“You shouldn’t have run away! You nearly killed me…”
These are the words that kept playing in my mind. I have been walking with my friends to the shop, but unfortunately I got thirsty and went to drink water in the nearby tap, after drinking I followed them. Before jumping the road I looked at the left then on the right and repeated three times. When I was in the middle of the road the car came in an increased speed there was nothing I could do, it ran over me. I woke up in hospital and my aunt was next to me. I felt like crying when I found myself in hospital. It felt like I didn’t have feet because I couldn’t sense my feet.
“Auntie my feet are weak,” I said with tears in my eyes.
“The doctor said that you won’t be able to walk again and the perpetrator ran away,” she replied.
We sat there with my aunt at the hospital until the visiting hours were over. In few days’ time I was discharged. My aunt is the one taking care of me as I lost my parents at the age of six but I did not know the cause of their death. I always prayed that the Lord blesses the person who lent me the wheelchair I am using now.
I always believed that when you’re driving you’re responsible for the lives of pedestrians. If we work together we can stop road accidents but sadly some people still don’t follow road rules. I continued going to school but I felt different because other pupils treated me differently just because I was in the wheelchair. I hated school because everyone felt sorry for me and started gossiping about me. They were asking why I was not attending a special school because of my disability
I didn’t understand why they spoke like that, because I felt that there is nothing that was wrong with me except that I could not walk. My aunt took me to counselling to make sure I become emotionally strong. I told myself that I would be strong for myself as I had no friends because people felt pity for me. I felt isolated. Regardless of all I was going through, I was really happy when the principal announced that next week exams were beginning. I looked forward to writing exams.
When I got home I studied in preparation for my exams, as I was busy studying my aunt came back from work and prepared food for us. After eating I went to sleep. Before slept I took the bible and opened Matthew 5 verse 1-11. I then prayed and went to sleep. I usually studied after school as I wanted to pass my grade 11 with flying colours so everyone would respect me and know that a wheelchair doesn’t mean you’re no longer worth to be called a human being. I decided to take a break and I went outside to dance while sitting on my wheelchair.
I then went to study to prepare for my exam, and then when I finished with studying, I went to plug water, and I took a hot bath. After I finished bathing I went to eat. Afterwards I went to my bed and prayed ‘Our Father’ then I fell asleep. I woke up early in the morning made my bed, brushed my teeth then went to eat my breakfast. Then afterwards I took a bath, wore my uniform, and I went to catch my transport, it took me to school. And when I got to school, I wrote my exams. I wrote all my exams until they were finished.
When our schools were closing, my aunt went with me to fetch my report. That day was a really happy day, no one could believe their eyes when they saw that I got 3 medals and 4 certificates. I felt like jumping up and down when I heard the teacher calling out my name.
When we arrived home, my aunt made food and then I had the urge to as her what happened to my parents. She didn’t expect such a question from me but she told me that they were in a car accident on their way to Gauteng.
She mentioned that the person who caused the accident was arrested. When we were finished with eating dinner, I then went to my room and read Corinthians 13 verse 1-13 then prayed and wrote this letter:
I am sitting in this wheelchair heartbroken. I have questions but no answers. I lost my parents because of a negligence driver. I am sitting in a wheelchair because of a driver who caused me this pain and ran away.
I now question why do people get into cars drunk, having no license and heartless? Why don’t people think of the lives of anyone on the road? Why don’t you drivers put it in your minds that you are holding the lives of thousands of people on the road? Don’t you know that you could be killing a bread winner, and the tears of their children will rain your journey on earth and come back to haunt you? I know sometimes drivers cause accidents unintended but I am urging you to please not do it with the intention of causing harm by not obeying rules of the road.
Today I have decided to forgive the driver who caused my parents death and also forgive the one who had put me in this wheelchair. Whether they are sorry or not I forgive them and accept their apology even though they never asked for one. After taking the decision to forgive them, I then went to sleep and felt new inside. When I woke up I went to the kitchen where my aunt was, I asked her to take me to prison as I wanted to meet the person who murdered my parents in the car accident.
When we arrived at prison, we arrived to the cell and met with the guy. He greeted us. We greeted him back then I asked him a few questions. I asked him what happened on the day of the accident and how he was coping in prison. He told me that after passing matric his parents bought him a car. The accident happened when he was 22 and he is now 33. On the day of accident, he was coming home from a friend’s party and was drunk.
He drove the car while he was drunk and caused the accident. He says, his eyes were opened after the accident and he was then arrested. He was arrested alone and not even one of his friends visited him. He told me that for 5 years his parents never visited him but they ended up coming. He has written a book to show how sorry he is and he is studying here. I asked for a copy of his book and he told me that my aunt should ask for it. I told him I forgiven him.
He was really happy. I told him that the car ran over me and the driver ran away that’s how I ended up in a wheelchair. I asked him to open an organisation about road accidents he promised to do so. He told me that he might get a parole this year and is looking forward to teach people.
Visiting hours were over and we returned home. I was really happy to see that someone had learnt from his mistake and is willing to make up for it. I learnt to forgive. Soon, he was released from prison and my aunt helped him to open an organisation where many people shared their road stories, I learnt a lot. My accident nearly killed me but actually groomed me. My message to everyone who is road user is: BE SAFE, DRIVE SAFELY AND THINK OPENLY.
Tell us: Do you think motorists take this message seriously?