My son, Creston Kiel Blanchard, passed away on June 23, 2008. It has been a very tough road for his sisters and me, not to mention several of his friends. Creston's was a loving, kind, considerate, caring, bright and funny boy. He had an infectious smile, an artistic way, an argumentative side and he was extremely intelligent and trustworthy. Up until a month before his death, Creston had lived at home. He moved into a duplex with two college friends on his 20th birthday. It was closer to school but in a bad neighborhood. I knew he drank and smoked pot on occasion; the nights he spent elsewhere I am sure of it. We talked about the consequences of his experimenting. I thought I knew a lot about the drug world, as I grew up in it, but had not been around it in many years. I knew the signs, but apparently not as many as I thought. Creston graduated high school in 2006 magna cum laude with a full academic scholarship to St. Mary's University. His plans were to be an attorney. He would have started his junior year had he not passed. When Creston moved he found a new job around the corner from his duplex. This is where he met Jay, the guy that introduced him to heroin. An unfortunate chain of events occurred that led to his death. First, Creston's truck broke down on Wednesday and we had it towed to the mechanic and it had a blown head gasket so he was without transportation Second, out of 3 really smart boys, not one of them knew they needed to have the electricity put in their name so it was turned off on Friday morning. They went and had it all fixed that day but it could not be turned back on until Monday morning. Third, he called me to come get him on Saturday. I had friends over for a luncheon; once everyone was gone, we went and picked him and Chris up as it was quite hot and he wanted to spend the night. Unfortunately, his roommate had a gig (plays in a band) that night and he wanted to come home after midnight which was curfew on Saturdays as I had to get up early on Sunday to teach Sunday school at church. I then told him okay but only if he would do the lawn on Sunday and he was happy with that, but then Chris's friend said they could crash at his place. I took them to the restaurant Chris was playing at and the last words I ever heard were, “Thank you Mom, I love you,” and I told him, “I love you too, please be careful.” Fourth, I did not hear from him on Sunday, but apparently he called his older sister Jessica a few times to stay at her place. She returned his call later that night, but he did not answer. Apparently, Jay had a car and he took Creston & Chris to stay at a hotel. Jay got the room in his name and stayed with them. All I know is that Creston was texting until 3:30 am and Chris crashed at about 1 am; they had drank a little according to Chris but not heavy. When the maid came to the door at 11 am on Monday morning Jay told her his friend was passed out and to give them a few minutes. Jay then woke Chris and told him Creston was dead. Chris freaked out and tried to call 911, but Jay would not let him. Creston and Chris had only met him two weeks earlier and he was now scared as to what Jay might do if he did not do what he said. Jay told him they were going to carry him to the car and take him back to the duplex and from there he was to loose his number because he was on probation and could not be involved. Creston was a big kid (6'3” & weighed 200+) and Chris and Jay are smaller so they were unable to actually carry him, they kind of carried, drug and dropped him down three flights of stairs. The maid saw and she told them that he did not look passed out that he looked dead and Jay just laughed and said he was just out cold. Apparently, Jay did just what he said, dumped them in the front yard of the duplex and left. Chris, his other roommate, Spencer; the neighbor, Jose & ex-girlfriend, Mina called the 911; EMS tried to revive him as he did not look like he had not been breathing for long. In other words, had they called the police from the hotel he may just be alive today, we will never know. I can try to rationalize but I still wonder. I am to be thankful he wasn't dumped in a field, thankful he did not survive with the mind of a two year old, etc. They told the police that Creston had stayed alone and when they all just happened to come home at the same time, they found Creston not breathing so they pulled him outside and called 911. Chris had called the house to get my number from Brianna (Creston's little sister), she had almost missed the call so the recorder went off and I still have the conversation saved to this day. Then it was my turn, sitting at work on a regular crazy Monday afternoon at 3:30, I received the call. It was a number I did not recognize and I usually don't answer but I answered it for some reason, it was Chris and when I heard his voice, all he kept saying was “Are you sitting down?” First I said was he in a wreck, is he in jail, hurt, what and then I stood up and started screaming, “He is dead isn't he, tell me, tell me,” and I just remember falling to the floor when he said yes and all my co-workers running to my office and someone took the phone. At this point they