Tag Archives: drug addiction



Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis once said “If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.” 

I can’t seem to get this quote out of my head.  I started writing this post three days ago and every time I begin to write I come to a place of what some call writer’s block, or maybe it is because I am forced to accept the above quote as truth in regards to parenting my son Aaron. Maybe the above quote resonates in my mind so strong and I ask myself does anything really matter anymore since losing Aaron? As a mom did I bungle parenting up?  Over the last few days I have attempted to revamp my website here and throughout my social media sites, and when asked to do a summary about myself or add an accomplishment or an award; again the above quote comes to the forefront of my mind and pierces my heart.  I really want to copy and paste this quote everywhere in my profiles, along with the words “none worth mentioning.” I didn’t of course, because that would be unprofessional right?  For me the awards do not matter, my professional accomplishments and education do not matter, all the professional and spiritual training I have received over the years cannot bring my son back, it could not save him from experimenting and liking the influence that drugs allowed him to feel.  I could not influence Aaron to turn away from those things, thoughts, or individuals who suffered him harm. Today from my perspective after losing one of the most important accomplishments I ever earned and privilege to be a part of, birthing Aaron Matthew, I can say the professional accomplishments & materialistic awards, well they don’t matter much.

Recently I was asked and given the privilege to speak to a room full of teenagers who had gathered for a youth group bible study and my initial thought was no, I am not ready, making excuses. But then I realized if I don’t talk with them who will? It was my first public speaking since Aaron’s death.  I began to think about how I would talk to these kids, how can I use my loss for their gain? Some of the kids I knew and many I didn’t, but what I did know is they were someone’s kid, they were America’s future leaders and that alone made them my responsibility to share in a short time about the importance of making good wholesome life choices. As I was introduced and made my way to the front of the room to stand before our future leaders, I looked around and recognized their potential, the influence each one of them had to offer out in the world. The question remains what type of influence will one choose to become to others and how hard will one work to reveal the potential hidden within?  I began by thanking them for coming this night, of course they didn’t know I would be speaking. I explained to them without them even realizing they already had made a good choice and had unknowingly began strengthening their own faith walk by showing up instead of choosing to drive around town like many do and like we adults use to do looking for other alternatives. I briefed them lightly on my choice at age seventeen of believing in FAITH, and how after 27 plus years of choosing to believe in my faith through past experiences as a teen and young adult, it was my faith that had not been altered by the death of my son.  My life has, but not my faith, my faith I never questioned. I shared with this young group of future leaders after learning that Aaron was dead while riding in the car to get to him, ( I couldn’t drive, I was to broken, and in shock.) I told GOD on the way there through my tears, “I am not going to ask why, but I will tell you, you must give the strength to get me through this.” I explained to them that yes I do talk to my heavenly father and that in the twenty seven plus years in this relationship I chose to forge with him, (the longest, successful relationship I have ever had) I have only heard his voice twice in my lifetime. That my  friends, is living by faith since we have become a “need it now” society.  I explained that with the death of Aaron, my faith has been tested.  I explained contrary to what others may believe or think, bad things do happen to good people and because one chooses to live by faith it does not give you an exemption from being tested and tried and privy from loss. I explained there are two myths about choosing to live by faith. The first myth is many believe choosing to live by faith is impossible because you can never be perfect, and in order to live by faith it means you’re perfect. Many Christians and leaders are called hypocrites because society believes a Christian’s faith is to be flawless. (Our kids today are under so much stress and turmoil of believing they must be perfect in every aspect of their life. It is true in the homes, we parents want them to be the best, dress the best, perform the best, act the best, in society and in school.) Our kids believe they have to be the best in order to be successful and when they mess up it is proving to have a detrimental effect on them and society.  I explained to the group of teenagers that the word perfect in the bible only one time means exactly what the dictionary definition reads… flawless, without blemish, perfection, and this is where in the bible it describes Jesus. Everywhere else throughout the bible when it talks about being perfect, when researched in Hebrew and Greek Dictionary, the word perfect simply means: to mature.   Every human being comes to place of maturity… and our youth must be told and come to have an understanding that responsibility comes with each level of maturity.  When our kids understand they don’t have to perform perfect as the Webster’s Dictionary defines, you will find our kids may begin to perform better and come into their full potential and become a positive influence on another as to feeling helpless and being a negative influence.  The second myth is, many  say and believe it is humanly impossible to live by the ten commandments. ( I can’t be sure if some of the kids even knew what I was talking about when I mentioned the ten commandments) but I went on to explain that if one can learn and live by the first two… the other eight are not so difficult to implement in their life.  The first one is To Love The Lord Thy God with all your heart, mind and soul and the second one is To Love your neighbor as yourself.  In simple terms… it is about learning to love without placing expectations upon love then choosing to limit it, acting as if we have a patent right on love when one doesn’t meet those expectations we placed upon them, and last respecting others.

