the opposite direction as they were, and it appears from the investigations that she was texting and driving. I do that all the time.
“Yes, on my way.” or …
“UGH – I know! Boys are so crazy!” or …
“K, will email it to you when I get home.” or …
“On my way to the store, need anything?”
I can type pretty fast with my right thumb. I was actually disappointed when we upgraded to iPhones because I was a beast with my old phone. I could feel the buttons with my thumb and could text without even looking… 4 … 555…666…888…33…88 (I love you). I had the keypad memorized. Easy-peasy.
I’m careful to only text when I’m not in a huge pack of cars on the highway, or when I’m at a stoplight — ooops, it’s green!, and I only text in neighborhoods after I’ve made sure no kids are around.
Is this transparency making you cringe? It’s all truth. And I am embarrassed to admit it all, but hey, I’ve never been in a texting related accident so clearly I know how to do it.
That 21-year-old female in New Mexico driving to work or home or to see her mom or wherever she was heading — I bet she had never been in a texting related accident either. But that day, her actions ended up killing Marcy and Keian.
Their family never saw them again.
I wish you could see my cursor blinking right now, and hear my heart pounding, and see the tears pooling in my eyes.
I don’t want to be responsible for a Marcy and a Keian not making it to school, or even worse, not making it to the dinner table to laugh and pray with their family. Their family will never go on another family vacation without feeling the weight of the two people missing from their car. They will never go to another restaurant and ask for a table for 3 without thinking “it used to be a table for 5.” I don’t want to sit in a courtroom and hear how thoughtless and selfish my actions were that ripped a loving and tender mother away from her daughters… and took a dad’s only son from his life … forever.
Not to mention how it would impact my own family. My son would grow up without me and I would be in a cell in some prison looking at his pictures and reading every letter over and over and over again. I wouldn’t be able to teach him how to drive, or be there for his High School prom, or graduation, or college years. I might not be there when he gets married, and would be giddy to see the wedding pictures that come in the mail to my cell…. and I don’t mean phone… wait, would he even want a relationship with me anymore? Would I even get pictures and letters? My husband would struggle with the choice to stay married to me, a killer. We wouldn’t snuggle in bed and laugh at stupid commercials together… I would ruin all of that for my family.
I’ve been texting and driving for at least 7 years if not more. With my son in the car. On highways. In neighborhoods. In parking lots… all because I thought my messages were incredibly important and couldn’t wait.
But the message of taking someone’s life because I needed you to know I will email you when I get home? That’s a message I don’t ever want to send….
Click on that link above to take the pledge with me. Stop texting and driving – TODAY. Write Marcy and Keian on your steering wheel if you need to. Just stop. I’m on my 8th day of no texting and driving — and it isn’t easy to break a 7+ year habit, but taking someone else’s life isn’t something I can live with…. waiting to send that text is TOTALLY something I can live with. Thanks to my friend Beth, who knew Marcy and Keian, my perspective has changed.
Leave a comment if you will take the pledge with me.
Because I’ve taken the pledge before and failed — and I need to know there are others out there who will stand with me and will make the change with me too.