Updated: Oct 4, 2020
By Charles' mom, Pam
Goose Creek, SC
My son Charles was smart, so, so funny, and loving. Family was everything to him!! If what I learned can help any parent with the unimaginable, unbearable pain of losing their angel... before God forbid it happens… I wrote this two days before Mother’s Day 2018.
What I have learned in this 10 year evil journey that robbed me of my son…
I have learned there is no “one size fits all” solution, no magic wands, no “if you do it this way, or that way” you will save them. It’s a crap shoot.
I have learned my life and the lives of my loved ones have crashed and burned, and will never, ever be the same.
I have learned that despite everything “I thought I knew” about this disease, I couldn’t stop it from happening to my son.
I have learned that no matter how your child was raised… single parent, two parents, sports, no sports, money, no money, black, white, Asian, Hispanic etc… this disease does not discriminate.
I have learned the phrase “unconditional love” are the two most important words a parent can know.
I have learned “not my kid” are the three most dangerous words a parent can utter.
I have learned to get used to isolation, and judgment… and that what others think matters not.
I have learned that a parent fighting for the life of their child does better research than a rocket scientist.
I have learned that even through the tears, frustration and anger, hug your child tight, kiss them and tell them how much you love them… they truly hate who they have become, and desperately need to hear this A LOT!!! They don’t hate us.
I have learned even if you see they are high, sit and talk with them about everything and anything anyway.
I have learned that with the introduction of fentanyl, carfentanil, and other poisons the definition of rock bottom has changed. Rock bottom is now death.
I have learned that tough love is not for everyone. Each person has a different journey. What works for one, doesn’t mean it works for all.
I have learned so called “experts” who advise you to do tough love never, ever prepare you for if that doesn’t work.
I have learned that the word “Hope” is no longer a part of my vocabulary.
I have learned to live in the moment (30 seconds at a time, usually less); that’s all I’m capable of.
I have learned that every loved one who has the job of trying to save their child from themself should go with their HEARTS, because at the end of this journey, that is what you will answer to. There are no do-overs.
I have learned that no one can tell you how or what to do when dealing with your loved one… we know what we can handle, and time will tell us when we need to step away. This is where your heart comes in.
I learned if you do make that decision, for whatever reason, to ask them to leave… that your heart is breaking in a million pieces, your worry is 24/7. That tears and prayers go hand in hand.
I have learned if you want to help them, feed them, give them a bed…. Just do it…
I have learned it is a disease, they are sick, and they need help… and we are their last line of defense…
I have learned that those who struggle are smart, funny, intelligent, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, moms, dads, uncles, cousins, friends and beautiful human beings with beautiful hearts…
I have learned that their hearts ache knowing the pain they have caused, even as they are yelling obscenities at their loved ones. It is not them, it is the drugs.
I learned that contrary to those who are uneducated about this disease (and it is a disease), they don’t do this for fun. They hate this disease. No one ever said, “I want to be an addict.”
I have learned people can be extremely judgmental… and we have two choices… ignore them or educate them.
I have learned there is plenty of blame to go around… the pharmaceutical companies, the FDA who approved, politicians who had their hands in those pockets and turned a blind eye, open borders for the drugs to flood this country, and dealers/distributors who capitalize on all of it… and knowing this doesn’t change what is happening.
I have learned that knowing the possibility of losing them is real and it actually happening are two different planets!!
I have learned that those that struggle are broken, and need so much love… they are worth it!!! Love and compassion go a long way in the life of those that struggle.
I have learned the compassion, love, and support of total strangers have humbled me beyond words. God puts angels in our path for a reason. Thank YOU…
I have learned I am so glad that we decided 2+ yrs before he passed that tough love was not for us!!
I have learned that my heart aches every second with an unimaginable unbearable pain without my angel… and I tell him all the time… I’m sorry I couldn’t save you… Please forgive me for my words, thoughts, actions and inactions… I’m so sorry…. I love you I love you I love you. Charles V. Cornetta, my angel 6/7/16…