I hear so many kids and young adults say they are lonely, lost, bored, frustrated and they feel they can do nothing right.   I can see why. We have become a nation of complacency and turmoil. We are becoming a society with no sense of accountability, no work ethic, even within our highest ranking official leadership in both parties. What once use to be considered right is now the wrong and what once was wrong is now the right or is being considered the norm. I am of the opinion this is why we have the mess in Washington and every Constitutional Right is being attacked and rewritten because wrong is now the right. I am not here today to place blame, but state the obvious, and share from my own heart and experiences.  I consider myself a leader and so I accept full responsibility for how I chose to parent and looking back I see many things I could have done differently, approached situations differently. I find I am here writing from the part of me struggling at times to keep it all together from the memories  when the boys would snuggle on the sofa with me in their toddler years to watch Steve Irwin as the Crocodile Hunter to traveling to the soccer tournaments in their elementary and Jr. High years to the many challenges of them growing into adulthood. I write here today from sadness that Aaron is no longer physically with us, and from a perseverance as I continue to see Adam mature into the responsible man and leader that he is for us. As I am convinced any future accomplishments I may succeed with in my personal life will not matter much, I am just as convinced our children of all ages from all walks of life and our young adults, it is their lives, their accomplishments, success and future that truly matters.  In order for them to become successful our kids deserve to have the original constitutional principles and foundational tools offered to them and taught to them by parents and leaders alike, just like I and my generation growing up was given. We had the opportunity and choice to build from these essential tools taught to us in school and home. It is time for the Ten Commandments to be returned to our schools and offered for display in and around our national and public facilities. From experience, I know I am not perfect, and I thank GOD daily I don’t have to be for him to continue to love me for who I am, for whatever mood he finds me in, or if I have been up all night because I am restless and troubled. Whether in my good days, in my bad days, my faith has been the one thing to sustain me. I made a choice long ago to trust in my FAITH (Hebrews 11 KJV) and I am certain it is the only accomplishment that ultimately will matter for me when I to shall leave this earth and stand before the Author of Life. Our kids deserve the same opportunity to learn, and to know and to have the right to make a choice to build their future on.  I can still remember the era when the Ten Commandments were removed from the schools and public facilities and here we are thirty plus years later we argue and wonder why are kids have no sense of direction, why are cities and towns are full of drugs and corruption. Our kids are longing, desiring and looking for faith, hope and trust. If we cannot give it to them the enemy will lead them into his lair with something false that resembles faith, hope trust and unconditional love and once he has them, we are entering into a spiritual era of a battle where  it is near impossible to retrieve them back without loss of physical life at a very young age.

“Without faith, hope and trust, there is no promise for the future, and without a promising future, life has no direction, no meaning and no justification.”

I have written about it before. When we take away our kids right to a healthy fear and respect for authority that the Ten Commandments offer, we have taken away their ability to fully thrive into full potential of their being.  We rob them of learning to trust and use their own intuition and instincts to warn them of dangerous influences that are becoming more alarming with each day we choose to do nothing.  I don’t claim to have all the answers, I just know there is only one answer that keeps me standing even when I have days I physically do not want to and that is the faith, hope and trust I have chosen to place in my Savior, Jesus Christ. I learned about him unknowingly as a kid due to the Ten Commandments that were instilled within me from public school teachers, leaders, family and when I matured into a young adult, all the learning and cultivating and seeds planted that had been done throughout my younger years from others, GOD one night watered and called me by name bringing me to this one defining moment and question in life. Will I trust him even after losing my son?

