I have moved through the past 36 hours in a rollercoaster of emotions. They range from feeling “normal,” which is my natural happy self, and then all of a sudden great waves of sadness overcome me. I am not suffering from depression. I am remembering…
I am remembering a young boy who had such enthusiasm for life. He was all boy. His parents had him signed up for many sports and went to each game and practice to support him.
I am remembering a young teen who had many friends, and who was known as a prankster. Teen boys loved that behavior, and so this young man was popular.
I am remembering a junior high child who started to have slight brushes with the law, mostly doing dumb stuff, but he used his charm to get the least restrictive punishments.
I am remembering a young man who started experimenting with alcohol, and then pot, and then other drugs, who took to addiction so quickly. By the time his classmates graduated, he was barely in school, skipping it for the adventures of a drug addict whose only care was to find the next best high.
I am rememebring that after high school, most of his former friends had nothing to do with him. He had burned too many bridges in his quest for the next high. He maintained a strong friendship with one neighborhood boy for so long, but in the end, that relationship was tested and broken.
I am remembering a young man who wanted to get clean, who knew he would die if he did not. After so many brushes with the law, so many spells in jail, this young man had finally realized he couldn’t go on with the drugs in his body. But he also found that he couldn’t go on without the drugs in his body. That is how addiction works.
I am remembering a young man who lost his battle at the age of 22. How can a person of that young age reach the bottom so soon? This, I can’t understand. He is the same age as my sons. In fact, at one point, they hung out with him. They knew he was troubled at a young age. While the other kids were experimenting with life, this young man always pushed the edges out further. The other kids, including my sons, saw this, and knew it wasn’t right. They reached out, but learned what it is like to face an addict. The blank face says just one thing: “If you can’t give me what I need, I have no need for you in my life.” The addict puts his drug of choice over even his family. I have seen this first hand, and I know what I am talking about.
It is the Solstice today. December 21st. The end of the world, at least for this family. Christmas is in four days, but they will never know a joy-filled Christmas from this year forward. They will only have memories of the happy ones, when their family was intact and filled with love. I know this for a fact, as I lost my dad right around Thanksgiving, and though the pain is not rough these 40 years later, he is still remembered with some sadness.
Last night I made a vow to myself. I will make sure that I look more people in the eye, and when I see suffering, I will stop and talk with them, listen to them. People are suffering, and we are missing the signs because our faces are stuck in our phones and computers and games. We need to look up and into the eyes of others.
This is my 2013 goal. Please join me.
In memory of FDD
UPDATE: How I love rumors. Not! After 2 people shared that this young man had passed, Ihave it on better authority that he has not. I ask that we all send prayers for this young man, and his family, as they face more difficult days ahead. Peace