FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Molly Griffin will always be remembered as a smiling face and a loving person. But she'll never be a wife, a mother, or an around the world traveler. Hector Castillo-Pichardo took that away from her last February, and yet, her parents and a lot of her friends forgave him Thursday.
When a drunk driver ran a red light and slammed into her friend's SUV, Emily Krieghoff lost almost everything important to her. A year later, Krieghoff still can't remember the crash, but she knows what she lost. "Everybody else can remember their last moments or memories with Molly, and I feel robbed of those. I hope that I never remember any part of the accident, but I would love to know what her last words were to me."
About a month's worth of memories disappeared for Krieghoff and by the time she got out of the hospital, her friend, Molly Griffin, had already been buried. Her words to the drunk driver Thursday served as her memorial to Molly. She made sure Castillo-Pichardo knew the consequences of the choices he made, including the scars he left on the living. "And when I'm wearing a shirt that shows them, I'm questioned about them every time I'm out in public."
The emotional scars are harder to see, but Castillo-Pichardo hung his head as tears flowed from several of the people whose lives molly touched. "I just want you to know that I forgive you. I know you must be suffering too because you took your own friend's life. I will be praying for you and your family and I hope you make better life decisions in the future," said Katelyn White, Molly's friend.
When Doug Grifiin imagined what his daughter might say to her killer, he echoed the message of forgiveness. "You almost killed my friend. You hurt all the people that I love-- and I forgive you."
Castillo-Pichardo said he didn't deserve the forgiveness, but he got it, and it does come with expectations.
The judge sentenced him to 16 years in prison. He'll be almost 40 when he gets out, but Griffin told him that's not the end of his responsibility. "I beg of you now to dedicate the rest of your life for good, to show the world that God can bring goodness out of this," said Doug.
Molly's parents said the've chosen not to dwell on her death, but to honor her life instead.
Her birthday, August 26th, is now "Molly Day" as far as they're concerned and they're asking people to live like Molly, and perform random acts of kindness.
Last year, the movement spread across the US and Canada. This August, they hope it'll get even bigger.
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