As the holidays are upon us once again, many of us will be spending time with family and friends, going to parties and looking for that one special gift for that special someone in our life. But, while many look forward to this season with anticipation, others look to it with dread, and truly suffer in silence.
A recent conversation, with 'Angel Mom,' Sabine Durden, whose son Dominic was killed by an illegal alien in 2012, shed a bright light on that silent suffering.
Sabine generously shared the following words with me:
As we get closer to the holidays, I feel more depressed, moody and sad.
It takes all my strength to get out of bed and function. I have no energy, my body hurts, I can hear my heart breaking more and more.
I space out, forget from one minute to the next, am distracted easily and sometimes just sit and stare into space.
Yes, I still laugh and smile, but I surely would earn a few Oscars for my performance.
I wish I could crawl into a space where my mind would just stop showing me images of my child, that would bring the average person to their knees.
I wish I could push a button to stop this pain and grief, that affects not just me, but the man I love so much. He has to helplessly watch me, without being able to fix or change it.
It makes me smile to see all the adorable family and baby pictures, but it also rips me apart deep inside because I know I will never get the chance to hold and hug Dominic, or the children he would have had.
It’s a brutal reminder of what will never be and what was taken from him, us and so many that loved him.
I am sharing all this because sadly I know way too many other moms and dads that know exactly what and how I feel.
I have hugged, talked and cried with way too many who will never be able to fully enjoy a beautiful holiday like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other day for that matter.
Please include us in your prayers and thoughts and go easy on us if we don’t come to your party or event, when we make excuses and try to just make it through another day.
We won’t ask for help, we won’t call and say what we need….we don’t even know ourselves what we need!
A kind word, a prayer and a smile go a long way.
And lastly, hug the people you love, tell them how you feel and appreciate all you have around you. Never take anything or anyone for granted. Tomorrow is never promised and that’s why we need to enjoy NOW, the present, instead of complaining about the things we don’t have.
On July 12, 2012, Dominic Durden, a 30-year-old Riverside County, California sheriff’s dispatcher was on his way to work, when Juan Zacarias Lopez Tzun, 24, made an illegal left-hand turn in his pickup on Pigeon Pass Road, striking Durden’s motorcycle. Durden’s injuries were massive and he died at the scene.
Tzun, an illegal alien, was charged with vehicular manslaughter and for driving without a license. Despite the fact that Tzun killed an innocent young man, he was booked into the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside, on only $7,500 bail.
On April 3, 2013, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Raphael A. Arreola sentenced Tzun to 90 days in jail and to 180 days in a work-release program. Tzun had already spent 56 days in jail, and only served an additional 30 days, before being released on May 2, after which, he was eventually deported.
Sabine’s heartfelt and inspiring words can be found on the website she created to honor her son’s memory, known as DOMHUGS.
She has also established a scholarship in Dominic’s name to assist students enrolled in Emergency Medical Technician programs at Moreno Valley College.