Last night I attending a celebration of the life of Jennifer Metzger. It was difficult to be amongst those gathered in my family's church cemetary releasing balloons in honor of a teenage girl who tragically was killed one year ago.
I attended with my youngest daughter who is 14. She remembers the night of the accident because she was coming home with her father and saw the aftermath of this horrible tragedy.
Standing in the cemetary listening to Jennifer's father and uncle speak about Jennifer sent a very powerful message to my young daughter. She saw first-hand the pain Jennifer's mom is living with. She saw the tears of Jennifer's friends. It became real to her that this was a life lost and how much Jennifer mattered to people.
I did not know Jennifer Metzger first-hand. I had heard about her over the years from my mother who has always remained in touch with my dad's side of the family. I have to admit at times I was in awe of how well-rounded this teenage girl seemed to be. As a mom of 4 girls myself, I know how difficult it is to raise teenagers.
I got involved in the crusade to protest how the driver responsible for Jennifer's death was not charged with any criminal wrong-doing although he was speeding and driving recklessly. I did this because I am a mom and although I can never imagine the pain her parents and loved ones are dealing with, I am disgusted by the injustice of it all. It scares me that the laws do not protect victims. What disgusts me the most is how some parents do not teach their children respect for human life. They do not teach them that there are consequences to their actions. It is a tragedy that people who raised their child to be good and decent like Jennifer's parents lost their child due to another child's obvious lack of morals because of bad parenting.
Jennifer's family is establishing a scholarship in her name and is having a fundraiser. This is a positive, healing step to honor a life that was taken too soon.
During Jennifer's brief life here, she did manage to touch a lot of people. The lives she touched will keep her memory alive.