Father's Day will never be the same in my heart. June 17, 2007 the grandkids called to wish me a happy Father's Day. It was great talking to them. I had not heard from my son, Robert yet, but was not surprised. He usually called a week late. Robert was born April 11, 1969. I had just returned home from my army boot camp training the night before. I was only 19 years old. Robert was a highly intelligent baby. He could talk at a very young age and was not shy at all. He loved to have all eyes on him, the center of attention. The phone rang at about 4 PM Father's Day, June 17, 2007. It was the Hospital in Reno Nevada. The nurse on the other end said that my son was in an accident and was brain dead. She said he went through the window of a three story building and landed on his head. Robert's mother and I got a divorce when we were very young. I remember him saying to me that he wanted us to be back together. Well, that never happened and I think it made life hard for him. Much later on in life he told me he had been taking drugs for 25 years. He started at 13 years old. His drug of choice was Crystal Methamphetamine (crystal meth). I new about the effects of drug use because back in the 60's and early 70's in the San Francisco Bay Area, I used to take a drug called “crank”. I can still remember how good it felt in the beginning but later, how it turned on me. I started seeing and hearing strange things after being awake for days. I was paranoid and shaking when I came off the drug. It was terrible. I stopped taking if after a few years and I thank God I did. When I look back on those days I see how damaging it was to me and my family. Robert was in and out of drug rehab programs for years. I think he said it was ten times. The drug was so powerful he could not overcome it. Robert went from job to job throughout his life. Never satisfied, always angry with people he worked with. Robert did get married to a wonderful girl and had two children. He loved his family very much and wanted to see the kids grow into productive adults. He was a very loving and caring person when he wasn't on the drugs. One of the bad side effects of crystal meth is it causes a lot of anger. Robert had a very domineering and controlling personality. Mixed with drugs these traits were magnified. That anger was transferred to me and to his family. His wife finally threw him out and started divorce proceedings. His use of drugs not only destroyed his life but caused great pain in the lives of those he loved. Back in the early 70's I found God and I got off all drugs, found new friends and changed my life. When Robert was about six or seven I introduced him to the Bible. He loved it and wrote me a letter last year while he was in another drug program thanking me for sharing God's word with him. He loved God but was always in a battle between drugs and his faith in God. He later told me that he was so depressed when he wasn't taking the crystal meth. You see this drug causes an imbalance in the brain chemistry and the only relief is to keep taking more of the drug. It is a trap that gets our young and old hooked and destroys their minds and divides families, friends and loved ones. Over his lifetime I would talk to Robert for hours about his life and getting off the drugs for good. He had great goals of becoming a drug counselor once he was free. Robert really wanted to help others overcome what he was having so much trouble accomplishing himself. His goal now would be that by knowing his story, it would somehow help somebody else get off drugs and regain their lives. There are people out there who have overcome crystal meth. They can help you. They can help your family to understand what is happening to you and why it is so hard to get off this terrible drug. My prayers go out to all the families and loved ones who are battling crystal meth addiction. Never give up the fight. God loves you and wants you to be whole and free from the destructive effects this drug imposes. I am still searching for a reason why he would keep taking Crystal Methamphetamine knowing the destruction it causes. I am still searching for Robert. I love you, Son, Dad
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