During distracted driving presentations I look at the faces of the teens in the audience and think of their futures, dreams and unlimited potential.Often after presentations I get a little down remembering Casey and thinking of all that she has lost.
This week I was doing presentations in the Boston area that had been scheduled by the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys (MATA). MATA is a great organization and their members have volunteered hundreds of their hours to our program, regularly speaking with teens about distracted driving. We spoke with teens at Brockton High School and Medford High School, and adults at Mastria Mazda in Raynham, MA. We also fit in an appearance on the Dan Rea radio show WBZ/CBS.
After finishing the talk at Medford High School I was sitting in my hotel room and thinking of Casey and really missing her. I received an e-mail from a boy who had attended and it included the following:
I just wanted to thank you for the amazing presentation you have given today. What you had said has stuck with me to this moment, and likely would for a lifetime. What you have said I will carry on to my parents, to myself, and to my younger brother. I will be getting my license very soon, and I plan to always keep my phone on silent always in honor of your daughter. My brother will learn these habits from me, and so will my parents. Thank you for coming to my school. May your daughter rest in peace, and I do plan to donate to your cause. Thank you again for coming to my school. Because it is something I will not forget. Sincerely, Adam Pereira
His e-mail changed my mood instantly. It reminded me that I am as fortunate as any father could be who has lost a daughter. I have the opportunity to tell Casey’s story, to keep her memory alive so that she will not be forgotten and so that her life and death will make a difference. After Casey’s death I have learned that there are a great many kind and compassionate people in the world. I have also learned that there are a great many gifts that I receive from others now that I try to look for them.
“MEDFORD HIGH SCHOOL: Trial attorneys bring ‘End Distracted Driving’ to students”, Wicked Local, Jan. 2015