When our lives take wrong turns.

I don't think any of us need reminders about how bad drugs are. But a couple things that have happened recently have hit really close to home for me. And it has made me think. A lot. Makes me think about the people, the people's families who have been affected and then I think about myself and my own family, especially my children. It makes me really really hope and pray to God that I will do my best to do everything in my power to lead my children in the right direction so that they won't stray the wrong way. It's hard to put it into perspective sometimes that our little children grow up and that one day they will be making decisions on their own without us. I don't think any of us want to face the fact of them growing up. But they're going to.

It's easy when you are living in Small Town, USA, population 1,000, to feel sheltered from all the heartache in this world. To forget that really bad things happen. That really bad things could very well happen here and that we can't keep our eyes shut any longer because they are happening.

A month or so ago an acquaintance of mine from high school was killed. He was ran over in the tiny town that I grew up in. On a street with a 30 mph speed limit in a tiny town of 900 people. It can happen anywhere. Even in small farm town, USA.

From what I am told, Aaron was into drugs pretty bad. He went to rehab, got out and told his parents he was clean. He was "clean" for 2 weeks before this happened. Toxicology reported that Aaron did not have drugs or alcohol in his system. No one knows what happened. But his past leads everyone to believe that it may have had something to do with his once-being into drugs. And it's so sad. He was 34 and had a daughter.

Then, just this week, a friend of mine from high school . . . whom in 3rd grade sweetly gave me a locket, whom I took home almost every day after I got my driver's license in high school, whom was in all 4 years of art class with me, whom was in wrestling with my brother, whom I went on a date to dinner and the movies with to see Batman, who at our 10-yr reunion made me feel like a queen when he said "Valerie, you look hot!" . . . he killed his own mother.

It makes me cry. I ache for him. He was on drugs big time. He started using heavily in high school. A close girlfriend of mine who was around him graduation night told me she remembered seeing him use cocaine that night and she thought "Jason, dude, you're barely out of school and you're already an addict". I guess we all hoped he would graduate, go into the Marines (which he did) and reclaim himself. He obviously didn't. And that saddens my friends and I deeply.

Jason beat up his mother and stabbed her, killing her. It's something fresh in my mind that I just can't escape from and I think about for so many reasons. He was a friend whom I saw almost every day for 13 years. I think back to art class sitting next to him talking about crazy high school things. That adorable funny guy went on to become a murderer!? No one would have believed that. But it happened.

At our 10-year reunion he brought his daughter to our family event, and I think he was one of the most proud father's there. It was so so nice to see that. It was reassuring that maybe his life was finally heading in the right way. I had so much hope for him. This week my friends and I have realized the complete opposite. All hope is lost. And he probably had very little, if any, to begin with.

A lot of questions get wrapped up in my mind. A lot of "whys" and "hows". How in the world did he let drugs control him like that? Why? If it had gotten that bad, why weren't people helping him? Maybe they were? Maybe they didn't know how, especially if he was behaving this violently. (Violent? Not the Jason I knew.) And then it all makes me hate the drug dealers who sold him those drugs. Makes me wish so badly that the government could do more to control drugs in America. Makes me wish somehow we could bring back the moment and talk him out of what he was about to do.

This also makes me want to go wrap my arms around his sister. It was his sister that called the police. She knew her mother was in danger. Can you imagine calling the police on your brother? And now I think about her and what emotions she is dealing with. She lost her mother and her brother at the same time. And now she will see him sentenced for life. Right now they're saying between 30-60 years on 3 counts of first-degree murder. I can't imagine him living the rest of his life in prison, but he will. I also think about him going through withdrawal and the emotions he will go through as he detoxes. He will very soon realize that he killed his mother, one of his biggest supporters in the world. There will be severe punishment for him in just the detoxing and the realization of what he did. He will also very soon realize that he no longer has his daughter. He will very soon realize that he no longer has his life. He is just 32. Makes me sick. Sick.

And then I also think about his daughter. His daughter! She lost her daddy and mother. Another messed up life because of the ignorant selfish choices someone she loved made.

Oh this just tears at my heart. And then I think about my own children. Jason's mom never ever thought she would raise a son who would get heavily into drugs, not be able to escape from them and go on to kill her. What mother would ever dream this?

Makes me desperately want to work to do the right things for my children not to lead astray. But what is the right thing? Do you know? Do any of us know? I think this has got to be one of the scariest things to face as a parent. Making sure we do everything we possibly can to raise our children right, and then be able to let them go...

on jason . . .

on aaron . . .http://www.herald-review.com/articles/2008/06/13/news/local/1033284.txt


mama2dibs said...

