Monday, November 30, 2015

Open letter to Vincent Heredia

I wanted to send a letter to Mr. Heredia- the man who crashed into and killed my daughter, Cheyenne. From what I've found out, I shouldn't contact him directly, I guess, because of "legal" stuff that's going on (none of which involves me in any way).

But, I still need to say this, so here's the letter I had written to him. Maybe he'll see it- maybe not.


Dear Mr. Heredia,

Your bad choices led to the death of my beloved daughter. But I don't hate you, and I hope this tragedy serves as a wake-up call for you. I would like to see you turn your life around.

I am not going to add my voice to the chorus of people calling for your head on a pike, or a lifetime in a cage. Punishment isn't justice- although most people have come to confuse the two. Justice involves restoring the violated person back to how they were before they were hurt. Nothing you could do, and nothing anyone could do to you, would ever bring my daughter back and heal the emptiness in my heart. Nothing can replace my ex-wife's daughter, my parents' and ex-in-laws' granddaughter, my grandsons' mother, my son's and daughter's sister.

Besides, "an eye for an eye" is nothing but revenge, and is barbaric. I don't blame people for feeling that way when tragedy strikes, but it still isn't right in my mind.

I don't believe in "laws", including the War on Politically Incorrect Drugs. I don't "believe in" police, or prison, or "even" government. Those things infest our lives, and yet didn't stop your actions or save her.

What I do believe in is restitution. However, there are some debts which can never be paid. This is one.

If you want my forgiveness, you have it. That doesn't eliminate your debt, though.

The one thing you might do, in an attempt to pay this debt you've taken upon yourself, is to never again choose to drive under the influence of anything. In fact, you would need to make it a personal commitment to never again commit any violence against the nonviolent, and to never violate the property of any person. That means no government "job" financed through taxes, even if it were allowed in your future, but instead an honest job where you bring actual mutual benefit to yourself and those you serve, voluntarily. You can try to contribute monetarily to my grandsons' future, but the absurdity of "laws" is such that, due to those fleeting moments which led to my daughter's death, you'll probably be prevented from ever being in the position of having money to spare for the rest of your life. You aren't a Kennedy, after all.

I hurt for myself, my family, my daughter who won't get to watch her children grow, and for my grandsons. I also feel sorry for you, and if I could go back in time to divert you from the course which resulted in my daughter's death and the situation you now find yourself in, you know I'd do it. I just wonder if you would have listened to me if I'd had the chance to speak to you beforehand.

Kent McManigal