Tested, tried, pruned and broken… I still write, I will still stand and declare Jesus is the Lion Of Judah and yes, I do trust him.

2013 Data Detailing Drug-Induced Deaths, Breaking Out Specific Data for Prescription Analgesics and Heroin, as Reported by the CDC4 -Drug overdose total- 43,982,  prescription analgesics overdoses- 16,235,  Heroin overdoses- 6,235

Click to access db166.pdf

Thanks for reading.

Renee Emery

Matthew 22:14 ~ Many are called, but few are chosen.

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Happiness Doesn’t Result From What We Get, But From What We Give.


~Dwight D. Eisenhower

Eight months ago today I heard the most horrific and heartbreaking news that would forever change my life. There are days that are harder than other’s and days in past I wished I could have slept away, but then what could I truly accomplish from such a profound loss of a precious life, Aaron’s Life?

If I choose to fall prey to guilt, what ifs, shame, judgment, depression, anger and loss then I would have to consider my purpose and Aaron’s life albeit short, a permanent loss.  Aaron Matthew’s message, his life, his choices, his death, his funeral, his silence and my son, Adam & his wife Mollee, their love & support, their accomplishments and happiness deserve better from me.  They deserve for me to get up every morning facing the day with an optimistic attitude, to do the best I can to always hunt the good stuff. They deserve for me to be better than I was yesterday in order to become the person, the LEADER the community needs me to be today.  Friends, my fellow leaders, there is a generation of youth before us that are in denial of being lost from having no fear of healthy discipline, healthy boundaries, healthy habits, and no sense of accountability and a future generation yet to be who may be birthed never knowing what the meaning of those very words mean.  Friends, my fellow leaders, there is before us adults in key leadership positions all across our Nation who out of fear of standing alone or selfish ambition and loss of financial compensation altering the course of our Constitutional Rights to protect our children from one the deadliest epidemics that is sweeping across our Nation, substance use and abuse.  It is up to me to see such travesty never happens. Our youth, our country deserve from me (us) to prepare to step out from behind the comfort zone. They need me to stand up and have my voice heard, even if it means standing alone. They need to hear the truth and not the lies about drug use. Our youth, our young people deserve to know  that the use of drugs will make you feel good, drugs relieves the weight of the daily responsibility of homework, family worries and the pain from the first love break-ups and hides the pain from not fitting in the right social clicks.  The use of drugs will take you into an abnormal, carefree mind dimension that will lead you away from the reality of all life stressors. Our youth need to hear the raw truth of using and abusing costs them. It will cost them their reputation, their family’s trust, their own trust and intuition that was instilled within them for guidance. It will cost them financially and materialistic. It will cost them their friends, and ultimately it will cost them their life. Our youth need to quit being told a lie that if you use drugs, you are a loser and that you are worthless. Our youth need to know that being a substance user does not truly label you as a junkie.  I am of the opinion the label junkie was given by some ignorant person who probably experimented with drugs and used on a regular basis himself or herself.  It is unfortunate the label stuck, it has had devastating repercussion for many parents who truly love their son or daughter.  It is time for a responsible adult to demand it to STOP.  Do not worry, I am not asking any of you to step up and lead the way, just stand up, stand with me.

I WILL TAKE THAT RESPONSIBILITY of leading the way. I am just the person to lead the way, especially when our key leaders across this nation and world are profiting from the drug trafficking and from our young people’s deaths.  Individuals like this; they do not lose sleep through the night like a loving parent who has lost their son or daughter to drugs. Individuals like this; they do not worry about our youth and they do not lay awake through the night as a parent with worry wondering of ways to help save their son or daughter from themselves. Many parents of an addict find their hands are tied from the laws depriving them to intervene, or struggle to financially afford the high priced rehab facilities that are bankrupting the average American Family, while key leaders continue to line their own pockets with green from the kickbacks and hidden payouts from the profits of drug trafficking, and the high priced rehab centers entangled within the state laws.

Do I want to take a short cut from this long, tireless journey? YES, I do. Truth is looking ahead I see no FINISH LINE or BANNER flying overhead with words THE END before me to keep me pressing to reach it.

