Saturday, April 22, 2017 was supposed to be a reunion of sorts. My parents, Barbara and Mel Glickman were returning to New York after a winter in Florida. We picked them up at the airport and they were joyful. They couldn’t wait to see my boys, their grandsons, who were the light of their lives. We met for dinner at a favorite barbeque restaurant. We shared a terrific meal. My mom could not stop smiling. She introduced the waitress to us as “her beautiful family!” They were beaming with love and pride. We left the restaurant and shared a long goodbye. We hugged, kissed and said our typical “I love you’s.” We then walked in opposite directions to our respective cars.

While watching the news at home, I saw a report of a crash that occurred at the exact location of the restaurant we just ate at. I commented to my husband, how awful, and we were just there. He thought I was just being too nervous as usual. We tried calling both my parents’ cell phones and home phone, but no answer. At this point, my husband was now nervous, too. He ran out without shoes on, to try to look for them with my son, hoping that maybe they were so tired from traveling all day, that they went straight to bed. I tried calling every police station and hospital until I finally found them. The ER nurse told me to get there ASAP. I knew, in my heart, it was too late.  Our worst nightmare came true when the ER nurse told us my wonderful parents were killed by a drunk driver.

This repeat offender was returning home from work at the bar he OWNED, after drinking 11 beers. This selfish, stupid and dangerous act killed two of the nicest people in the world. He was well aware of the dangers of drinking and driving, but failed to care enough. He could have taken a bus, train or even an Uber home but instead he chose to drive with a .15 blood alcohol level. A drive he did many times before, and risked how many thousands of lives each time.

It has been 2 ½ years since I spoke to my parents. 2 ½ years since I hugged my parents. 2 ½ years since my children got to see their grandparents. 2 ½ years since our family celebrated a holiday… Not a day goes by that our hearts are not broken, missing these beautiful people we were so lucky enough to call our family.

I would like to see the penalties become much more severe.  Too many lives continue to be lost because of these 100% preventable crimes. MADD has been a great support to me and others who have fallen victim to these horrible, unimaginable but avoidable acts. If only one life is saved…if only one family is spared the loss my family experienced, then my parents’ deaths would not have been in vain.

Thank you,
Andrea Rothbort