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DDAD, DRWDD, BU is a text message everyone should pass around. To me it means “Don’t Drink And Drive,” “Don’t Ride With Drunk Drivers” and “Buckle Up.” Pretty simple but important things we should all do as a rule in our everyday lives.
Nearly a year ago a young lady’s life was cut short due to a sequence of bad mistakes, alcohol and stupidity. Her death affected many of us who knew her and left a gaping hole in the hearts of those who loved her. Whether you loved her or hated her, all respected her.
On the day she was born I had accompanied her parents to the hospital. After some complications she came into this world via C-section. Kicking and screaming and snarling she had stood her ground with the doctor. Her mother “Darda” was in recovery when the doctor carried her into the waiting room looking for her father Jim.
We were both standing there when the doctor asked Jim if he wanted to hold her. Jim looked at me with a smile and said, “Go ahead, John-O.”
A million thoughts rushed through my mind (you’re gonna let me hold your baby first?) (I’ve never … how do I …?) (Anxiety attack …) then my words came back. “I would be honored.” She was precious, shivering, crying … but beautiful in every way. They named her Chrystal Rose Peitz but her older brother James dubbed her “Chainsaw Rose.”
As she grew we could see that she had a kind, loving heart, wasn’t afraid to work, and would not back down to anyone if they disagreed with her. When she was 9 or 10 she would announce my arrival by yelling, “Uncle Ut-Oh is here.” Her eyes would light up with excitement. It still makes me smile to think of those times.
On Nov. 12, 2009, Chainsaw Rose got into a vehicle with someone who had been drinking and was killed in an accident when the driver struck a tree. Nothing can be done to change that but if you get into the habit of “not drinking and driving,” “don’t ride with people who do” and to “wearing your seat belt” you will save your own life several times throughout your life. With the one year anniversary of Chrystal’s death and with the holidays coming up it will be a sad, trying time for those of us who were close to her.
We all love and miss you, Chrystal. Rest in peace.