But, then the words I heard back in 2010 spoken into my SPIRIT by JEHOVAH-JIREH (my provider.)

(RENEE, YOU CANNOT LEAD WHERE YOU HAVE NEVER BEEN) somehow strengthens, inspires and forces me upright and calls me to the challenge. The challenge to become THE VOICE OF AUTHORITY for TRUTH in order to tackle what many believe cannot be done, change the course of a generation plagued without discipline, respect for authority, and drowning in substance abuse altering the course of our NATION right before our very own eyes. Proverbs 29:18 tells me, Where There Is No Vision, The People Perish, But He That Keepeth the Law, Happy Is He.

It is time for us to quit taking from, but give back.

I hope to lay a solid foundation for our youth moving forward, one of vision and purpose. Our nation’s youth deserve to hope, to believe in Faith, and to see and experience firsthand that there is room for forgiveness and redemption from mistakes and poor choices they have made due to the many unhealthy temptations we as adults helped lay before them by remaining silent for far too long. They deserve not to be condemned or labeled for their mistakes leaving them feeling helpless and tossed to & fro to be ran to the edge of the cliff with only one way to move forward, right over the cliff like swine leading them to their death.  Our youth deserve a leader who will stand and share the truth with them in an attempt to steer them from finding themselves placed naked and stiff upon a cold silver slab of a table in a room labeled MORGUE to be prepped and moved into a coffin only to have the lid be closed indefinitely, silenced for eternity.




Our youth and their purpose they matter.  What we choose to give them is what our Nation will become.

I will share my story, a story of unconditional love for my son. My story is not one privy from pain, heartache or loss. However, I choose to use the pain for purpose, turn the heartache into compassion, and my profound loss for another’s gain so they can have a vision and a purpose without the experience of such a profound loss of a loved one taken by substance abuse whether intentionally or unintentionally.  For me it has been a Dark and very long journey that I find still before me.  I am reminded of a saying someone once shared. “There are things we don’t want to happen, but happen and have to accept. Things we do not want to learn, but have to learn. People we cannot live without, but have to let go.”

For everyone who chooses to follow me and continue from here a new journey with me, one of vision and purpose for the future of our youth, I say thank you.  Every youth, young adult deserve to have reason to hope, believe in faith, and trust there is room for forgiveness and for a chance to thrive once again.

I would like to close by letting everyone know what you can and cannot expect from me in the future. Trust I have much more to SAY about holding accountable our key leaders for changes within the Law in order to help loving and responsible parents or guardians to gain control of being guardian of their child’s person. We have a battle across 48 states excluding Utah and Louisiana with most states recognizing our youth at age fifteen to be responsible enough to make medical decisions for their selves.  Those of us living within the state of Illinois, the law recognizes our children at age twelve  to be responsible enough to be guardian of their person making medical decisions for themselves if they legally wanted to without your consent. I will share more about this problem in another post.  What you cannot expect from me is any posts regarding the events of July 4th, 2014. FRIENDS, if you are here hoping or awaiting any gossip or bashing I encourage you to leave, because you will be bored and very disappointed.  My son’s death records (when I get them) our family’s pain from what we may or may not learn about that day will never be revealed here on social media by me. You will not read Aaron’s Autopsy reports here, you will not be privy to a bashing of any party(s) even if warranted, who handles or is a part of the events.  It will play out in the justice system and if need be with a fight from me within the justice system, as any parent would for their son or daughter within the courts. I choose to LEAD in a different way.  Aaron deserves nothing less from me.  I choose to focus my loss for everyone’s gain. Let us band together and pressure our lawmakers to give back your right as a parent to intervene before we continue losing our youth to substance use and abuse.

I will listen to the many moms who just  a few weeks ago encouraged me to trust my motherly intuition. I believe with all my heart this is how Aaron would want me to proceed forward, traveling sharing within our nation’s schools, youth groups and having my voice heard on our state’s capital steps pushing for national change.  Last year in 2014 in Madison County, Il. alone, there was 47 heroin deaths, this year there are already 6 within the same  county.   My next post I will have Southern Il. statistics. It’s time  to be heard.


