Not Today ~ by Christina

Not Today ~ by Christina

Today… It’s been hard.

For those of you reading this, I will start off by saying, if you are looking for a chipper, positive post,…not today… you probably will want to skip this one.


For those of you who are sticking around to read this, I hope something I end up writing here prompts you in some way to think or do something good by the end.  Right now, at the beginning of my writing I know I am not feeling like expressing to much positive.

Part of my journey on this earth included having the gift of my two children, Danielle and Bruce.  Some of you know, some don’t, about how my son at the age of 19 was struck and killed while riding his bicycle by a hit and run driver.  That happened on November 30/December 1, 2010.  We are coming up on 10 years this year.  Long story short, someone called Crime Stoppers with information and the driver, Tiffany F., was sentenced on May 24, 2012.  The time between when our son was killed and the time she was sentenced were filled with horrible moments of information that were heartbreaking to read, see or hear about; times of plea bargaining requests that were hurtful and uncaring; lies upon lies; and in the end we settled upon a plea arrangement that the judge carried out in her sentencing.

Her agreed upon sentencing:

1.       Plea “Guilty” – COMPLETE

2.       5 years Prison – FULFILLED ONLY 4 YEARS & 2 MONTHS

3.       15 years Probation – FULFILLED ONLY 3 YEARS & 10 MONTHS

4.       100 cs hours per year (1500 total) – FULFILLED ONLY 300 COMMUNITY SERVICE HOURS

5.       Personal letter of apology –  READ IN THE SENTENCE HEARING

So, when I look at this and think about how gracious we tried to be and how forgiving we were, all of that is soured by the fact that justice, as we see it on this side of Heaven, was not served.  In January 2019, we received a letter from the Florida Commissioner of Offender review because Tiffany F. was requesting “commutation” (I had to look that up for its meaning) of her sentence.  That came out of nowhere for us and knocked the feet out from under us along with family members who we shared this information with.  We responded with many letters pleading with the system that her sentence should be served in full and reasons supporting that plea.  They received the information and we were told that we would be kept updated.

Fast forward one year to today… just after my husband walked with me out to my car this morning to go to work, we said our “see you laters”, and then my phone rang as I was backing out of my drive.  Since it was so early I thought it must be important and answered it.  What greeted me on the other side was “this is Vine services…” and I waved Mark back to my car.  We both stared at each other in disbelief as we listened to the computerized message telling us that “Tiffany F. has had a change in supervision status. This offender has been terminated from community supervision and is no longer being supervised by the department.”…. WHAT!?  How does 15 years turn into 3 years?  And what do we do with this really crappy information?  I had to leave to continue on my way to work and Mark had to do the same, so there was no time to talk about it.

I am not good at hiding my emotions when something really gets to me, and this got to me.  I drove to work basically in shock and I tried to claim the words in a worship song I listened to on the radio as I prayed and cried in my car alone.  Just when I thought I was okay at work, I had a major meltdown with a couple of very treasured co-workers.  It is truly special when you can be honest with people and they love you and support you through it.  Other things happened, I won’t share them all, but it was a difficult day.

So now, I continue to stir over this and I am not quite sure how to process this or what to do with it.  The “Vine” message gave me a number to call so maybe that’s what I’ll do Monday.  I tried emailing the contact I dealt with in January 2019 about the commutation, but my mail was returned undelivered.

Oh how I want to please God in all of this… and I hope I do.  Right now, I’m just angry and a bit depressed.

I want to truly forgive and I hate that even when I do, something else like this makes it so I have to forgive again.  I don’t want to forgive her for asking for and receiving commutation of her sentence.  It feels like being kind in the face of someone who killed my son is like saying he didn’t matter enough.  It makes me question whether she has remorse for what she did.  It makes me mad that we were gracious and didn’t push more to make sure her sentencing was even more, especially because in the end she didn’t even serve what was agreed on.

Why am I sharing this?  I don’t know.  Maybe just letting you see the thoughts in my heart will allow you to know the “real” me more.  Maybe I just want to vent.  Maybe I need someone to shake me and tell me to get over it, life is life and things happen.

I do know that I want to be loving and kind.  I want to be a person who doesn’t hold grudges.  I want to love well and hear God say “well done good and faithful servant”.  I know I need to trust God’s plan.  I know that even in my heartache there is something to learn and grow in this.  I know that there is an enemy and he wants nothing more than for me to hold on to the anger and harden my heart.  I know that prayer and living my life in ways that are right and just in God’s eyes is what I need to be doing.

So, while I am stirring over this and wanting to be angry about it, I KNOW I can’t stay here.  I want to go back and hit rewind, I want to push it all away because it’s hard.  I want to say “not today” and get away with controlling when I have to deal with things like this.  It’s not how it works though is it?

Lord, help me be what you need me to be.

If you’ve stayed with me this whole post, thank you for hearing me out and pray that I do what I should do without the bitter and angry attitude that I know I have about this.  I hope I haven’t brought you down, and that you can find something in this that is helpful.  I will be praying about all of this and while right now I don’t feel like it, I will pray for Tiffany too.

My precious son, Bruce.



6 Replies to “Not Today ~ by Christina”

  1. I believe that you have shown the Grace God requires. I also know that in all of this you have continued to Pray for Tiffany. Maybe just Maybe this is God full filling your Prayers. Maybe not in the way you would hope but maybe in a way He needs to finally give you peace. No matter the reason your son is smiling down on you and so proud of you. Love you my friend.

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