Family: A life lost forever

I remember him well as a little boy.

His soft blonde hair and cherubic face spoke of angelic sweetness.

And, in his own little boy way he was.

But, he was born with untold energy, to run and to go places, to definitely not sit still.

He was quick as lightning, his soft little body running to where he shouldn’t go, his tiny hands reaching for what he shouldn’t reach for.

I kept him for a very short time and still I remember his arms wrapped around me frantically in a little boy hug, like he wanted to be held for a very, very long time, except he couldn’t stay there. He couldn’t stay still. He had so much to explore, so much to discover.

I kept him for a week or so and during that time, my memory is blurred with running after him, scooping him up from danger and smiling as I watched him eat ice cream, relishing the taste with a look of pure pleasure on his tiny face.

I lost track of the little boy after that.

It was a dark time for the family.

The mom, bless her heart, was simply not mentally or physically able to care for him or his sister and in the end it was decided the children should be adopted out.

And, so it happened.

One day they were gone.

One day they were both swallowed up into a system that people talk about in hushed whispers around the kitchen table, and the meaning of their words seem to remain shrouded in the dark shadows of the unknown.

I was on the peripheral edge of that dark time, but one thing I know for sure.

His grandma packed up the photograph albums she had lovingly made for those children. And she stored them away.

And she cried.

A few years ago I ran into him again.

He had turned into an incredibly handsome man, whom I thought to myself, could turn some young girl’s heart to mush.

His blue eyes were kind and his smile was gentle like rain on a summer morning.

I looked at him and I smiled and I wondered if he remember how he had wrapped his little boy arms around so many years ago, but I didn’t asked him.

After all we were strangers now.

I have since learned this young man grew up in Alberta. I learned he played hockey and football and even refereed minor hockey.

I was told he loved the outdoors and was an avid fisherman.

And so I think to myself he has had a good life, brought up by parents who loved and nurtured him in a healthy way.

And I feel pleased and happy.

But, as much as I still want very much to believe in fairy tale endings, the story of this young man does not end well.

Today his family will bury him.

He had just turned 23 years old. He died of a heroin overdose.

There is no answer for why.

There is only sadness of a life lost.

According to the web, every drug possible is available if people just know where to look.

In Alberta’s capital city, where this young man died, there is a huge problem with youth taking drugs. And I think, as i read this, there is a huge problem everywhere.

I know very little about the drug world. I have had kitchen table discussions about drugs, the horrors of it, the devastation it can cause and how it can wreck people’s lives.

And then I have gone to bed, safe in my own little world.

And even now as I learn of this young man’s death, only one thing I know for sure.

His grandma cried.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Region’s unemployment hits 10.2%

Alberta lost 117,100 jobs in March

Lacombe’s fire chief part of Gander 9/11 response

Nearly 40 planes carrying 6,700 people were diverted to Gander, Nfld. after terrorist attack

WATCH: Update from Prime Minister Trudeau

April 8 briefing from Ottawa

Canada lost 1,011,000 jobs in March, unemployment rate up to 7.8%: StatCan

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada reports the economy lost 1,011,000 jobs in March… Continue reading

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

Message from RE/MAX Commercial: What to do when ‘sorry we’re temporarily closed’ is part of your business as landlord or tenant

Do you have questions about rent reductions or deferral of lease payments? Experts can help

US women’s gender discrimination case delayed

The trial date for a gender discrimination case filed by members of… Continue reading

LeBron: Closure not likely unless Lakers can finish season

LOS ANGELES — Instead of preparing for a playoff run, LeBron James… Continue reading

7 Essential tracks from John Prine, folk music’s Mark Twain

NEW YORK — Some people, the songs just come out of them.… Continue reading

Jim Nantz adjusting to not calling Final Four, Masters

Jim Nantz couldn’t figure out why he was getting text messages from… Continue reading

Armed Forces reports 20 military suicides last year, largest number since 2014

Armed Forces reports 20 military suicides last year, largest number since 2014

Most Read