Renee Emery

We do not become leaders when we accept a title or a rank. We become leaders when we accept the responsibility for the well being of others. ~ Unknown




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Hard Message To Write


To all my dear friends & family, I am not sure how to address you today. I ask you to bear with me as I struggle to write, attempting to make sense from the worst 9 days of my life. Before I begin with what I need to say regarding the tragic death of Aaron and the rumors surrounding his death.  I want to sincerely THANK ALL OF YOU for the many kind words, both public & private sent and offered since his passing. I will in time address each one personally.

Because of your prayers, kindness, thoughtfulness, love & support, I believe they are what sustains me, Adam, Anthony, his wife Mel and our families through this difficult and painful time.  I ask you please continue to keep us, our families, especially Adam in your thoughts and prayers. We Love You.

To my Father, Creator in Heaven, Author of Life…. Oh how my heart breaks, but I must reach down deep, trust on your promises and thank you from the bottom of my heart for the twenty plus years I, Adam and family were given to be a part of such a beautiful life, Aarons life. I know his angels must have worked overtime attempting to steer him in the right direction these past five years. I take comfort in knowing we did raise him up in the church and from your word in his younger years, dedicated him as an infant & he chose to be baptized in his elementary years. He was blessed with having a loving brother & family to surround him. He knows without a shadow of doubt he is loved by his family, and we know he loves us.




aaron 20142   When I think of the many mighty men of the bible and the ones mentioned during his funeral, stories within the bible, fit for describing my son, Aaron, I often sense you always nudging my spirit back to Jacob. Especially where Jacob wrestles with GOD in Genesis 32: 24 – 31. So many things I will never understand Father, as to why we were chosen for this specific journey into the darkness of drug addiction. I remember the words you spoke to me in 2010 as I lay on the floor asking you why us, to endure this particular, devastating journey. You spoke to me… simple words, yet they remain, hovering over me this moment. You said, “Renee, you cannot lead where you’ve never been.” Aaron Emery 2014 I didn’t know, you would choose me to lead so many hurting young souls from such a darkness that is robbing so many from having a successful and prosperous life and future with the loss of my son.  You father are so much greater than any drug, high, low, or hallucination a drug can offer.  I pray for your anointing and direction to be a positive voice and resource to help those who desire to be set free from the lie that drugs are fun, and give life. In truth, they rob and cut short human potential and life as is the reality I am forced to now live, without Aaron’s physical presence in my life. I thank you Father for the last month and half of beautiful memories to add to the many we his family will forever hold dear and treasure. You graciously gave us time with Aaron being together to celebrate his brothers success and happiness  with his graduation, party, announcement of his engagement, the many I love you, hugs, and pleasant conversations had with him, even pictures. He never could stand still long enough for me or other members of his family to take a picture. I am just so grateful for those of recent he allowed to remain still for.  I choose to remember the good times, which definitely out way the bad & the struggles.

I believe today as we here who love Aaron struggle with the profound loss of his smile, laughter, strengths, presence and challenges he often presented to us, being forced to accept we won’t be able to hear his voice, nor celebrate his 21st birthday which is on July 20th of this year, just 8 days  from now.

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I know he is in heaven with his many family and friends who welcomed him with loving arms.

I believe he will sit and talk with Jacob about wrestling with God during their earthly life, while watching over those of us he loves here, especially his brother, his soon to be new sister in law Mollee, his precious cousins Abigail, Lily & Kristian and the many friends he deeply cared for and loved.


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I know he is going to have many questions for you Father God, and so it is, as painful as it is for my heart to accept, I entrust him back to you, the angels, and heaven.


I know I do not owe anyone an explanation…… but as said during his funeral….his death  is his message…. and it is my responsibility to continue his message, not for closure, not revenge, not to sow hatred, nor confusion, but to simply bring awareness and prevention that other’s lives will not be cut short as Aaron’s was. I do not want those who love Aaron to waste another ounce of energy wondering what happened, or attempt to find answers. Truth is Aaron is now with Jesus, yes Jesus, his big brother who died and shed his blood to cover Aaron’s multitude of sin, and nothing we say or do will bring him back to us. I do want those who love Aaron to step up and realize each one of us have a responsibility to recognize the fact; unless we do something regarding the drug, alcohol problems in and around our communities, schools,  sports that continues devouring our sons & daughters, deaths like Aaron’s will continue… and I pray what my family had to endure on July 4th, 2014 will not be your family next year or sooner.


