Wednesday, February 21, 2007


The following is a speech given by Stacey Malegni at various MADD occasions and high school drug and alcohol awareness talks. Please pass this story on to as many people as you can to help raise awareness for this cause and to help keep Dominic Malegni alive in memory.

Before I introduce myself, I would like to ask you to listen closely to the following story:
Picture if you would a woman and two children driving down a very busy road of approximately three lanes on either side of a large median.

The two children, a boy and a girl are in the back seat of the car, while the woman is driving carefully, mindful of the children she so generously loves in the rear. The three have just left a toy store and have just spent the better part of the day together; laughing, joking, playing, hugging and talking. The love they share is effortless, real and true.

Do you see them? Try to imagine the deep love they share together.

The two children are now discussing, with delight, what it is that they have just recievedat the store. One child, the boy, has a paint set sitting on his lap that he has opened. His head pointing downward as he looks at it with excitement.

Meanwhile the fate that is to become them, enters the road way some ways back. The family members continue their conversation, and the woman is unsuspecting of the careless driver following from behind.

Picture the driver's long dark hair covering part of his young face, still absorbed with alcohol from the sleepless night before. He is talking to his friend beside him. His drunken eyes struggling to see the road in front as he tries to make the turn to the left.

Can you see him?

Try as he might, he cannot do it. Maintaining control of the car is not within him. The front tires are split while pieces of cement are thrown, as the car first impacts the median. He is now air born, and then sent into the side of the woman along with her precious cargo. The dark haired driver is three times over the legal limit for the consumption of alcohol. Perhaps you might wonder how he even made it into the car that day, or why his friend trusted him to do so.

As I now picture this family, as I hope you are, I am bothered with the thoughts of the car plowing into the side of these loving people.

Can you picture it? Replay the accident again in your head. Can you see it?

Can you see the blood, and broken bones of the boy, and his beautiful face left perfectly intact?

Perhaps it's a chance for someone to see his angelic face one last time before they say good bye to him.

Do you want to run to him?

He is still trapped in his car seat. The very seat that held him defenseless against this dreadful car. His spider man shoes he loved so much are still on his feet, still clutching the store bag and toys.

Do you want to take his hand and tell him how much he is probably loved, as his still, little body sits there?

Do you still want to help him?

As much as you might like to, you cannot. It is another who runs to him and puts her kind hand on his forehead. Sadly, there is nothing she can do. The stranger kneels down and cries because she has realized the boy she wanted desperately to help is gone.

Perhaps there is hope. Maybe God took the small boy, before the back of his head was laid open, with the weapon of the vehicles deadly side view mirror.

The woman in front is semi conscious. She is alive, but has serious internal injuries. The crash was so violent that her seat belt has ripped into her delicate body.

Do you see her?

She is flown by helicopter to the nearest critical care hospital. It will then take three weeks and 5 surgeries, but to no avail. Her family will soon be forced to turn off her life support. They will continue for what seems, 30 eternal minutes, watching in agony as her misery finally comes to an end.

Now, I want you to picture, the arrival of the surviving family to the hospital where they find the boy. They look down at his lifeless body, and then realize why it was, just the girl, the policeman walked to the door that day.

The boy is still lying there on the cold steel table.

Do you see him?

The white towel soaked in his blood, covering the wounds around the back of his sweet head.

The family is now crying uncontrollably for the boy they loved so dearly. There will be no more Birthdays for him, he had just turned five, and now is forever frozen in time.

Before turning away from this story, imagine that these are your family members. Perhaps it is a sister, mother or aunt. Or father, uncle or brother. Perhaps it is you with your own family.

My name is Stacey Malegni, and the story that I have just narrated could have easily have been yours or someone close to you. But, luckily for you, it was not.

This is not a fictional story, but a tragic event in my own life.

Did you think I was the girl in the car? Or, at first, the woman in the front seat?

I truly wish it had been me instead of the ones I loved. I would have gladly have been a participant in place of my mother in law in the front, or my son and daughter in the back. There is not a day that goes by that I do not picture the violence of this accident. In fact, I suppose I torture myself, playing it over and over, again and again in my mind.

I often wonder why I do this to myself. Do I think it will suddenly turn out differently? Is it because I was not there to bear witness? I must not have thought the worst could possibly happen to me, to us, and to our family. Because, no one ever does.

It is so easy, as I sit strapped in my own seat, day after day, to put myself in their position on that terrible afternoon. I ask you to do the same when you sit inside the safety of your own car.
It is easy, if you try, to see them; as they were, what became of them, and how it has affected my family's life. A husband living each painful day without his only son, a daughter playing without her brother. And I looking on, at this family, in the face of tragedy. A family that has been, and forever will be changed.

I'd like for you to know, it is for my beautiful son that I am no longer afraid of dying, as often many people are. I secretly long for that day to come in order to see his beautiful face once more. For there is not one day that goes by, that I do not fight the tears and the deafening agony of my heart, overflowing into my head.

I try extremely hard not to let it consume me, as it is a constant struggle for me to feel any happiness at all. What's worse, is that this is how I am to live the rest of my life....without him...a life without my son?

His name was Dominic Malegni. He died on a busy Atlanta road, at 2 O'clock in the afternoon on Sunday, November 7th, 2004. He was hit by a young man of just 19, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, ironically with the intentions of having a better life. He is now serving out his 20 year sentence in a federal penitentiary.

Again, before you turn away from this story, think about being an ambassador for this innocent child. Tell others of him. Take with you his story into your heart and think of others by choosing not to drink and drive. Or, by convincing someone else to do the same.

Administrators, educators and parents, empower your kids with this information. And teens, stand up to the pressures of youth with conviction.

I am putting the memory of my son, Dominic, in your hands. It is my hope, that with you, his name will continue to live on and perhaps even save a life.

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