Houston –A Houston mom is on a mission to raise awareness about drunk driving just before New Years Eve. She lost her daughter in August after a suspected drunk driver hit her vehicle head-on.
Michelle Taylor is the mother of 25-year-old Daniela Lute, a registered nurse who has had a major impact on the community.
Since that fatal accident, Taylor has been the voice of the lute.
âIt’s been tough every day,â Taylor said. âFortunately, I have a job where I help people every day as a dental assistant. I make people feel better and that keeps me going. My daughter’s goal in life has always been to help others, so I do it for her every day.
The lute was the light of Taylor’s life.
âShe was an extremely caring and loving person,â Taylor said. “So for me, living up to the way I raised her and the way she lived her life is my way of making her proud.”
She said her mission is to raise awareness about an issue that has affected so many people.
âI have to do it,â Taylor said. âI want to let people know why drinking and driving is not appropriate or acceptable. It impacted so many people, not only taking lives, but hurting people for the rest of their lives. To me that makes a difference and I hope someone calls a Lyft or an Uber … and remembers that there are people in pain like me.
Taylor said it took a long time for her to refocus on her life and stay strong.
At the start of her mission, Taylor wrapped pictures of her daughter on her car.
âYou know, I live in Houston,â she said. âAnd the traffic is horrible every day. I would be in traffic. It reminded me of this wonderful lady I know who placed Christmas trees in her front yard and commemorated the victims of drunk driving. I was taken by it and thought it was so amazing to think of something like this.
Taylor didn’t stop at the image of her daughter’s face on her car.
âI didn’t want people to forget what they lost,â Taylor said. âA nurse, a caregiver and an amazing person. I didn’t want her to be just a statistic. None of these casualties are just statistics. The pain these family members are going through is immense. For me, I carry them in my car because I want people to see who they are. What they look like. They have faces. They have names. They have lived. They have had a positive impact on so many people. “
Taylor said that whenever she drove to her car, she prayed for the many victims in her car and their families because she knew how they felt.
She said it was like ripping off a bandage every time she saw another mother lose a child that way.
The latest mother to be added to this list is a woman who lost her newborn baby after San Antonio police said Gerardo Lozano went through a red light and hit her.
âI can only tell you that it breaks my heart because the shock that this poor mother is going to suffer will be with her for the rest of her life,â Taylor said. âThe pain never goes away. This pain feels like sheer hell on Earth. It’s so deep, and she’s going to need a lot of love from the community and her family to be able to move forward with her life. My heart really goes out to her and if she ever needs to contact someone to talk to, I will be there for her.
Taylor said he lost his prayers and was part of MADD Victim Services.
âIt will help guide her emotionally in this new life that she has to start,â she said.
Taylor wants the pictures on his car to remind other drivers of what could happen if they make the mistake of driving while impaired.
âI think a lot of these people who are doing this need help,â Taylor said. âI think with the stress of life, people are looking for the wrong help, whether it’s alcohol or drugs. They think it will help, but it doesn’t. Obviously, this makes matters worse.
Taylor firmly believes that drinking and driving takes conscious effort.
âTo put a drink on your lips,â she said. “To order a drink. To pay for the drink. To get in that car. To start the car and start driving. It is not an accident! It is possible to make a better decision. I just want you to close your eyes and think about the ones you love the most and if they are gone because of this preventable act. How would you feel? “
In honor of the lute, the San Antonio Indian Nurses Association presents several scholarships at a gala scheduled for January 8.
âI’m so honored that they thought of this,â Taylor said. âShe was a nurse. She loved her job. I am so honored to be here. I am so happy that people remember my baby because she was so special.
Taylor said she continues to struggle with drunk driving, she would have this to say if she could talk to her daughter once more.
“I’m so proud of you,” she said, crying. âGod blessed me with a bundle of joy. He blessed you to be my child for 25 years. You made me a better version of me, and I will be until the day I die. I will see you again. I will make her proud until I see her again. I love you with all my heart. My pride and joy is no longer there and I will never have grandchildren, but I have you and your chihuahua and I will take care of him and keep him safe forever.
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