It was Friday and I forgot I had a hair appointment although I had been reminded just the day before. I hurriedly grabbed my ever-ready, black, dri-fit, crop pants and then just as quickly grabbed the first shirt I found. After returning from my hair appointment, my son, Nick, asked me why I was wearing the shirt that I was. I had no reason I told him. Nick changed that. He told me I was wearing the jersey of the Italian soccer team Juventus; Nick’s favorite team… Motsay is Italian; before being Americanized, it was Mazzei. In fact, Nick’s Grandpa Motsay’s birth certificate has the Mazzei spelling as well as all his other siblings of his large Italian-American family. I had picked up the jersey recently shopping because I liked that it was the color pink; who knew. And I didn’t know until Nick told me Friday, but Juventus were set to play in the UEFA Championship game Saturday afternoon. So when I woke up on Saturday, pulled my hair back in a pony tail for another no-wash hair day, I wore the jersey again. Apparently it didn’t help the team though, as Juventus lost to Barcelona 1-3. Today is Sunday and after another restless night, I dressed in what I saw first which included the Juventus soccer jersey. I didn’t have any energy which gave me reason for no-wash hair, day two. And that is where the day’s predictability ended.
Because it is unpredictable. You never know when it is going to happen. It seemingly comes from nowhere and latches on to your random grieving thoughts and makes them stronger and more concentrated than they were before whatever “it” was. Today “it” was a 30-minute awareness video that was posted on YouTube. The video started out with a “pharm" party which from just outside the house seemed an obvious party with the number of cars parked there, the flashing disco lights that could be seen from inside and the wide open front door to enter. Anyone in the neighborhood or passers by would know that it is a party and just observing the comings-and-goings would recognize an underage one at that.
Sam’s situation wasn’t like that but the random thoughts while watching the awareness video turn to, “why didn’t I know this wasn’t Sam staying all night at a neighborhood friend’s house like every other time over the recent years?” And when his two friends arrived back with Sam at our home, on foot, not more than 30 minutes after Sam had left, to get a cell phone charger, why didn’t I know they were also out because they were in the nearby cul-de-sac buying what they thought was LSD or Acid from a fellow high schoolers’ older “brother”? Why didn’t I know this time was different than when they would go between neighborhood houses on foot to get a game controller or a favorite snack or to raid the refrigerator for a certain flavor Gatorade to take back to the neighborhood home they were staying at? And that night, Mothers’ Day eve, why didn’t it look like something that shouldn’t have been going on was happening at that house? Because it was just two friends staying all night with a third? The investigators that came to our house the Monday after Sam died, told me that the other friend drove there and they parked his SUV inside the garage. And Sam although 16, didn’t have his license yet, so he had driven his moped the short distance in the neighborhood, and parked in the garage, too.
Reason tells me Sam and his friends were adolescents. And while we keep telling young people to make good decisions, in many ways, we defy logic by doing so without many forms of educating in return. From SAMHSA, “an adolescent’s brain is not yet fully developed in the prefrontal cortex, an area affecting their ability to judge a situation, consider the consequences, and control their impulses. As a result, their is limited ability to make good decisions and to assess the impact of using drugs and alcohol”; aside from ability there are factors such as peer knowledge sharing, social media and peer pressure, to name a few. I’ve learned that research shows prevention programs take a village. From the leading researcher on drug use, NIDA, “teachers, parents, and medical and public health professionals must keep sending the message that drug addiction can be prevented if one never abuses drugs.”
Then as I continue watching the awareness video I become more emotional as the prescription drug misuse goes on and one teen ends up in rehab while another teen dies at home from a prescription drug overdose. My son, Sam, was one of three who took the same thing that fateful night, yet my son died overnight from what turned out to be a relatively unknown synthetic drug, 25i-NBOMe. My day today will not be June 7, 2015 because the video has triggered my random thoughts that will take me to hell and back before I can further process and compartmentalize them. Until then, I’ll have regressed mindfully and emotionally back to a year earlier. I will not be in the present. I will be in a time of “why.” #muchlovetosam