These are very hard words to hear. Are they accurate? Am I responsible? At 15, I wasn’t quite sure. Let me tell you the story!
My mother had a friend named JD. He was a happy-go-lucky guy. Most of the time when he came around, like many of mother’s other friends, he had been drinking. When he had a lot to drink, he would come on to my mother very heavily. This irritated me. She obviously didn’t like him in that way, but sometimes I think he wore her down, because I occasionally saw him coming out of her bedroom in the morning.
As a teenage girl, I didn’t like seeing multitudes of men leaving my mother’s bedroom. Call me pious.
On this particular night, my mother had went to bed earlier. I don’t recall if it was because she had drank too much or if she was just tried, but her friend JD called very late that night. I could tell by his speak that he had been drinking.
He was leaving a local bar and wanted to come see Mom. I told him that she was sleeping, and that I didn’t want him to come over and wake her up. He said something like “awe she won’t mind. I can get her up and we can party together”.
I did not want him to come over, wake my mother up, and get her all riled up. Nor did I want him trying to talk his way into her bed while she was half asleep.
I could imagine her telling me the next day “why did you let him come over here so late knowing that he was already drunk”?
I didn’t want the hassle, so I firmly told JD that he did not need to come over. That I didn’t want to wake mom up, and that he should just call her the tomorrow.
He tried a little cajoling to begin with, then he said “alright hon. I’ll talk to you later.”
I really did like JD. I had nothing against him, except for him always trying to maneuver his way into my mother’s bedroom. He was essentially a nice guy…
The next day, mom got a phone call that he had an accident and was killed. She broke down, started screaming and crying, and when she hung up she told me the story. He was killed the night before when a car struck his motorcycle on his way to another bar that was about a mile away from our house.
I said “oh no, he called last night while you were asleep and wanted to come over here, but I told him no because I didn’t want him hassling you”. She told me then that I should have let him come over, that he probably would still be alive if I would have said yes…
Although he was drinking and driving, the other vehicle’s driver was also. The other driver had actually just left the bar. It was determined that the car veered out of its lane and collided with him, in a curve. There was nowhere for him to go.
She blamed me for his death. I felt awful! Was I responsible for his death because I didn’t allow him to come to my house? I didn’t mean JD any harm, but I had turned him away for what I thought was good cause.
Logically, I did not make him get drunk and then go driving around. I was not responsible for his bad decisions, but I still turned him away.
That memory will probably haunt me forever.
I stress to my friends, my children (anyone who will listen) to never drive drunk and to always have a designated driver. But I will always have to live with the fact that I did not just let him come over…