After reading about Xitclalli “Chili” Vasquez , who was involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver that left her paralyzed from the chest down, I began to think about childhood and the innocence that went along with it.

Little Chili wrote a letter to the young man that caused her to become paralyzed and explained in detail her life after the accident. She has trouble dressing herself and doing things that she usually could do. It’s like waking up one day and being stripped of her freedom. She cannot be like other 9 year olds. She depends on her family for more than is normal for a child and this causes her to cry out in frustration.

Her letter not only touched those around her but prompted me to look at my own life and my own behavior. I remembered when I was a child and how easy it was to forgive, to forget and move on. This little girl will always be reminded of what happened to her on that horrific day, but instead of choosing to blame anyone for her circumstances she wanted to reach out to the Young man and even meet his family. I don’t know if many of us would do the same. I know I wouldn’t. Most likely, deep down, I’d hold a grudge. Maybe I wouldn’t be as honest as this child is with her self. She didn’t deny how hard it was, nor the fact that she still cries from the burden of relearning everything. But I think she also realized that the young man needed someone to reach out to him as well.

Why do people drink and do other things they know are harmful to themselves and others? We will mostly write it off as being selfish and evil, but there are times-more than not- when people have just made poor decisions and find themselves in a bigger and deeper mess. This is not to excuse the action and the consequences of these actions but there is a root cause for everything. When we can look beyond the situation at hand and look deeper we can truly start on the road towards forgiveness. We can truly embody what innocence is. We will no longer hold in feelings of hurt and blame and can move on with life and be happy.

Everyone needs love and second chances. If we cannot do this, we are only hurting ourselves. If Jesus was like us, none of us would’ve been forgiven. It is Christ-like to forgive. We should never cease to forgive and to love and to move on. I want to be just like little Chili when it comes to forgiveness. Even if there’s nothing I could do to change someone (because we cannot) at least I can move on knowing that I shared my feelings ( like Chili did). True, honest and innocent feelings. Feelings that are real and void of anger and hate.

Despite her body being paralyzed, her heart and her dreams are not, I pray with all my heart that even if life is not what we consider normal for Little Chili, that it will be Extraordinary!

To read a little from her letter :http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/texas-girl-paralyzed-drunk-driver-leaves-jury-tears-151145291–abc-news-topstories.html

To make a contribution : Scroll to the end of the article-http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2012/11/14/court-cries-after-girls-letter-to-drunk-driver/

Merrishel R.

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