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Dear Mr. Tanner,

We haven't met, but you caused the car crash that took my son's life. His name was Kelmy. He was 16 He wasn't perfect, but he was amazing. He loved music, comic books, and girls. He was ridiculous and loud, protective of his siblings, and good at anything he tried. His room was always a disaster, and he hated doing dishes. I think you get the picture.

I can't imagine the pain you must be in right now, and that's why I'm writing-to let you know that I forgive you. I realize people make mistakes and sometimes those mistakes cause others pain. I know that you deeply regret what happened. I know that this situation could have happened to anyone, and I think at this point you would probably gladly trade places with my son if you could. But you can't, and so both of our lives have been irrevocably changed by a cruel twist of fate.

I don't know what the future holds for you, but I sincerely hope you will not be punished by the state. If there is anything I can do to help prevent that, please let me know. Also, If there is anything I can do to help ease the pain of your regret, please contact me.

We are all just staggering around on this planet trying to figure out how to make ourselves, and hopefully others...happy. I hope this letter helps you, and I hope it helps you make a difference to the people in your life.


Shane Tanon aka Kelmy's dad

Kelmy Tanon, a student at St. Petersburg High School (where my dad attended back in the 1930's) died last week in a three vehicle crash that the Florida Highway Patrol said was triggered when a pickup driven by 67 year old Julian Tanner rear-ended another vehicle. This is the letter Kelmy's dad wrote to that diver.

I simply posted this as it really struck me. I have several friends that have lost children in auto accidents, and they were never the same afterwards. THIS is probably the healthiest reaction to this kind of loss, I've ever witnessed.

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We can all learn something from this man, in my humble opinion.

Not sure I could have said those things. Thanks for sharing.

****... I couldn't imagine going through that. Every one could take a thing or three from this man. Not sure I could be as compassionate, or as forgiving.

AGREED! One thing I do know though, Kelmy's dad is honoring his son in the healthiest way possible. Like you all, I really don't know if I could do what he's doing.

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