I know you and your family didn’t know or ever had seen my daughter before, so I would like to tell everybody a little about her and why she was out in her car at 2 am. when the incident happened.
Almost 24 years ago, Ada was born at Ball Memorial hospital in Muncie. My husband and I were students at Ball State University at that time. She grew up like most American kids, went to school, joined the Girl Scouts, being a member of a Gymnastics team and competed at the State Championship level. During High School, she joined the dance team, Gymnastic team, cheerleader team and was a member of the show choir. On top of that, she was holding 2 jobs, volunteered at Wishard Hospital and was able to maintain a 3 point grade average.
Ada is daughter that any parent could be proud of. She is a good sister to her brothers and a good friend to many. One of her friends referred her as “A ray of sunshine”. She is a beautiful girl, outside and inside. She dares to dream; she had big plans for her life after she graduate from Indiana University.
On the night of the accident, March 3rd, 2008, Ada and her brother came home from work at 11 o’clock, showered and we piled up on my bed, talking. Then the phone rang and Ada’s friend wanted her to pick him up from Broad Ripple because he was drunk, but she did not make it to Broad Ripple. She had been his designated driver many times. That’s who she is, caring and worried about other people. Another example of her kindness was during the spring brake at IU, she had arranged to have a group of IU students went down to New Orleans to help clean up after hurricane Katrina.
This very same day last year, December 19, 2008, I dropped off my daughter at the airport. She was on her way to Paris, France. Standing on top of the Eiffel tower, she called me. “I am the luckiest girl in the whole world”. Life was good, for Ada.
She stayed in Paris for 2 months, then decided to come back to finish the last 2 classes at IU. She planned to go back to Paris in June. She did not go back to class. Instead, she spent 3 weeks in the critical care unit at Methodist hospital fighting for her life. The doctor did not think she was going to make it and had advised us to let her go. But she kept fighting and showed us the will to live. We spent 5 weeks in the hospital, 3 month in the nursing home, 2-3 trips to the emergency room each month, 2 month in the rehab hospital and now she is home with her family.
Forget about going back to Paris for now, with severe brain damage, she cannot talk, cannot walk, cannot communicate, she cannot eat or drink, can’t go to the bathroom by herself, can’t stand up on her own and confine to her wheelchair or her bed. She can’t tell us what she wants and how she feels.
A girl with a bright future who was on the go and loved by so many, what‘s in the future for her, or for her family. With the blink of an eye, unexpected thing happened that altered and changed our lives forever. Frankly, to tell me that it is lucky that she is still alive is like getting stab with a knife in my heart repeatedly. Every night, I cried myself to sleep, hoping that it was just a nightmare and when I wake up in the morning, she will be there smiling, giving me a hug and kisses and tell me how much she loves me.
It could be months, years, or never, who knows.
I did it and so darn proud of myself. I stood up in court and spoke on behalf of my daughter. My friend, Ankana always encourage me to join the Toast Master Club so I can learn to speak in front of people. Even when I was a President of Bead Society, I managed to avoid talking in front of people for the whole years. Angkana would be proud of me.
Many were crying , the judge admit that this is one the hardest case to judge. She asked me what would be a fair sentencing. I told her that it does not matter to me because it won't do any good for my daughter. It won't help her in any way.
The defendant is a nice young man, who had never get in trouble with the law, not even get a ticket. He works as a case manager for the Child Protection Agency. Both Ada and him were met at the wrong place, at the wrong time. He admit to all the charges, sincerely apologized.
I forgave him, I had to, just for my own sake, I can't keep getting angry at him, at the world. My heart sank watching him got his hands cuffed. I wish all of these didn't happened.
I am planning to visit him and tell him that I am not angry anymore. Now I feel sorry for him and his family.
I feel better, happier and know from the bottom of my heart, this is the right thing to do. This is what Ada would want me to do.