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Even butterflies get hit by semis

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I remember the moment you were born. I actually watched your birth... something I never thought I'd do. All of my anxiety, apprehension, and fears were lifted as you entered the world before me. I'd never been one to have much interest in babies, but you were beautiful... perfect in every sense. You were born with a full head of dark hair... so much hair that the nurses actually combed it into mini-Mohawk for your very first picture. I was there for your very first breath and your very first look at the new world around you. We brought you home to a new room that had been painted and decorated just for you, but I moved your crib into our room so I could be near you. I needed to hear you breath at night... to know you were real. Your birth and recognition of me as your father was the most touching moment of my life... and will most likely always remain as such. I was there for your first words... although there may be argument as to which utterance was actually a word, my opinion would have to side with "da". You were such a content little child... very little crying... very little fuss... a fat little baby with a big toothless grin and bright eyes always searching out for her dad. Once you became mobile, we became inseparable. You followed me everywhere your chubby little legs would take you. When you came to steps, you would turn and face them backing down one at a time with your hands on the steps above you. There was nothing that would let "da" get too far away. You used to say, "like-a-you, like-a-me" as you copied and mimicked everything I did. As you grew older, our relationship changed, but remained as precious to me as the day you were born. "Da" gave way to "Dad", but carried the same weight in my heart. I remember buying you a leather vest for your tenth birthday so you'd feel all grown up as you rode on the back of my Harley. You preferred shorter rides in town as to long highway ventures... I believe it was for the exposure... so people could see you riding with your dad. I remember the ride we took when you were eleven to the North Fork River in southern Missouri. It was a long ride, not your favorite, but you wanted to go anyway. I lured you along with the promise of a picnic at the park on the banks of the river right along the side of the old two-lane blacktop highway. It was late August and the weather was beginning to change. We stopped for sandwiches and drinks a few miles from the park and you somehow carried the drinks without spilling them on the back of my bike... you always wanted me to get saddle bags. At the park, we ate our lunch and talked and laughed about various things as the cars and trucks drove by on the highway and the river-rats floated by in their canoes... an intersection between two worlds adjacent to one another in space, but completely foreign to one another in experience. Somehow we were able to sit there and exist in both worlds at once. We watched as the Monarch butterflies slowly drifted south for their annual migration. I remember the joy in your face as one landed upon your shoulder to rest its weary wings... and how you cried when your newly found friend was struck by a semi-truck as it attempted to cross the highway. I remember holding you and comforting you as I'd done so many times before, and so many times afterwards, and telling you, "Even butterflies get hit by semis." Although a simple facet of life, it gave you little comfort. I'm not sure exactly when or where your troubles began, but I recall the change in our relationship as you entered your teens. The precious quiet moments I used to cherish with you disappeared and were replaced by paranoia, anger, and frustration. What I believed to be a simple passing phase, a stage of development, I later learned was a much more dark and serious problem. Somehow, in someway, heroin had entered your life. In a matter of months, what had been a life filled with laughter and joy, a carefree existence with the world at your feet, had now become a torturous battle with addiction... a constant shift between nodding off and a visceral hunger for the next fix. A bright and shining face beaming with curiosity and a lust for life, had become a dark and hollow shell of the person she had once been. Through all of this, I journeyed with you. I stayed up late at night, wringing my heart and soul with fear, wondering where you were... if you were safe... feeling a great sense of relief when you would finally find your way home, even though the empty shadow of a human being walking through the door bore little resemblance to the daughter I'd raised. I remember the hope and joy I felt when you came out of rehab the very first time... and how that hope and joy was hacked away with each successive visit into and out of the same program. I felt completely helpless... lost... powerless to fight an evil I could not lay my hands upon... hopeless in a battle I could not understand. I remember the end of my fear... a late night visit to my house by two clean and proper young men dressed in blue on a cold November night. I always expected the reaper to be more ominous in appearance, but the effects were just the same. My fears came to an end, not in a joyous and happy occasion, but in the tragic and horrific news of your death. The officers told me they'd found your body, bruised and battered, near a dumpster in an alley in one of the rougher parts of town. The most beautiful and precious thing in my life had been used and discarded without reverence like a common piece of trash. Once again I found myself in an abyss looking skyward for some sign of a greater plan... some kind of reason... some explanation of why a parent should be faced with burying their child. Then I remembered... even butterflies get hit by semis.

Posted on Sep 09, 2006 at 10:45 AM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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....i have seen parents grieve..its a sad sight....had a girlfriend at 18..take her life and leave a young son alone...

Posted on Sep 14, 2006 at 10:31 PM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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At first,when I read this last night,I thought, Oh no, oh my God,was this about your child? I am relieved to know your Daughter is safe and well. Your story is very impacting. Also, with great sadness,it is the truth about the many children who have lost their way. I work with adolescents and teens, who, but for the grace of God, have been directed to the loving arms of caring and nurturing staff and a safe place in which they may live,provided by the facility/academy I work at. These children are the proof that God's most precious Angels don't always walk in heaven. Blessed are the children.

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Posted on Sep 11, 2006 at 06:54 AM Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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Our lives like the butterfly is so precious to see our children in such despair is heart breaking. I truly think they are just board and need to experience hard times to appreciate the small things in life. Im glad it wasn't your child but there are two many children destroying there lives and the lives of there family.

Posted on Sep 10, 2006 at 10:11 PM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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Thank you Botar.

Posted on Sep 10, 2006 at 09:52 PM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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Oh my God!!!!!!!!!

Posted on Sep 10, 2006 at 08:13 AM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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I've already been asked by a few concerned people if the story is true. My daughter is 10 and I just bought her a leather vest for her birthday... it is true to that point. The rest is from my experiences as a cop and the fear any parent feels over the thoughts of losing a child. I just wanted to let you know.

Posted on Sep 10, 2006 at 08:13 AM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report