Andrew Grote

An email Andrew sent to Tiffany in January 2018:

"Thank you for including my story and poem.  Even though it's been almost 15 years, I'm glad to see God is still guiding you on your path and making this available for others to see." 


Andrew


---- Father Lord, I thank YOU for Andrew's incredible heart, please bless him. I am overwhelmed by his thoughtful response.  ALL Praise, Honor & Glory to You Lord, Amen.  Tiffany


An email Andrew sent to Tiffany in December 2009:

"I think this is the 1st time a crash victim and the person who hit them have ever compiled together to reach people on a higher scale, to tell the truth about choices and to show people that not only is God out there, but He walks with us, works with us and works through us.


"I'm just very happy to see what God has done with your life.  As I was talking to my mom today, we discussed things, she said to me, that God finding you, and using you to use your testimony, to reach out to others, and to give yourself completely into helping others.  She told me, that the one life you saved, or two, or maybe more, from your words.  Makes it so Katy and Alyssa didn't die for no reason.  Their deaths have done more for the people who receive your words, than anything I can do to help those same people.

She mentioned, we can't change the past, and that God's will is never wrong.  Those events from 6 years ago changed lives.  And instead of doing what most normally do in your position.  You actually listened when He gave the call."


God Bless
Andy


---- WOW, I don't think that kind of compassion, grace, & mercy are possible in human terms, that is only possible through the Holy Spirit working through Andy.  I pray that God will continue to Strengthen Him, Comfort Him and bless him abundantly.  Please go to the bottom of this page to see how you could help Andy, if you feel led to.  - Thank You, Tiffany


An email Andrew sent Tiffany July 2008. Truth about What happened that Fateful night that destroyed so many lives...

I would like to comment on the "story" told by Tiffany Peterson.  As with every event there are always 3 sides.  The guilty, the victim, and the truth.

I cannot comment on Ms. Petersons version, because I wasn't with her the night of June 12, 2003.

However, I was "the victim", and I have the police report showing "the truth".

You see, I didnt have the "convenience" of blacking out, so I know exactly what happened to me.  I was in the slow lane on I-275 headed toward Eastgate to purchase a baby monitor.  Earlier that day, at our ultrasound, I heard my babies heartbeat for the first time.  What an amazing feeling that was.  Later in the evening, we had our last Mentoring session with our Pastor.  We even chose (and practiced) our wedding vows.  

So, while driving the speed limit, in the slow lane, listening (and singing) a CD I made with all our wedding music, I was rear-ended.

Now, if a car rear ended me at 75 mph, not much damage coulda been done, seeing I was going 60 myself.

The highway patrolman who investigated this tragedy, put in his report that the car driven by Ms. Peterson, was going approximately 118 mph.

I was hit so hard, it shattered my back window, bent my rear axile out of place, and blew up my gas tank.  She then "slammed on her brakes" (again, according to solid evidence in the police report) and my truck came back down off the top of her car.  From there, there was no control of the truck due to the axile being severly bent.  The truck flipped on it's side and skid across the highway where it flipped over upside down in the median.  Now, I can understand blacking out and hitting the gas on accident, but slammin on the breaks after and still being blacked-out, is kinda hard to believe.

From the median, I was left hanging upside down (from my seatbelt).  Katy (who was not thrown from the car, like Ms. Peterson said) was lying on the roof of the truck dead.  Her neck broken from the tremendous force of the hit.  Not even a seatbelt would have saved her life.  The truck, was also on fire.  Confused as to what happened, I undid my seatbelt, and fell to the roof.  Somehow, (covered in mud and blood) I managed to squeeze out what used to be the drivers side window.  Screaming for help and looking around, all I could think about was Katy.  She was still in the truck, and since we skidded across the highway on her side, her door was welded shut.  Several people came to help, one man even took off his own shirt to wipe the blood off my face.

Aircare had arrived for Katy and an ambulance for me.  They had to cut the door off the truck to get to her.  I went straight to the hospital.  They told me they flew Katy to Christ (of course they knew she was already dead, but were trying to keep me sane).

I was 4 beds down from Ms. Peterson in the hospital.  I never heard one cry, one scream, one word of remorse while I was there.  Of course, I myself was still in shock, so maybe these things did happen.

