Unless We Acknowledge Our Failures We Are Doomed To Repeat Them
Hi this is Michael and I’m writing this because what we are doing with Jonnys Law will require many people within our government and medical professions to admit to themselves, and to the people of this nation, that they have been wrong. We all need to make the changes needed to protect the people of our country, all the way from the veterans who have put their lives on the line to preserve our nation and its’ freedom based on our God given inalienable rights, down to, yet no less worthy, the lives of the parents who have lost their jobs, or the teenager who has lost her first boyfriend. I can not expect this of these people unless I am willing to admit the ways that I have failed my family and my son where, as a husband and father, I was and am ultimately responsible for their lives, safety, and future.
What I Did Wrong That Resulted In Our Sons’ Death
To start out with, when Dr. Kookier put my daughter on Trazodone, I should have told her and my wife the truth. I was afraid for my daughter because I had attempted suicide on that same drug and that was why I had kept the bottle on my window sill for all those years.
Then, if I had looked at my daughters’ bottle beyond the word “Trazodone” and saw that it wasn’t labeled as an antidepressant, I could have done something. I was lazy and didn’t take the time. I just assumed it was identified as an “Antidepressant”.
I also failed my family by making my wife responsible for making the agreements with my daughters’ care takers about the full disclosure of what drugs were being brought into my home. If I had not shrugged my responsibility, it would have been my way or the highway. I would have been notified directly before any drug was brought into our home. Dr. Kookier wouldn’t have been able to con my daughter into bringing Trazodone back into our home, and our son would still be alive. I also, out of laziness and lack of leadership, didn’t take control of and monitor her medications when I knew she was not capable of doing so because of her condition. I just said what needed to be done instead of taking responsibility to ensure my families’ safety.
Although people may say that I was trying to bring my son up to be a strong man, I did not provide for or treat him the same as his sisters. I’d make him responsible for his debts and cover theirs, I would fix their cars and leave him to spend what little he made to keep his Cadillac going and when he got the back of it crashed in, even though I had the money and ability to fix his most cherished possession, I told him it was just an old piece of xxxx. It was greedy, cruel, and selfishness, not a way to help him grow up strong.
Just as we all are equal in God’s eyes, he should have been treated equal in our family. The year before he died, I even threw his Batman collection in the garbage when he was at school as part of redoing the inside of the house for my wife. Well, he dug them back out and got right in my face about my lack of consideration for his feelings and what was special to him. I don’t even remember if I apologized to him, but what I do know, is that he only got in my face about things a few times in my life and he was right every time, and I needed to be straightened out!
My son Jonathan, was and will always be a better man than I could ever be. Last year was supposed to be his year. I had been planning it since the summer before, but I never told him about my plans and he died thinking I didn’t have his back, not knowing how much I loved and respected him.
I was the one who told him to quit smoking the pot to go to sleep that lead to his finding the mislabeled antidepressant.
I was the one, who after his going into isolation and sleeping all the time, physically dragged him out of bed the week before and told him to get his ass in gear, (which he did every morning until the day he died), instead of loving him enough to sit and talk to him about why he was like he was. If I had, my son would have told me about the Trazodone and would be alive today.
I was the one who told him where the shotguns were hidden and I was the one who was lazy a few weeks before, after going shooting at a friends house. I just threw the ammo up with the guns instead of putting it back where I usually hid it.
