24-year-old, Margaret “Maggie” Baisley, received the ultimate gift, when Magdalena and Patrick Pettey offered up mercy and forgiveness towards the clinical psychology doctoral student, after finding out that, she was responsible for a horrific car accident that killed the Pettey family’s son, Dominik.
On Nov. 1, 2014, the young woman was driving home from her sister’s 21st birthday party, when she hit Dominik, claiming that she was tired and had had a “couple of drinks.”
In response to the death of the 17-year-old man by Baisley’s jeep, both the devout Catholic parents asked to meet with Baisley. At the time, she thought it was to yell at her. But, the followers of Christ showed her a different way and that was to express concern for her overall well-being.
An act of grace, that allowed Baisley to change her life in a “billion different ways” including the re-emergence of her Christian faith into her life.
The couple’s shining example started with their offering of prayers, including on the day of the funeral. They also asked the prosecutor not to charge the U.S. military woman with manslaughter via letter.
A request that was met and accepted.
In one way, the Pettey’s Godly decision spoke to Baisley’s heart. Saying to the Catholic News Service, “I am no longer so concerned about the appearance of things” and that, “We need this kind of divine mercy.”
Overall, the act of generosity, “opened up a whole new way of living.” Explaining that prior to this, she was critical of herself and of others.
The Potomac, Maryland family of four, including two kids, Nicholas and Veronika, are an inspiration within itself.
As of now, Baisley continues with her education at the Uniformed Services University in Bethesda to reach for her dream, to counsel members of the military.
Having the option to pursue this was an incredible gift and has allowed her to avoid being dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Army.
But like many others in life, “There are moments when I go back to a darker place,” Baisley said. “It is really hard to sustain this positive, forgiving attitude all the time. I can fall back and feel doubt.”
(H/T Catholic Review)