When the officer told me Katy was killed, I lost everything in me.  Everything I had worked for was gone.  See, Ms. Peterson wasn't the only successful one.  I was a restaurant general Manager.  On a bad year, I still made over 60K.  I also had a new truck, was looking to purchase a home.  Not to mention planning a wedding that was 30 days away.  On top of that, I was expecting my first child. Not a day went by that I didnt get down on my knees and talk right into Katy's belly "Daddy loves you baby, I'll see you soon".  But of course that never happened.

Now, was 3 years in prison enough?  I think it was.  I think that God changing someones life for the better is always a positive thing.  And yes, I truley believe God has forgiven Ms. Peterson for what she did.

The website is about choices.  Calling my wreck an accident is infuriating.  She made a choice to drink, a choice to drive.  Even though, she was educated enough to know, the risk in doing so.  Yet chose to anyway.

Now I see her on the news, and in websites, and everyone is feeling sorry for her, and portraying her as the victim.  I find this wrong.

No one's asked me how my life was affected.  My back was broken in 3 places in the wreck.  I had to walk with a cane for 3 years.  I still can't stand for more than 20-30 minutes.  Job? Yeah right, I  have issues finding a minimum wage job now, because of my limitations.  I cant drive at night because I'm still scared I'll get hit.  Everytime I see lights behind me I freak out and pull over.  I have a handful of pills I have to take everyday now (pain, depression, blood pressure, etc).  Relationships are nearly impossible, because my "soul mate" was murdered.  It's hard to find a love like that, and its harder to let go.

So, in a nut shell, what I've been reduced to is a medicine dependant, non-driving, jobless man, who has to live with his mom.  All because of one person's choice to drink and drive.

I dont have anything more to say to Ms. Peterson.  My only issue is, if you're going to tell a story, please be truthful.  Don't embelish or change facts to make people more sympathetic to you (examples: saying 75mph instead of 118, or Katy being thrown from the car)

I'm happy to see God has helped you put your life back on track.  God must have a plan for me as well, because according to the police report, they still don't know how I survived.  I leave everything in His hands, and I always have.

I hope you continue to do the same
God Bless,
Andrew Grote

"The Night the Stars Danced" June 18th, 2002

Up in the night, the stars did glow.

          Anticipation, stole the show.

She walked out slow, and at a glance.

          Within her eyes, the stars...they danced.

All I could do, was stop and stare.

           And steal a moment, to catch my breath.

“What did I do, to get this chance?”

          Her silent smile, had me entranced.

We spent the night amerced in talk.

          Within my mind, her words did walk.

And in the stars, I saw a sign.

          Her soul seemed intertwined with mine.

I knew somehow, she'd share my life.

          I longed for her to be my wife.

Her heart with mine felt warm and right.

          The dancing stars did fill that night.

My Best Friend

You know, I was a man with everything, I had it all.  Things are different now.  Let me start from the beginning.


June 18th, 2002.  That's the day we met...well, night actually.  What a fantastic time we had.  The air was perfect.  Katy was breathtaking.  I had read stories about “love at first sight” but never actually thought it could be true in real life. 

 

Thought it was “movie magic”.  How could anyone possibly fall in love in just a brief second?  Well, now I'm living proof, cause it happened.  I spent 4 incredible hours with her that night.  Had I known that I only had 358 more days with her, I would have spent more.


The next day I had to see her again.  She was intoxicating.  She was beautiful, smart, funny, and she had an even more amazing person trapped inside her.  I made it my personal goal to unlock the amazing person inside her, that she was holding back.  And let me talk about that smile.  Never mind that, if you have ever met her...you know what I mean.  No smile on Earth could top it.  I spent the rest of June entranced by her.  I had to see her every day.  I feel better about myself because of her, I'm a better man because of her.  I guess she unlocked a part of me too.  I was able to give myself to someone unconditionally and completely to someone who wanted and needed it.


In July, I was going to take a well deserved vacation.  But there was no way I was leaving town without Katy.  Even though I hadn't known her that long, I couldn't stand the thought of being without her. So I asked her to come with me.


Virginia Beach, can you believe it rained every day? It's been said “it can't rain all the time.”  And that's so true, because no matter how dark things got, with Katy I always had sunshine.  I knew I wanted this to last forever.


On August 5th, 2002, I asked her to be my wife.  She said yes, (actually it was more like I'd love to) I had never been happier.   At this time in our relationship, I'll admit, I was still a bit scared of her parents.  Not cause they are scary people, the opposite in fact.  It's just because I didn't know them well.


