THERE’S NO TRAGEDY IN LIFE LIKE THE DEATH OF A CHILD. THINGS NEVER GET BACK TO THE WAY THEY WERE.
~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.
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