This conflict also led him to make some bad choices. What began with the choice to experiment with marijuana at age 12 escalated over time to include cocaine, ecstasy, xanex and others and became the doorway to death. He overdosed on a combination of cocaine and xanex and died on February 24, 2008.
He died surrounded by so-called "friends" who were really just drug users themselves. He didn't know who his real friends were. And so he was alone. It was all part of the conflict.
For those left behind the pain is horrendous. I write with a mothers' broken heart. I'm struggling with the "what ifs" and "whys" that so many do who are left behind. I keep coming back to the conflict Sam struggled with and I know it was not his fault. He had too many strikes against him from the start.
Sam was a drug baby, or what was called a drug baby in 1989. I'm not sure the term is still used. We adopted him knowing he could have any number of problems. It was a family adoption. My husband is Sam's biological grandfather. We thought nurturing, unconditional love and patience would be enough to rescue him. We tried our best. We did many things to help him. But we couldn't solve the conflict. In the end, God solved it and took Sam out of his torment.
We saw Sam that day before he died. (A day I consider a blessing). He stopped by the house as was his practice and hugged and kissed us and told us he loved us. We told him the same, smiled, waved and said, "See ya." Those simple ordinary words are no longer simple to us but profound.
Please remember that none of us is promised tomorrow so make the most of today. Say "I Love You" to the ones you love and hug them tight. It may not be an ordinary day.
Partners for Hope raise critical funds on behalf Partnership to End Addiction – the nation’s leading organization dedicated to addiction prevention, treatment and recovery. Every dollar raised on behalf of the Partnership* will help ensure free, personalized family support resources, including our national helpline, peer-to-peer parent coaching, customized online tools and community education programs, can reach those who need them most. Please consider donating to this fundraiser and sharing this page.
*Donations made to Partnership to End Addiction are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. All contributions are fully tax-deductible, as no goods or services are provided in consideration in whole, or in part, of any contribution to this nonprofit organization. EIN: 52-1736502