spoke to a police officer, someone got Brianna to go to the neighbors and the church to go to my house, took me home, and called my family members and they knew to come help. I can remember it like it is happening now when I make myself think about it. But, I try not to remember too often. A part of me died that day forever. I am thankful for all the support from all my friends and family. My brother was living with me at the time as he was going through a divorce after 32 years of marriage, so he took care of me and Brianna. Brianna was the first to come in and ask what was going on once she saw all the cars out front, she just went silent. I couldn't get hold of Jessica and she just walked in, her phone was dead and was coming by with one of her friends to hang out for a little while; to this day, her phone does not leave her side or a call missed. Brianna went off the deep end. She did some crazy things after her brother passed away. She got married to a guy she barely knew that was in the air force and then got in a bad accident herself. She ended up pregnant and without a supporting husband. She had twins 12/2/2009. A boy, Weston named after her brother and cousin who had died just six months earlier and Kirsten Noel which happens to sound a lot like Creston Kiel. My daughter is back, praise God! I truly believe that motherhood suites her well. She is doing wonderful and is finally at peace. Brianna reacted with silence and started riding horses as much as possible, this was her outlet but broke her foot a year later and started acting out some, maybe she was before but I couldn't see it or it could just be the age (13). She has a wall dedicated to him in her bedroom. I saw the warning signs and was trying to deal with it, his dad and others said to let him be a kid but everyone kept telling me that kids go through this and to give them time, well, he wasn't given that time. The medical examiner said the small cocktail, heroin, pot and beer all in very minor amounts, were too much for his clean system to handle; he just simply went to sleep and stopped breathing, painless. This guy Jay had no repercussions that I am aware of; it is not illegal to move a dead body unless it is from a grave. What happened to tampering with evidence, not rendering aid? Chris and Spencer went to the police department that night at midnight as they could not live with the lie, they had to wait and come back the next day. The medical examiner had asked if Creston was suicidal, I didn't believe the story and everyone kept telling me he had done drugs alone; after making funeral arrangements the following day I received the call I knew I would get, the homicide investigator told me the true story and even though it was still horrific, I felt relieved that I did know my son. He did not want to die; he was just being a stupid kid and had always been inquisitive but hated medication. He was ADHD, OCD, Ausbergers and Gifted/Talented. Doctors tried to make him take Adderal but he refused. He was in PAL (Peer Assisting Leaders), active in church, everything changed in a matter of a year just after he and his long time girlfriend, Cindy broke up and he met Mina. A lot has come out of his death, all of his friends that I have stayed in contact with have now finished or are almost finished with college; a few joined the service; I guess the ones I don't ever hear from have either just gone there own way hopefully to the better or continued down the wrong path. I miss him so much, some days I think I hear him and I will glance at the stairs expecting to see him standing at the top but he is not there. I first had to learn to allow my son to take full responsibility for his choices, I know he did not plan on dying but one bad choice led to so much heart ache for so many. I have had a turbulent life due to those around me with addictions; we all have choices and it is up to us to decide who we are going to allow in our lives. I am very angry at the legal system in that Jay was not held accountable in any way, at a minimum for not rendering aid and tampering with evidence by moving a supposed dead body. This is the one thing I wish I could let go of, but it lingers. Creston made a bad choice and a series of circumstances led to his actions, just being a stupid kid. I tell parents not to listen to those that say they have to learn on their own, just let them be kids; I say keep them close and know their friends; I gave him all sorts of stuff for his apartment but never went over there except to pick him up that day. When I saw it I was like, that is better than what you had. Your restrictions were not that bad and they were only for my benefit to be able to work every day and keep a roof over our heads. Anyway, bottom line, according to his friends he only tried heroin 2 or 3 times in that two week period. If you are addicted, you still have time, STOP. If you haven't tried it, DON'T. All his plans went down the drain just to experiment. Maybe he is blessed because he did not have to go through all the horrible nightmares of addiction. We would give anything to hear him laugh just one last time.
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