Some Lessons are Learned the Hard Way

>> Tuesday, December 13, 2011

November 13, 1979 - November 18, 2011
Those who mourn Kristin's sudden passing include her daughters, parents, brother, and other loving family and friends. Despite her emotional and mental pain, she found much happiness and pride in her dear daughters whose love was her most precious gift. Her study and gifted expression of ballet had been a source of joy to her for many years. Now the chains of suffering no longer bind her. That beautiful, compassionate and graceful spirit is free to dance among us and into the loving arms of the One who always claimed her as child. Those of us who knew her, love her and grieve are assured by faith of her peace at last and joy forever. A worship service in her memory and to the glory of God will be held on Thursday, December 1st at 4:00 at First Presbyterian Church...
Raleigh News & Observer, obituary, (edited for privacy)

I found out that someone from my past had died of a drug overdose the Friday before Thanksgiving.  This wasn't someone I considered a friend but it still seems to be bothering me more than I had expected.  She was a mother of two beautiful girls, a daughter to two loving parents, and a sister to a brother - all of whom are trying to understand how this could happen to them. 
Kristin's story is a sad story.  She became a mother and a drug addict at a very young age.  I met her through a friend of mine that would babysit her daughter.  I heard the stories from my friend about how Kristin would try to do good, to get a job and get off drugs, but she would always revert back to her bad habits.  I knew of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her boyfriend.  She had come into where I was working  one day with her mother and recognized me and asked if I would hire her.  She seemed healthy and like she was getting her life together, and after talking with my friend, I hired her.  She was a great person to work with, never complaining and always working hard, but it didn't last long.  After a few weeks, I noticed changes in her.  She was coming in late, or not at all.  There was a smell on her that was familiar to me - the smell of heroin.  I tried talking to her but eventually had to let her go and that was the last time I saw her.  That was about 10-15 years ago. 
I feel an overwhelming sadness for her daughters.  My father was a drug addict and was abusive, all things that her daughters have had to see.  It sets two paths before you - one following in your parent's footsteps, the other down a long journey with many forks.  Forks that turn you into a bitter, cold person and forks that make you compassionate and understanding.  I hope that her daughters take the longer journey and learn to be stronger women, women that can learn to understand their mother and her mistakes and learn from them so those mistakes don't happen again.

"I walked a mile with Pleasure
She chattered all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with Sorrow
And ne'er a word said she;
But oh, the things I learned from her
When Sorrow walked with me."
Robert Browning Hamilton


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