On March 26th, the day after my birthday, I had this thought that I had to have my son take me out and teach me to play Frisbee golf the next day, when my wife and daughter left to go clean an old mans house. I had gone to sleep and woke up in the morning with the same thought that we have to do this…today. I now believe it was God calling me to save my son. I woke up and went to get coffee and Jon was up taking the garbage out. When he came back in I was going to ask him, but he took the dog out, so I went downstairs, turned on the TV and a Star Trek marathon was on. That was the beginning of the end. Instead of getting dressed and going to see him, I sat there until I heard a bunch of pans and dishes being slammed around and something being thrown down the stairs, but I sat there until I heard him slam the front door. I went up to see what was going on and saw his car pulling out of the driveway, so I got more coffee and sat down to watch my re-runs again. When I heard him come home, I did nothing until I heard all sorts of things being slammed around in the garage. I went up to see what he was up to. I opened the door but didn’t see him so I yelled for him. He didn’t answer but I didn’t go look for him. I saw the ladder which I had put away over where the shotguns were kept but I just went back to my TV because the commercials were over. Had I put him first and what that day was to be about, I would have seen the shotgun cases and guns laying clearly on the floor and realized that’s what he had been throwing around, but my stupid re-runs were more important than my son. Then at around a quarter after two, I once again, for the third time, heard him slamming things around, this time in the back yard. (Later it would be determined by what was found during the autopsy, that he had been beating and throwing the shotgun around.) When I got up and looked out the back window, I saw my son alive for the last time. My wife’s Firebird was blocking most of the picnic table and he was sitting at the end smoking a cigarette. I know he was doing this because he wanted me to save him from doing what he couldn’t stop on his own. (You see we had a deal that whoever quit first could call the other a punk, and I was the punk! I hadn’t seen him with a cigarette for days. He didn’t even smoke anything the night of my birthday when he had some of his friends over to celebrate with me.) I put my hand on the window to open it to tease him but decided to wait until the show was over, then went and sat down again. When the show ended I got up to go outside and had made it to the base of the stairs when I heard a muffled boom followed by a loud blast and something hitting the house with a loud bang. I ran up the stairs yelling for Jon screaming what the xxxx happened but he didn’t answer. I ran to his room and looked then I ran to the kitchen window thinking maybe a tree fell or he was lighting off fireworks and one had hit the house,anything but what had happened. When I looked out I could partially see him, his legs over the bench and he was on his back on the ground. I panicked thinking he had been on the roof and had fallen but when I got out there I couldn’t accept what I saw.
For the sake of my family, Heather and his friends, I won’t describe the scene except to say that I tried to fix him but stopped, ran to call my brothers then my sister Pat who I told what had happened and that I needed my family, then hung up and called 911. Told them my son had blown his head off and I just wanted to get off the phone and hold him but as I was talking I saw my wife and daughter comming home. I told the officer that I had to go and hung up then ran to the front yard, grabbed two chairs, got them out of the car, had them sit down and told them Jonny was dead in the back yard. I had to keep them from going back there and then an officer, I think it was John Herron showed up. I told my wife and daughter to stay put and headed for Jonny but he wouldn’t let me. He had his job to do but I’m sure he couldn’t understand that I knew that just as when I was electrocuted and died I was there looking down on myself and my brother and that I knew Jonny was still there and I had to be with him but more cops showed up and I was stopped.
There has not been a day since then that I haven’t thought of how I ignored Gods warnings and my son’s cries for help the three times he smashed and banged things just like in the bible when the cock crowed three times, where out of self centered laziness and failure to put my sons needs before my self-serving desires.
I know that God has forgiven him for leaving us with the understanding that it was nothing he would ever had done if not for this intentionally mislabeled and obviously potentially lethal drug.
Yet I cannot accept His forgiveness until what I call Jonnys Law is a reality, knowing that his life was lost so that the suffering and death of so many others can be stopped.
Open Your Eyes Minds And Hearts
Both God and I know that my confession of what I did wrong and how I failed my son, my family and all those who loved and cared for him, makes me also responsible for his death. Yet, I believe it is important because we, as people, too often only see our failures from the perspective of hindsight when it is too late to save the ones we love.
My hopes and prayers are
That others who read this will learn from my mistakes so that they will not have to live with the cross that I have to bear.
That those in the medical fields that have lost their way, will take on the principles of the Hippocratic oath and put the lives and safety of their patients before their pocket books. So that we can trust them blindly with our lives as we so often have to.
That the people in our government that have taken on a position of servitude to us, will take off their blinders, see the truth and learn from their mistakes. Then put the lives of those they serve before their carriers and put a stop to this greed driven epidemic that’s causing so much pain, suffering, and death in this country.