My 36 yr old son Matthew was a shining star. A single dad to his son Kyle, a loving devoted brother to his 27 yr old sister Melyssa and a kind an true friend with the guys he knew since childhood. He was handsome, bright with a great sense of humor. He was always a hard worker with a good job. He left his imprint on the hearts of all who knew him. He excelled at basketball even into adulthood playing on men's leagues.
Matthew was a wonderful boy right from birth. He was the type of baby every parent wish they had. Slept well, playful, just a happy boy all around. He did all the normal things babies do but always happy an with a smile. He played well with others, was gentle with animals and just a joy to have around. His dad and I divorced when he was just 2 and it was hard on him. When he was left at daycare or a friends to play he had to be constantly reminded that I'd be back to get him. His dads leaving left him with a fear of abondonment but we worked thru it an he was fine. He did well in school, was smart an had many friends. He was very well adjusted. I remarried when he was 6 and gave birth to his sister when he was 7. He adjusted very well to his new step dad an adored his sister. We moved from CT to FL after her birth an he adjusted well. He continued to do well in school, loved being a big brother an was happy to now have a dad who played ball with him, swam in the pool, went to the park, was just totally physically involved in his life unlike his biological dad wasn't. He flew back to CT on holidays, vacations an 2 months in the summer so he still kept a relationship with him who had also remarried an had children. He had a normal childhood involved in baseball at which he excelled, formed life long friendships which he still had when he passed, loved to swim, play basketball, watch wrestling, just a well rounded childhood. Even into his early teens he was respectful, worked a part time job an watched his sister after school while I worked. He was responsible and just a good kid. I think in his whole life he had 1 physical fight because he had to defend himself against a boy who attacked him. He wasn't a fighter even though he was physically fit he'd walk away or talk the other boy out of it. He did not like to fight. If he had to he could but would prefer not to. He helped out with chores an really was just a good kid. Of course he did child an teenage pranks but nothing hurtful. Things were so different at that time. In high school when drugs were around he tried them but it was just like a phase. He did get into smoking pot with his friends but it wasn't a problem. He didn't go to the drinking parties bc the few times he did drink he said he just didn't like it. I developed a drinking problem when he was in high school an I think my behaviors made him not want to drink. My marriage ended an I was left to raise them on my own while working 3 jobs. We had some very rough years, my marriage became violent, my drinking escalated an I threw my husband out. It was a very ugly time of my life that lasted 3 years an I got into recovery. Matt was 18, his girlfriend who was 16 became pregnant an she moved to her moms in CA. Matt wanted to be a dad to his son so he took a bus an moved to CA. Their relationsh didn't last so he got his own place out there an had his son on weekends. He would come to FL on vacation but was still mad at me for my drinking before he left so he wouldn't let me see his son. I had 4 years in recovery but he said he didn't trust me to not drink an did not want his son around me. I was devestated but i understood how he felt. I went back to school, got my degree an a great job. His sister an I were still living together an doing well. His sons mom started doing meth an he reached out to me for help. I thank god I was still clean an sober an could be there for him. He hired an attorney an won sole custody an allowed me into my grandsons life. He even flew him from CA to FL to spend 2 weeks with me. He met a new girl in college becoming a vet an married her. We flew out to CA an attended their wedding when she graduated with her doctorate. It was wonderful an were a family again. He had a great job in Sacramento but he left it when she took a position in a vet practice 400 miles away. Its so hard to condense all these years together an it sounds so jumbled. Meanwhile his sister got involved with pills, went thru treatment here in FL an moved to CA with them for a new start. Matt had surgery on his knee from a basketball injury but recivered nicely. His sister was working an doing well helping out with Kyle when Matt injured his back an needed surgery an was out of work for 6 months. At some point his wife started drinking socially an then it turned to drinking like an alcoholic. Matt needed a 2nd back surgery an this time they kept him on pain meds much longer. It was over a year before they stopped prescribing them but by then it was too late. He turned to buying them on the street. He couldn't stop but didn't want to go into treatment.it became a mess. His sister moved back to FL with me, he continued to buy pills on the street an his wife had an affair. He was a functioning addict as long as he had pills but he was needing more an more. He stayed with his wife hoping she'd stop drinking but she didnt think she had a problem. My heart was broken because I know I'm powerless over someone else's addiction. He finally decided to get on subuxone to quit the pills an to leave his wife. He left his beautiful home an all his possessions, gatheredup his sons things, packed his car an drove here to FL. He was a mess when he got here, got his son lright into school an found a psychiatric to wean him off suvuxone. It took 6 long months oh physical, mental, an emotional torture to get off it..i thank God I had 15 years of working a solid program of recovery to take care of him. It was heartbreaking watching him go thru withdrawals for 6 solid months. He should have been in a hospital but wouldn't go. Little by slowly he began to eat, sleep, shower and come around. He started to go to the gym, swim laps an play basketball after 5 months. He was like a Phoenix rising out of the ashes. I saw my son coming back to life. He hired an attorney an got his divorce. He got a job an bought a brand new car. He was even looking at a new house to buy for him an his son an he started dating. He got back in touch with his friends an was going out. One thing he never did was join a 12 step program because he said he wasn't an addict. He could do it on willpower.my son was back an I was amazed! I had a dr apt 1 morning, he was taking his son to school an as I was leaving he hugged an kissed me an said if he wasn't here when I got back he was at the gym but would be home shortly. Ok. I came home an his son was in the computer downstairs an told me his transcripts were not in yet and they wouldn't let him stay. His dad was upstairs in the bathroom either showering or drinking coffee on his phone. A little bit later he said to me my dads been in there a long time. Go bang on the door I told him. No he gets mad he said. Then he said it again. Go bang on the door an tell him I said come out. He came back down an said he's not answering an the doors locked. I flew upstairs banging on the door, nothing. I grabbed a screwdriver an took the doorknob off. My son was fully dressed on his knees half in the tub with the bar an shower curtain on him. Kyle shouldered the door in and screamed. He pulled him out of the tub an we laid him on the floor. I couldn't find a pulse in his neck or his wrist an he felt coil to my touch. There was a $5 bill an a straw on the vanity. His son is screaming I knew this was gonna happen. I ran to call 911 an kyle started CPR till the 1st responders got here an took over. They made us go downstairs. Sheriffs dept, detectives, fire ppl flooded in an they started questioning us. I called my daughter an said come home, Matt's OD'd and hung up. They took us aside questioning us like criminals. A photographer came in thru the garage door taking pictures it was a nightmare. They came downstairs an said he didn't make it. A detective took me out back questioning me an when I went in my grandson was gone. They said he said he was going to kill himself so they cuffed my 17 yr old boy put him in a cop car an took him to a psyche hospital without even telling me! It was a nightmare until a victim's advocate came in an told them to stop. My daughter came in an they restrained her from going upstairs. It's been 17 months an the scene going thru my mind is like it just happened. Our world as we knew it ended that day. We are in a war with this opioid crisis with no end in sight. My son had not done a drug in over one year. I'll never know why he picked up. What I do know is I called my sponsor immediately and I have no desire to use. My whole family is so broken an there's not a thing I can do about it. But I can be vocal an share my story in hopes that it saves even 1 life. It took 3 months for the tox screen to come back because there are that many deaths. My son died from an accidental overdose of fentanyl 1 day before his 37th birthday. This shouldn't have happened but it did. No mother should have to bury their child ever! I'm sorry for this jumbled writing, misspelled words etc but it's hard to type on this little phone thru the tears. The way I feel I can't believe I'm even still alive. There is no greater pain. But my God must have some plan for me I just don't know what it is yet.