It’s an improbable friendship: a distraught woman detained for a DWI and her arresting officer.
But the details of the touching story, which has stretched over a decade, prove that difficult moments have a way of changing and refining people’s lives — and that change, no matter how far we’ve fallen, is possible.
It was 10 years ago when Minnesota Trooper Kristie Sue Hathaway noticed a car swerving and knew precisely what was unfolding. She pulled the car over only to discover a glassy-eyed woman named Amy Martin, who had an open bottle of vodka in the vehicle and her baby girl in the backseat, KARE-TV reported.
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Hathaway arrested Martin, but what happened next started both women on a life-changing journey.
Before booking Martin, Hathaway said, “Please don’t do this to your daughter. She needs a mom. I know because my mom left when I was 10.”
The cop’s words seemed to touch Martin, who pledged to return a year later sober, but Hathaway assumed she’d never hear from Martin again. Fortunately, the officer was wrong.
Martin not only got sober, but she returned a year later to surprise Hathaway with a medallion showing she had been without alcohol for a year. Then, the two struck up a friendship.
“She’s part of my family now,” Hathaway said of the woman she once arrested.
The two attended one another’s weddings. And Martin still brings Hathaway her annual medallion each year, and the two swap the new one with the medal from the previous year.
The gesture means so much to Hathaway that she carries the medallion in her shirt pocket every day.
Hathaway told KARE-TV the friendship has changed her life.
“It changed my life, for sure,” she said. “It’s been a really tough couple years in our field. There have been times when you kind of wonder like, ‘Why am I in this job?’ It reminds me of why. It gives me hope.”
As for Martin, she said the arrest transformed — and saved — her life.
“If this wouldn’t have happened, there is no question in my mind, I would not be here today,” she told KARE-TV. “She saved my life.”
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