As I sit here and the tears gather at the corner of my eyes, I am reminded of how blessed my family really is. My sister, the black sheep, has made my mind wander all over as this has made yours do th same, BUT she has never hurt our family physically. I sit here and hold Grace and wonder what God has in store for her. I know that as her mother, I need to depend on God fully and completely to raise this precious child, as well as Libby. I'm sorry for your situation and will keep you as well as Jason and his family in my mind.

Jennifer said...

This is why it's so important as parents to give our kids a foundation knowing Christ!

Eighty-eight percent of children raised in evangelical homes leave church at the age of eighteen never to return." Nothing is more important than where your kids will spend eternity. As a parent, you don't want to suffer the heartache of your children rebelling against their Christian upbringing. While only God can save us and keep us, there are biblical principles you can implement to help prevent your children from falling away from faith. By countering the unscriptural belief that a child can be saved merely by "asking Jesus into his heart". Parents you can give these principles to help you guide your children to experience genuine salvation and avoid the pitfall of rebellion.

are you teaching your children about Christ?..going to church? do your read your Bible to your children?

It is our duty as Christin's to give our kids the foundation...yes, they will fail, fall under temptations...but they will go to the Father who forgives THEM..if they don't really know HIM..who will they turn to?

I beg each and everyone don't make an excuse this SUNDAY, be in church with your children! Worship, fellowship..there is nothing better to me then to worship GOD and seeing my children doing the same:)

If your in TN and live near Franklin Co TN, I welcome you to Cowan First Baptist Church..in my option it's the best! I love our church...and I know you will too.

O.k. I'll shut up now:) I just love talking about Our Lord in Jesus Christ:)

it's me, Val said...

The answers are "yes".

Anonymous said...

Did you see the article that 'aaron' was schizophrenic and said voices were telling him to stand in the road? I think that is what lead to him being run over. just thought I'd let you know.

Louise said...

Wow that makes my heart ache! I cannot imagine.

I will pray for that girl and also for him that he finds hope in Jesus even while in jail!

I hear ya when talking about our kids, it is hard to realise that someday they will be making choices of their own...trust..sigh..
I have very open dialog even now with my kids about drugs and how they affect people even "good" people, I started years ago and now they are 9, 8 and 6 and I still talk to them regularly I just hope and pray they will think twice before every thinking of touching the stuff.
Yikes that is so sad...

it's me, Val said...

I actually just had a friend send me the link to the article this morning. I posted it at the end. It could very well have been the schizophrenia.

On the flip side, even if that was how it happened, I just can't fathom any decent human being driving off when they very apparently knew what had just happened -- well, hopefully they knew. I know that there was a big party nearby that night. Omg, I just still can't believe that either...

Erin said...

Oh, my heart is aching right now at the desperation and sadness that so many people have because of not having a relationship with Christ. To know they feel no hope is so sad. (((hugs))) to you my dear as you grieve.

LiLi said...

Val, what heart breaking stories. I understand where you are coming from. Of course I live in a ROUGH area, so these crimes are very very rampant here... but that in no way erases how tragic they are. My sister and I had a childhood friend who was killed over drug related issues. She was gorgeous, and now she's gone. We've also known families where the father has gone nuts and killed everyone. My sister is currently married to a monster, who was jailed twice for abuse on his first wife... and who is now abusing my sister. We are thinking he may have gotten himself into drugs or gambling or both, and it's NOT a good situation.

I was just thinking about drugs yesterday... thinking how I'd never tried drugs, but I remember being in middle school and my friend finding pot in her brother's bedroom and a pipe. AND she went into her parents bathroom and smoked it. I was with her, but I didn't try it... but thinking back on that, I just can not believe that it is THAT common that a child could very well find it in their own home!

I know TEACHERS who make pot brownies and have pot parties... and that scares the CRAP out of me... my kids are going to be in class with teachers that could be doing the same thing! It's FRIGHTENING! I just do not understand drugs, the allure, the draw, etc. I just hope and pray my children will know they have a Higher Power to go to when they feel the need to indulge in such reckless behavior... and I hope they will call upon the Lord to deliver them from those temptations.

It is frightening being a parent in these times. We must lean on God to get us through! And pray pray pray!

I love you, and I'm so very sorry that you are dealing with these two tragedies! ((hugs))

lil ole' me..... said...

Oh, I am so saddened to hear this.
Like everyone else, my heart just aches for the families and friends affected by these situations.

I agree- we have to raise our children with a strong foundation and faith in Christ. I believe that makes the difference.

amy said...

Wow - I cannot believe that "good" people that I know could have such terrible things happen to them. I'm so sad. Thank you for posting this - reading your blog is the only way I can keep up with my friends from high school anymore. Oh, I'm so sad right now... My heart breaks for their families.