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Something transformative happens when we are able to commit our thoughts, fears, experiences, history, etc. to the written word. For me it is cleansing and therapeutic. Your message of forgiveness shows true maturity of the mind and soul and has prompted me to share my story with you.
I am up at 4 am to go for my walk around Barton Hills. I have developed a sleep disorder since my oldest grandson Andrew died in my house last summer. Andrew, my grandson, had been in rehab and jail for heroine addiction. When he got out he had to have a place to live so I begrudgingly said OK. My sister, who is now a drug rehab counselor convinced me that I might be saving his life. He was a wonderful little boy who grew up into a very troubled young man. All he ever wanted was his mother and dads love and never got it. Both of his parents went on to have other relationships and other children and never looked back. He was like a ship lost at sea and no port would let him dock. Andrew moved in and I set to work. He had been so coddled and waited on by the grandmother who raised him that I set out to help him be an independent man.
First I made him go out and get food stamps and buy his own groceries. I could not afford to support a 21 year old eating machine. 2nd I told him he had to have a full time job within 7 days. He got one in 2 days at the ice cream shop at the mall. He took 2 buses to and from the mall everyday to get to work. My goal was to get him into community college in the fall and go from there trying to release him back into humanity. I was rigid and bitchy with him. I felt my job was to prepare him for real life, not reward him. I searched his room when he was at work on a weekly basis and never found anything that looked suspicious. Andrew was always scheming and one step ahead.
The day before he died I went down to San Antonio to spend the night with my cousin. I was a little apprehensive so I called my friend, who was in town, to come over and spend the night and keep an eye out. He did and told me that morning he got up at 7 to go to work and Andrew was shaving his head in the bathroom. He thought it was odd but didn’t know if that was normal behavior for Andrew. He went to work. Unbeknown to us, Andrew had “scored” two Fentinel pain patches. These are 3 day morphine patches given to cancer victims. Kids are cutting them up and selling them on the streets. When taken orally they are stronger because the skin isn’t being used as a filter.
I walked in at 3:15pm on July 24, 2010 and my life was changed forever. The AC was on 60 and my 2 dogs and my parrot were going crazy. The light was on in Andrew’s bedroom and from the hall I could see Andrew was lying back on the bed with his feet on the floor. I yelled what the hell is the AC…….and walked back to his room where I found him. Andrew had black blood coming out of his nose and yellow foam coming out of his mouth. I touched him and he was ice cold. All life had left his body. I called 911 knowing it was too late. They said I had to start CPR immediately but first needed to clear his mouth. When I did I found a piece of plastic which I thought was really weird. I was having a difficult time fighting back hysteria and shock but still on the phone with 911 barking orders to me. I pulled Andrew onto the floor, knowing he was dead but going through the motions being called out to me. It was gruesome as his body released fluids from everywhere.
EMS finally arrived after 15 minutes and took over. The police took me into the living room where I started going into cardiac arrest and had to go to the hospital in the ambulance intended for Andrew. After finding out I did not have insurance at the hospital I was released in about an hour. The Dr. told me I had something called a Vagel response triggered by shock that simulates a heart attack. I was ok, but Andrew was not.
I have taken a new job doing that is ironically directly across the street from the cemetery where Andrew is buried. Some days I look over there and get really mad that he screwed up his life so bad and left me the mess, although I know the overdose was unintentional. Other days I cry. I still talk to him when I am alone driving in the car and on my morning walk, which is where I am off to now.
Other folks seem to have such normal lives, which is my goal at this point. Your message of forgiveness is a good one for all of us Sean. If you and your Mom can forgive, we should all be able to. Thank you for setting the example.