What I will share with you to share regarding Aaron’s death is this…. Aaron struggled with drug addiction, and before you pass judgment, ask yourself, “Do I have an addiction?” Whether it be alcohol, coffee, over eating, tobacco, sex, pornography, drugs or something else not mentioned, an addiction is just that, an addiction.  Each brings their own consequence.

Regardless of Aaron’s struggles with his addiction and terrible choices, I do not believe anyone, deserves to be left alone on a floor, struggling for their life, like he was left to do.  Those knowing he needed medical attention who took it upon themselves to make such a demoralizing decision, refusing to call 911 in a timely manner or take him to the nearest emergency room to save his life but instead chose to take him to a house and leave him there without notifying medical personnel, family while watching him suffer, struggling for air and oxygen, I cannot fathom.  My loss, our family’s loss is forever while we remain here on earth.  I want these individuals to know he leaves a grieving mother, father, twin brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and true friends  who cannot fathom where you made the decision to leave him to struggle for his life. I will never come to a place of understanding of such a decision.  Knowing  Aaron and his goodness despite his weaknesses and struggles, he would forgive you and he would have never done the same to anyone in his presence needing medical attention.  Had it been someone else in need of medical attention, he would have saved your life by taking you to nearest hospital or calling 911 immediately, not 5 to 6 hours later.  I want everyone to know Aaron did not  take his life, he did not voluntarily go to a house in Franklin County, he was taken there instead of to a hospital for medical treatment where he struggled for his life, and due to lack of responsibility by others lost his life on July 4th 2014.


To Aaron’s many friends… it is not my place to judge or condemn. I want you to know as he cared for you so I care for you. Do not party as though partying consumes you and robs you of a healthy, successful life and future.  Choose wisely whom you befriend and trust while partying and having a good time.

I will close with this… Aaron Matthew Emery loved challenges… I challenge you to take a step toward sobriety, toward receiving the help for any addiction you may have when you want to party, or smoke a joint or snort a line, I challenge you to reach out to those of us who want success for you. We want to help you; we want you to be successful in life, enjoying life. Take the money you would spend on your next high, or snort or drink and donate to something Aaron Emery loved and played well… the soccer association… sow a seed, make a difference within your community and say enough senseless death is enough. It breaks my heart to see all of you having to spend time in a cemetery to visit Aaron, Noah, Eric and countless others because you choose to not accept the truth… Drugs & Alcohol when abused robs lives, destroys families and leaves many hearts broken. Do not be the next family struggling to make sense of the loss of beautiful life. Do not become a statistic and lay in a grave. 20140711_205653 Do not put yourself in the position of having to look a brokenhearted mom or dad in the eyes and explain why you did not help their son or daughter because of a weakness or bad decision using drugs or alcohol. Trust me when I tell you… the pain is unbearable and I wish it for no one.


Instead of buying Aaron something for his birthday to enjoy his life with this year, I now have to design his headstone in remembrance of him.

If anyone takes the challenge to make a change and needs help you can contact Brett Sapp at 618- 889-7729. Brett is the Celebrate Recovery Pastor at Cornerstone Church or you may contact Tim Buehler, The Journey Church at 618- 727-4019


You can email me at reneeemery15@yahoo.com  or PM on my personal FB anytime or call me at 618- 922- 7961

I hope Aaron’s death, his funeral, his message (a life robbed short) will not fall on deaf ears and hard hearts today. I pray to God his message will penetrate into the depths of the hearts of all those who struggle with many types of addictions.  Life is precious, and I pray you will honor my son by being accountable for your own life and start doing right by those GOD puts in your path.


Aaron Matthew Emery

July 20, 1993 – July 4, 2014

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Two Wolves 

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.He said, ‘My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all.One is Evil.It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.The other is Good.It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.’The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?” The old Cherokee simply replied,‘The one you feed.’ 



We do not become leaders when we accept a title or a rank. We become leaders when we accept the responsibility for the wellbeing of others. ~ Unknown

We miss him terribly.

Renee  Emery & Adam Emery


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