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Friday, March 10, 2017

The "Can I Get Another" Story

Foreword:  Today's story was a tough one to write and I'm sure, for many of you, a tough one to read and understand.  The story is about a young woman who battled heroin addiction since she was in high school and recently died.  My main reason for writing this story is to shed light on the growing epidemic of addiction in hopes it will help at least one person, be they young or old, in conquering that addiction and save a family the sorrow that the family in my story is now suffering.
It was an ordinary day.  Reading the morning headline in the newspaper that seems to be screaming at me ... "IN HER OWN WORDS."  It was a few days ago that, as I scanned the obituaries in the paper, I came across a very sad obit that happened to include a poem written by a young girl who had recently taken her own life.  Girl by the name of Stephanie whose photo doesn't show the pain and suffering she has been through for the last 17 years of her life.  The obituary doesn't tell much more than the usual information: Age 32; died on February 25, 2017; name of mother, father, daughter, sister and nephew; graduated from a local high school; an animal lover; loved to write and read poetry; believed deeply in her Christian faith.  What it doesn't tell is the story of her illness of heroin addiction and how it affected her life as well as the lives of her family.  And, we probably will never know unless you have lived through it yourself.  But, her parents made the decision to speak openly about their daughter's addiction by placing a poem that Stephanie had written in her obituary.  They did this in hopes it would help at least one person.  Since that obituary in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania daily newspaper, over half a million people have read her online newspaper obituary and countless others have read the obituary that has been shared on social media.  And, that is why I am writing this story today ... in hopes that many more people, around the world, will read the poem Stephanie wrote.  The poem offers a harrowing account of a young woman and mother coming to grips with her addiction, mortality and the effect her death would have on her daughter.  Her poem was written on April 29th of 2013 when she knew what her fate was more than likely to be in the near future.  The poem follows as well as the link to the funeral home site so you can read the endless list of personal stories and condolences that have been posted on the funeral home site. It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.  Link: https://www.snyderfuneralhome.com/obituary/stephanie-m-evanko/

Author: Stephanie Evanko (wrote 04/29/2013) and unedited
To My family and Friends: I’m sorry that I’m such a Mess, I deserve all the evil words spoken to me, and all the time I’ve been disappointed. I don’t know what to even say. I hope that I’ll change and once again be okay. I do all the things I say I won’t do, my dreams & goals (YEAH). I threw them away too. I always claim that I’m a Mother, when in reality I act like a child, and constantly chase “ONE MORE” another. Every time I look into Savannah’s eyes, my heart breaks more because of all the lies, I hate the person that I have become, running from life and wanting to be numb. I ask myself over and over what will it take, I can’t keep living this way, not only for me but for my daughter’s sake. “Mommy was a drug addict and that why she is Dead” my daughter will say, along with broken memories of me in her head. She’ll go & visit my grave and constantly question just why I couldn’t behave. Didn’t I love her, wasn’t that enough making her feelings and trying to be tough. The holiday will come year after year & pass after I die, all because I was selfish & wanted to get high. My parents will raise her and try to do it right, they’ll try their hardest & put up a good fight. All sorts of emotions my mother will feel, and at time ask herself can this be real? Everyday she’ll feel anger and sorrow, trying to reassure my daughter there’s always tomorrow. My father would probably be filled with regret, and do things with Savannah he didn’t do with me, until all his goals are met. My sister would be disappointed & cry, she’d pray to God for the answers to Why? My brother-in-law would be the backbone, and hold his family when they sob & they moan. I’m so ashamed to even claim I’m a Mother, all I’m really worried about is can I get “ANOTHER”.  

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