Meggin was the light of our lives when she was born in far western Maryland, not far from West Virginia. Her dad was so happy to have a girl (he already had two sons from a prior marriage). We thought she was the best and most beautiful child in the world. She was my first and I was enraptured by her. I would watch her for hours when she was a baby, and I was excited by every new thing she learned or did. She grew up to be a beautiful little girl and I loved the time we spent together. I was devastated when I thought that she was lost in New Jersey. She was never a problem to take anywhere, as our friends seemed to love Meggin almost as much as we did. When she was 5 years old her brother, Johnathan, came into her life. I'm not sure she was totally ecstatic about that event. It was somewhat of a blow to her not to get all of our attention as she had for 5 years. But, Meggin adjusted well as she had to almost every change in her life. When she was a little older and we were living in Texas, she was part of the Talented and Gifted program. She attended a summer course at Texas A & M in Galveston on Marine Biology. We were so proud of Meggin. She was smart, pretty, and had a good personality. We went to church together and she and our son attended Sunday School. We went to other church functions together, like choir and pot luck dinners. She was growing up to be everything my husband and I wanted for her. She even played an instrument in the school band, saxophone. She appeared to be a well rounded individual with good grades, a good grounding in Christianity, and a healthy competitive spirit. Then we moved from Texas to Maryland, via Delaware, in 1995. Meggin was 13 years old and was in high school in a new town. Meggin was trying to make new friends at a time in her life when she was also starting to break away from family and connect more with peers. When we settled in Maryland in the middle of Meggin's freshman year in school, she was somewhat upset about the move from Delaware and the need for making new friends in a new place. She had some early involvement with pot smoking and with alcohol, but we thought we had dealt with that issue and moved on. I worked in mental health and substance abuse at different times in my life and was very open with Meggin about my feelings on substance abuse. She knew I felt that it wasn't appropriate for someone her age to be doing any of this when there was so much else going on in her life with regard to school and planning for the future. In looking back, it wasMeggin's dad and I that were planning for her future. She was into drugs and alcohol, losing weight, and "friends" who were doing drugs. I think that it's important to say that most of the friends from that time in Meggin's life are now doing fine. Meggin was the only one who was too seriously into drugs to let go of them. We miss her so much that some times it is hard to go on. But, we know that nothing will change what has happened or bring Meggin back to us. It now becomes our choice to let her death be the end for our lives or to live on the way we wish that Meggin would have. So we choose to live on and not let Meggin's death be the end of our lives. We would like to do something that would help other people who are currently doing drugs to stop before they end up like Meggin did. She had such a promising future but she didn't see it. We would like to be able to help other young people see their futures as promising instead of the way Meggin saw hers, or at least the way Meggin ended up her life. There is a future for everyone out there if you will only look, strive, and keep on trying. One or two failures do not mean that your life is over, if only you can believe that there is a better life out there for you. My wish is that there was a way to show everyone that there is a bright future for each of us if only we believe and don't give up the fight. Life is not easy for any of us, or at least for most of us. But, if you don't give up you always have the opportunity to change your life and make it better. I truly hope that Meggin found a better life where she is because we will miss having her in our lives.
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