On September 16, 2012, tragedy struck the Humphrey family.
On that day, as the family was walking to their car after church, an elderly man backed his car out of a parking spot and hit their 11-month-old daughter. The daughter, Autumn, was rushed to the hospital but died soon after, the Kansas City Star reports.
Now, over two years later, Autumn’s parents are speaking out with a message to anyone who’s family might be struck by a similar tragedy: forgive.
In the Humphrey’s eyes, two tragedies struck when their daughter died. The first, and obvious one, was the loss of their daughter. But the second, and less noticed one, has the potential to be just as damaging. Lewis Grace, 88, will live with the guilt of fatally striking Autumn for the rest of his life.
“I wanted him to understand that we really did forgive him,” mother Amanda Humphreys told the Kansas City Star. “We wanted him to be a part of this with us and grieve with us and know that it’s okay.”
Grace’s wife, Louis Grace, says her husband never could have survived the horrific accident without the Humphrey's support.
“He cried nonstop for days,” she said. “I don’t think he would have made it without their love and outreach.”
Humphreys says forgiveness is the only way both she and Lewis have been able to carry on after Autumn’s death. And there is no greater symbol of that than Amanda allowing Lewis to play with her son, Tommy.
“God will give you the strength each day to get up and get out of bed,” she says. “Forgiveness gave me a handsome son, Thomas. Forgiveness allows me to carry on each day, still remembering our sweet little girl. Forgiveness makes me a better person.”