Peace of Mind or Piece of Retribution
Six months ago, my husband and my life changed forever. Our much beloved son, Ishaq, was killed and my husband severely injured when they were struck by a car on a dangerous road going way too fast. The driver was going too fast, tried to over correct and came at them at more than 50 mph and killed Ish immediately. Raphael (daddy) was thrown more than 41 feet back into the parking lot. Suffice it to say that his tibia (shin bone) was sticking through his skin (which is why I won’t show you the picture – it’s REALLY gruesome) leading to amputation of his leg below his knee. His pelvis was an “open book” fracture (which means that the front area that protects the bladder was completely open, setting his bladder outside of the pelvis). His right shoulder was also broken, requiring surgeries and pins. His femur also had to have pins put in it from the 2 breaks it sustained.
Losing Ish was a huge blow – he was our pride and joy and like all parents, we would have died for him. Raphael and I were married 3 years before Ishaq came along – although we’d never really planned for children (spending most of our time homeless or in and out of hotels and me being 36 to Raphael’s 46), having Ishaq come into our lives settled us in a way that’s hard to define as it just came naturally. It was easy to open our loop just a little more so that when things happened to us, it happened to him too. We were able to stay together when we were homeless in Chico, California at the Torres Shelter. We were all moved to Iowa to stay with my sister and we were all together when we took a bus to Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Ish made us better people. We’ve always tried to be as godly as possible, not in the traditional Christian sense as it’s taught in the church but in a real way, a way that makes us more peaceable and ready to serve. We’re nowhere near perfect but we love each other and others, or in the words of my husband,”We love – that’s how we roll”
Two days after Ish was killed and Raphael hurt, I received a message from the girl who hit them. She begged me for forgiveness and I, by the grace of God, immediately did so. I didn’t give it time for thought – I just said yes. I/we spoke with television stations, newspapers and just last month, Story Corps, affiliated with NPR http://storycorps.org/?p=56810. Everyone has been amazed by our reaction. Forgiveness, it seems, is a stranger concept. Everyone has someone they can’t (or won’t – it’s a fine line) forgive – a parent, a friend, an ex, someone. I freely admit to having a very rocky relationship with my adoptive mother. I have recently made significant strides towards doing that as I want no hypocrisy in my life but had this horrible tragedy not happened, that probably wouldn’t have happened. Ishy (my nickname for him) changed so many lives, touched so many hearts in the 5 1/2 years he graced this world with his presence. Through state after state, shelter to shelter and town to town, Ish made an impression on everyone he came across. When Ish died, I stopped thinking about suicide (have been suicidally-inclined virtually my whole life) and have been amazed that the thought has not once been considered in the 6 months he’s been gone.
We’re going to miss Ishy for the rest of our lives but we have been blessed to have had him in our life the length of time we did. We live our lives for God. We are best friends, talk about everything. Sometimes we get angry with each other but we forgive quick and go back to our normal life quick. We’ve taken new friends into our lives since the accident; the community having come around us. We forgave her immediate, the both of us, and it seems no one understands why. Like we’re some odd specimen of human no one has seen before. We’ve found ourselves in the position where we had to defend the killer of our son, so much hate has been directed at her. Some seem to think that the story is made up as they racially profile us (we have Muslim/Jewish names), but mostly they were heartbroken for us, contributing to the Go Fund account we set up to pay the bills until we could figure out the next step http://www.gofundme.com/Ishaq-Hammed–Family. It’s taking so much longer than we would have liked but I’ve been taking care of him this whole time. I am not being paid for it, though that was the plan. But it doesn’t matter, we just have to trust God to keep us safely and I’ll be danged if he doesn’t do it month after month.
Forgive whoever you have a problem against – doesn’t matter who’s fault it is. Remove ego and you’ll find it much easier. God bless you!