During the course of our lives, we go from day to day with our busy schedules, taking care of our family, and living to the best of our ability. Amidst this source of living we never prepare for the road that sometimes destiny chooses to take us. My name is Demetria Gholston and this is my story. 

I was a single mother of one, a wonderful son, Joshua D.Keith known to many as “Keez,” that was getting ready to take the world by storm. My life consisted of doing everything it took to make sure that he would be able to live his dream of a musician. As a mother, I was so proud of this young man who was never afraid to express himself even when others didn’t understand him. Many always looked at us as brother and sister because of the closeness we shared over the 22 years that we spent together. On the day that I had Joshua, I knew in my heart that God had given me a special child that would be what I always called, “a prophet to his generation.” This prophet that I birth would use words in music and poetry to inspire all that came into his path and he did. I spent numerous moments sitting front stage watching this beautiful soul express himself through music for an audience that he didn’t know. He would get up there and perform for a crowd of maybe 50 people as if it were a million with not a simple piece of fear within his soul. The moments that I shall cherish forever are the ones that I was given the opportunity to be awaken in the midnight hour just to listen to a song in the making and as Is it today and listen to those songs, I reflect on how creative and talented he was. One simple winter day, the music for me and Josh stopped, never again to be able to hear this wonderful person who had grown into a man overnight, wake me up to hear one more song in the making.  

It was a rainy winter morning on December 12, 2010 when I decided to come downstairs to get a glass of juice because everyone that truly knows me can tell you that I never slept until I heard the keys hit the front door for then I knew, my baby was home. As I got to the window to peak and see if Josh had arrived, I noticed that there were two policemen walking back to their car and suddenly I heard a voice tell me to “open the front door.” Oh howI wish that I would have just stayed asleep and this was all a nightmare; a cruel joke that had decided to taunt me in my dreams. When I opened the door,the officers proceeded to walk back to my door and ask me whether or not I had a son named “Joshua Keith.” I indicated to them that I did and they informed me that “he wasn’t under arrest but was at the Gwinnett Medical Center and they had been sent to let me know so that I could go there.” During the course of our conversation, I never thought that it was anything serious or at least that’s what I kept telling myself. One officer asked if I had a way to get there and I stated to him that I would call a friend of mine to take me which afterwards, I closed the door. Before I could get to the first stair, I heard a knock and it was the officer informing me that he would take me. I proceeded to run upstairs to change my clothes and then headed off to hospital but was in noway prepared for what was there waiting for me to see. After moments of hesitation and waiting for the doctor, I was taken up to the 6th floor and there he was, my baby of 22 years, lying there on life support just holding on long enough for me and all his family for one final goodbye. My life changed forever that day and even as I sit and write this letter, I am in disbelief that this was the end of my journey with my beautiful son.  I knew in that moment as I lay down on the bed with Josh, holding him that the person everyone knew me to be, WAS NO MORE.  

Joshua and his girlfriend had attended a Christmas party and on the way home they were hit by two drunk drivers. The first vehicle struck them on I-85N and pushed them into the HOV lane and upon waiting for the police to come on the scene; a second car hit them which was driven by Brayan Rivera who registered .168 grams of Alcohol in his system. That morning,between 3 and 4am all parties involved were transported to Gwinnett MedicalCenter with the exception of the 1st driver because he had turned himself in and was taken to jail. Mr. Rivera was placed under arrest for DUI while receiving treatment but after the officer left to retrieve a warrant, he managed to check himself out and hasn’t been found. We later found out that Mr.Rivera is an illegal immigrant who is a resident of either Honduras or ElSalvador. In February of 2011, I decided to seek the help of a local media station in hopes that someone would know Mr. Rivera and turn him in but to noavail. A few months ago, I decided to do my own investigation and found out those two months prior to Mr. Rivera killing my son, he had been arrested and released from DeKalb County Jail with charges of License required and surrender of prior license.  As of this day, Mr.Rivera has not been found and after telling my story numerous times, it appears that not one legal entity on the great grounds of the USA feels that there is any wrong in this picture. My anger stems from the fact that as citizens of this country the laws are there to protect and serve but no I ask the question“WHO DO THEY REALLY PROTECT?” One thing I am certain of is the very fact that if my son, Joshua D. Keith, was the driver of this car and caused such a horrendous fatality, he would have been handcuffed on the hospital bed and after treatment, taken to jail. I sit here not only as a devastated mother of losing her only child, but also as a citizen of this country who has paid taxes since the age of 17 and yet, I can’t get any justice for the death of my child.There is an illegal immigrant who is now free after being arrested two months before killing my child and then placed under arrest at the hospital but was given a “free ticket home” from the Gwinnett County Police Department. In all my pain, I never would wish this experience upon my worst enemy and I pray that those who enforce the laws but yet do not live by them never have to walk a day in my shoes. My question to you is, “HOW AM I SUPPOSE TO LIVE WITH THIS, CAN YOU?” 

We as citizens must no longer sit quietly, don’t wait until you are sitting at the cemetery, lying to rest one of your loved ones before you raise your voice. Seek justice when you see wrong sitting before you. It’s not only your right; IT’S WHAT YOU ARE SUPPOSE TO DO. As long as we sit idle and do nothing, our loved ones and the many others will continue to cry from the grave. Stand up and Make change! 

Demetria Gholston"

Demetria Gholston

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