September 28, 2010
For most people, what was just another day, September 28th for me had an another Day In reality, it brought one of the most astounding beautiful days, weather wise one, of the best the entire year. The day can only be described as what I refer to as a beautiful nightmare. It has been one year to the day that I made the most horrible decision of my life. I chose to get behind the wheel of my car, after a day of drinking, which produced a catastrophic end result. Many lives were forever changed by my extremely selfish actions that afternoon. One year later, the haunting reminder of the irrevocable devastation I created still cuts deep into my heart like a knife. Personal acceptance, as well as forgiveness, has been the most difficult emotional battle I have ever fought. If I possessed the power to change the outcome on that day, a family would have never been forced to mourn the loss of their son, and I would not be writing about this tragedy today. If granted only one wish in this life, it would be without hesitation, to trade places with Taylor Smith. I realize it is one wish I will never see come true. Now, confined behind the concrete walls and rows of razor wire in prison, I have embarked upon the journey down my road to redemption. I truly believe that opportunity is often disguised in the form of misfortune and temporary failure. God has given me the most significant challenge of my life, and that is to transform the worst kind of negative into something extraordinarily positive. I am not exactly certain what God has planned for the rest of my life, but I assure you this much, I am following His instructions whole-downheartedly. Prison has afforded me a rare opportunity to reflect on all the things I thought I already knew. The most devastating thing that has happened in my life has become the most important lesson I could ever learn. There is no greater desire in my life than to pour my heart and soul into reaching out and potentially changing the course of another person's life. It is my belief that example is not the main ingredient in influencing others - it is the only one! Making a complete example of myself, while exposing the irreversible consequences that drinking and driving can manufacture, is now my mission in life. If, in doing so, I can save just one life and prevent one person from being forced to walk in the shoes I now wear, then this tragedy will not have been in vain. I am asking you now that instead of praying for my well being, pray for God to continually provide comfort, peace and strength in the lives of the Smith family. I want to personally thank each and every one of you for all of the encouragement, love and prayers you have provided for the Mattson family as well. Thank you for taking the time to allow me to share this with you.
God Bless, Chad Mattson