We have all watched a “slasher” movie. You know the kind. There is a guy killing people and the police try to catch him. The evidence mounts up. Then there is the big climatic scene where he gets caught and the hero/heroine wins in the end. What happens when there is a real serial killer? The evidence is clear, but the killer cannot be stopped. What can be done then? This is the story of a killer. A killer that is all too common…..drugs.
As the years passed from my childhood, drugs were becoming more prevalent in society. Marijuana and cocaine had been around for quite a few years. The drugs that nobody heard much about were prescription drugs. I always thought that a widespread drug problem would be in a big city with a high crime rate….not a backwoods little town. In the mid 1990’s, I watched as the new drug wave swept through touching at least one member of just about every family that I knew. I just kept hoping that it would shut down or go away. Well…..it didnt. In fact, it got worse.
When I moved out of state in 1988, everything was pretty normal. My friends (who came from Christian families) knew about as much as I did about drugs. I never thought that they would get mixed up into that life. To me, teens on drugs came from broken homes where the parents were divorced, they were abused or neglected, and there was criminal activity within the family. Looking back on it all now, my way of thinking was pretty naive. Too much TV….not enough reality. I was about to get a big dose of reality and it sure wasnt pretty.
Over the years, I visited as often as I could. When I turned 18, I decided to move back to WV. I wanted to graduate from the same high school as my father. I missed my friends terribly. By the time that I graduated in 1996, the prescription drug problem was rising quickly. There was talk of this person and that person either buying or selling pills. I thought it was crazy. These people didnt have a job, but they sure found money for pills. Around this time, 2 of my very best friends had just given birth to their first child. They were sisters born a year apart who had daughters born a month apart. Pretty cool huh? Everything seemed ok for them and I thought that nothing could destroy them. I wish I had been right.
After I graduated, once again, I moved back out of state due to a lack of employment. Like before, I would visit when I could. About a year or so later I came in for a visit. I was shocked, disappointed, and in disbelief. My two best friends were changed….and not for the better. They fell into the prescription drug life. I just could not understand what happened. I was the weak one. I had the troubled home life. I couldnt have a relationship with the guy that I loved…..they could. For the rest of my life I would be questioning why this happened.
As time went on, I watched them fall further down a never-ending spiral. I listened as their daughters even blamed themselves for being born as the reason for their mother’s drug abuse. I listened as their mother cried and lived in fear. On more than one occasion I begged them to stop. I asked them how this happened. I got the “my man was doing it so I figured I might as well too” excuse. I didnt buy it. That was not who these girls were. They were stronger than that. I lived in fear that one day that were gonna take too much and it would kill them. That fear became very real….way too soon.
After several overdoses, I knew that their days were numbered. It wasnt a matter of “if” but a matter of “when” they would die. All of the begging, pleading, crying, and even praying didnt change anything. In cases such as this, I think it all comes down to a person wanting to help themselves. Unfortunately, these girls didnt. You would think that having a family who loves you, children, grandchildren, and friends who care would make a difference. This just goes to show how far a person can fall when drugs completely take over their life. Reality doesnt even show anymore. The person cannot feel anything anymore. It is a nightmare for those left behind. In this case, the nightmare started on the morning of December 20th 2014.
It was a normal morning. I was up and cooking for the Christmas dinner at our church. I had my cell phone on the counter. Just as I was opening cans of green beans, I received a text that broke my heart. The youngest of the two sisters was found dead. She was 38 years old. I screamed and started throwing cans across my kitchen and sobbed into my husband’s arms. I was almost certain that it was an overdose. Although I was wrong (cause of death was a heart attack due to her medical condition), I knew that this day was going to come sooner or later. I was hoping that this would be the eye opener that the older sister needed to get help with her addiction.
Months later, we all tried to adjust to life without her. Being sick myself, I was not able to come around as often as I would have liked. In April 2015, the oldest sister called just to check on me. We talked for a while and we told each other that we loved each other. She still had not stopped the drugs. I stayed scared, but still tried to remain hopeful. My hopes were crushed when, one month later, she was gone too at just 39 years old. Cause of death….overdose! I grabbed my stomach and balled up into a ball on my front porch. I went numb. A beautiful life was cut short. Parents lost their only remaining daughter, a brother lost his last sister, two daughters lost their mother, 2 granddaughters lost their grandmother, and I lost one of my oldest and dearest friends.
Although it has been a little over a year now, the pain is still fresh. I have no contact with the family due to a number of reasons (none of which was my choice). I still love them and I always will. I still hurt from the loss of both girls. My heart breaks for the children and grandchildren left behind. I still struggle to understand how and why this all happened. If this was a movie, the killer would be caught and it would all be easy. Justice would be served. How can justice be served against a killer that is common, whereabouts known, and is obtained easily? How can justice be served against the killer in the bottle?