Being traumatized by the devastating effects of drunk driving is so overwhelming that I often say there are no human words to describe the intensity of the suffering. Those of us who have experienced such anguish know just how fragile we are during those first months and years, and because our friends and family members frequently don’t know what to say or how to support us, we can find ourselves isolated.
Thankfully, there are special individuals who do not shy away from our pain, and instead embrace us for as long as we need. In my case, that person was Pat Herbert.
Pat is a dear friend who was always there for me during my most painful hours. She just lost her battle with cancer last week. She would not only reach down into my dark hole to help me out, but she climbed into that hole with me when I needed her. I never had to ask, she was just there. She never told me to move on – and I know she had to want to – I cried for so long – but she was patient. I wore out my sofa, soaking it in tears. She was there. She is one of the main reasons I am vertical and no longer horizontal on that couch.
She walked beside me and my family through the court process. We were angry together. But she also smiled with me, shared beautiful memories with me, laughed belly laughs with me, cried with me, played with me, acted crazy with me—I just sit here and smile at all the memories. My precious friend, Pat Herbert, helped carry my heart into peace.
Many of you belong to this special group of compassionate individuals that Pat represents for me. I consider you to be true angels here on earth. So to each of you who help others across these treacherous rocks, I extend my profound gratitude. You don’t know just how deeply your kindness is appreciated. In memory of my Patricia, I want to tell each of you how much you are loved.