MY journey of true "self discovery" didn't start until February 28th, 2004, when one person's decision to drive changed my life and the lives of my family and friends forever.
On that day, our 22-month-old son Jet died. Our oldest son Bailey, who was seven years old, suffered horrific injuries which included the severing of his spinal cord.
Bailey is now a paraplegic and confined for life in a wheelchair.
I suffered severe internal and orthopaedic injuries and spent nearly two months in hospital.
It has been said that the grief a parent experiences with the loss of their child is the most intense grief known.
Nothing I have ever experienced even comes close to what I felt and I would never wish that pain on any other human being.
Yet the road toll keeps climbing with more and more people dying in tragic circumstances unnecessarily.
Every time you hear that someone has died, there is a grieving family experiencing the worst grief known and about to embark on a painful journey they didn't ask to go on.
The journey of grief you see doesn't really end, it will continue for the rest of your life.
The person I was before the crash is gone forever and to be honest I miss "her". I miss being carefree, relaxed and innocent to such personal heartache and devastation.
As a police officer I had experienced death and destruction but it was always someone else's family, someone I didn't know and would never know, not my own and therefore I could separate the tragedy from my own family.
I never properly appreciated the agony a family was going through after I had just told them their child was dead.
I saw the devastation in their eyes but didn't understand until I was told my own son had died.
I was lost in a world of insurmountable grief.
I realised in the months and years afterwards that you have a choice in how you deal with the death of a person you love with all your heart and soul. You can choose to deal with it in a way that leaves you completely paralysed by the weight of such grief or you can chose to live your life in a way that honours their life and memory.
I chose the latter.
I remember being at Jet's funeral and seeing his tiny white coffin being lowered into the ground and thinking "My God, how could this have happened? I was just taking them for a swim".
I never expected a car being driven in the opposite direction to cross the motorway and collide with our car head-on.
We weren't doing anything wrong…we were just going for a swim.
You never met my son Jet. He was born on April 9th, 2002. He was a beautiful Angelic child with platinum blonde curls and he was my little shadow.
Jet had a zest for life and a loving nature. We were having so much fun and he was becoming so much more independent.
When he laughed, he laughed from his soul and it was contagious in a way that everyone else would start laughing.
He loved the Wiggles, Thomas the Tank Engine and ice-cream.
His life was only just beginning and he died because of a terrible choice and decision made by another driver.
I believe I am more than qualified to say that life is so very short and you need to make the most of each day you have.
You don't know when you are going to die and you don't know under what circumstances but there are some things you can do to help you die of old age as it should be.
I am a firm believer that the attitudes of drivers contribute to some of these tragic "accidents" we all hear about. The choices and decisions you make when you take the responsibility of driving will end in either good or bad consequences.
Drivers know that speeding is dangerous, they know that drink driving is dangerous and hooning - talking on their mobile phone, sending a text message - the list goes on and on and everyone has heard it a million times.
Yet so many people are still doing it.
I would like to ask you to consider for a moment how you would feel if because of your stupidity or selfishness you killed your best mate, a parent, brother, sister or an innocent child?
Could you sleep at night?
How man times do we hear of tragedy striking similar seemingly normal families through the ever-growing road toll?
More often than not it's because of that very lack of duty of care for others that these "accidents" occur.
The message I am trying to send is very clear - it's not all right, it is not acceptable and it simply can't be tolerated any longer.
From a parent who knows what it feels like to lose a child in a car crash - please slow down; please wear your seatbelt; please don't drink and drive; please don't be distracted by your mobile phone or anything else and please make these decisions and choices by remembering my family's story.
Know that our son Jet paid the ultimate price with his life because somebody didn't put their own safety and that of other road users first.
I want you to realise just how tragedy of this proportion will affect your entire family's lives and your ignorance to thinking you are immune has to change.
Stupid choices have deadly consequences.
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