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Tell us about your loved one.
Dan was my only child. He was born on a snowy night that I will always remember.His Dad left us when he was 5 and it was just him and me until he was 11 when I remarried. He always wanted a new Dad since his Dad didn't contact him. We had many good times but also some bad. For the last 8 years he has helped me grow our business C&E Tag and Title Service. He wasn't always dependable because of his addiction, but when he was there he was very good at what he did. He was going to take over my business one day. Two years ago he moved back home where my husband and I live and also his 10 year old daughter lives. His daughter has lived with us for the last 7 years because her Dad and Mom were both addicts.
Tell us about Daniel's struggle with addiction
Dan was an addict for 15 years. He was clean for a few years when he was in prison. He didn't always have money for his habit so he stole from me and my husband. Almost 4 years ago he went on methadone to stop the heroin. He did good for the first 2 years, but he started drinking heavy and that was a bad thing. Last year he got a DUI and wanted to get off the methadone. Earlier this year he was going to the clinic smelling of alcohol and about 6 months ago he was released from the clinic and then started having problems. He started stealing from me and his daughter to support his habit. It was getting bad. Then in June he said he wanted to stop and he tried to go to Bowling Green but could not get in then because there were no beds for men. He struggled for months and about 2 weeks before he died he started working harder and was taking suboxin to try to stop. He was doing pretty good and the week before he died he was talking about his future. It was the first time he talked about his future in a long time. It felt good to see that he really wanted to change and I was glad I was going to have my son back. When he got paid on October 4th he went and bought some heroin and asked a friend to get him suboxin because he didn't want to blow all his money on heroin. He got his usual amount of heroin but it was strong and while I was at work he locked his self in the bathroom and never came out. His daughter called me at work and said he was in the bathroom and not answering her. I knew what was happening and told her to get Pop Pop and try to beat on the door to get a response but he did not respond. I got home 15 minutes later and the ambulance was right behind me. I walked in the door to find my husband and neighbor trying to get in the bathroom but he was leaning on the door. The ambulance attendant finally got in the bathroom and they did everything they could but it was too late.
What made Daniel smile?
I think Dan's daughter Danielle made him smile the most. He was a very proud Dad and loved being with his beautiful daughter. We have lots of pictures of our summer vacations and he was always smiling at Danielle and when she looked at her Dad she smiled all the time well except when she got into trouble. I know I made him smile too. At work when he showed me up he would laugh and smile all the time. He loved when I was wrong about things. When he was growing up we moved back home with my Mom and I would save money so we could got on trips like to Disney World. For the most part we were a pair and kept each other happy.
What do you miss most about Daniel?
I miss him taking care of his daughter. He was a good Dad sometimes I called him a drill Sargent because he would time her when she brushed her teeth and if she didn't do her two minutes he would complain to her. I miss him working with me and now I don't want to replace him. I just look at his empty desk. I miss his beautiful smile. Even when he was bad he just had a way of making it seem like it was not that bad. When I had problems I would talk to him and he would try to make me feel better. I just miss him so much. I just want him to walk in the door and hug me. I never thought I could miss someone as much as I do him. I just feel like I lost part of me and I can not get it back. My grand daughter said I cry to much and I tell her I can't help it because I want my baby back and I know he is not coming back.