Katy wasted no time, after her acceptance, she went straight upstairs and started planning with her mom, even picked a date.  That girl sure knew what she wanted.


Shortly after our engagement, we celebrated her 21st birthday.  She had mentioned to many of her friends she wanted to go out and get drunk.  Of course, she confided in me, she would have much rather just spent time with the 3 people she loved most.  Her parents and me.  So, that's what she got (she always got what she wanted).  So in her eyes, her 21st birthday was perfect.  Just as perfect as she was in my eyes.  Every day with her, was better and better.


October 1st, we got an apartment together.  I will admit, I was a bit scared at first.  I had never , lived with a woman before.  And I had no clue what it would be like.  But to my pleasant surprise, it was much better than I could have imagined.  There was one week (Halloween week) that wasn't so great, we almost broke up.  But we both agreed that that week was an anomoly and she must have been abducted by ufo's or something.  So we put it behind us, like it never happened.  We moved on.  Right around that time we added a new member to our family.  Kylie the cat.  Now, anyone familiar with the kitty, you're probably saying “Kylie is a strange name for a boy cat.”  Yes, it was, but when we first got him, the vet told us “he” was a “she”.  Luckily for him, he was renamed “Loki” which to a kitty sounds similar to Kylie.  So he actually responds to that now.


Now, lemme talk about her parents real quick.  I mentioned I was a bit scared when I first met them.  But to be honest, they are to of the most incredible people you will ever meet.  I now understand why Katy was so 'perfect”.  She had two great leaders, two great role models, two great...well, parents.  Speaking of parents, shortly after our engagement, my dad called me for the first time in my life.  Had Katy never loved me, that would never have happened.  Her love, our promise to wed, brought my dad back into my life.  I told you she was great right?


Anyway, I now got to experience things from a new perspective.  I mean when someone actually makes you happy, you just see things differently.  It's like being blind for all your life, then all the sudden having perfect vision.  I finally saw things clearly.  I knew what love was.  I knew what friendship meant.  I knew what family was all about.  Previously, I had only “thought” I knew.  Now it was all confirmed.  I knew life was great, I loved being a part of life.  I'm glad she was a part of mine.


We brought in the new year together.  I knew then that every day was going to be great, with Katy by my side.  My New Year's resolution? To do my best everyday to make Katy smile.  I did that. Everyday.  Even when I did something stupid and she got mad at me, we would talk about it.  Or she would talk, and I would agree.  But we always resolved our problems.  And I still made her smile.  I just wanted her to have everything she wanted.  I always put her before me.  I wanted her to be happy.


May 20th, 2003.  The happiest day of my life.  While holding Katy's hand and looking at the little black and white screen, we listened to the heartbeat of our baby girl.  Alyssa-Kaye, I tried to hide the moist droplets streaming down my face...ok I was crying, but I was so happy.  Not only was I going to have the perfect wife, but the perfect daughter as well.


June 12th, 2003.  What can I say about it.  It was such a good day, but at the same time, the worst day of my life.  While sitting with or Pastor, we read wedding vows to each other.  Kind of a little “which one will we use in our wedding” thing.  He even made us re-read a few parts, just so we understood exactly what kind of commitment we were making.  Later that evening, we both laid on the floor, taking turns listening to Alyssa's heartbeat with a fetal heart monitor Katy had borrowed from a friend.  We decided we would go buy our own, so we could do this every night.


The last 3 words Katy spoke on this Earth were “I love you.” I'm fortunate enough to have had those words directed at me.  The last thing she heard was “I love you too babydoll” coming from me.  She knew she was loved.  The last thing I saw on her face was a smile...if you knew her at all, you know the one I mean.  That smile was enough to last me an entire lifetime.  And even though she is no longer here, I don't regret the time I had with her.  It was well spent.  We spent everyday for what it was.  She never had to guess how I felt about her.  I told her and showed her each day for nearly the year we knew each other.  She did the same for me.  I knew how she felt.  I knew she was happy.  I did well.  I know even now, as I'm typing this, she's smiling down on me.  I know in my heart, she's looking over all of us.  Watching over us, until we get to be with her again.


She was everything to me.  She was my love.  She was my world.  She was Kathleen Elizabeth Rocklin.  She was my best friend.

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