June 29, 2001 was like any other summer day. My husband had a business outing, my two sons were up at the crack of noon and went to work, my daughter was gone at summer camp, and I had my usual housework and errands to run. After work, my 16-year old son was going with a friend to hang out at another friends house. My husband and I went to dinner, had a couple of drinks, and on the way home stopped at a neighbor's house, had a couple more drinks, and were home by 11 P.M.
My selfishness and my irresponsibility led to the death of one of my friends.
I want to begin telling you about my history and the actions that eventually led to that horrific day. The first time I was drunk, I was fifteen. The next year, sixteen years old, I started smoking pot. Both of these behaviors continued throughout high school until I graduated. At that time, I was seventeen and was going away to college in Missouri. I was going to be 350 miles from home and there was nobody telling me what I could or couldn't do. I took full advantage.
I haven't eaten Ecstasy in a long time, but I continue to feel the effects of it every day. I get depressed very easily, and my memory is completely shot. The sad thing is that I don't even really remember being a little girl.
I am a twenty year old female, and I have lived in Naperville all of my life. I had a normal childhood, playing with Barbies, stuffed animals and playing and sometimes fighting with my brothers and sisters like every little kid does.
When I was about 12 or 13 years old I found "independence" and started going out with friends and experiencing new things. I started hanging out in downtown Naperville at the Riverwalk (where my parents didn't want me to be) and got involved with the "wrong crowd." I started smoking cigarettes, weed, and drinking a lot of alcohol. When teachers and parents say that cigarettes and alcohol are "gateway drugs" they have never been more right, because when those things started to bore me, I started looking into other sorts of enjoyment. Mushrooms, acid, cocaine, meth and glass became weekly and even daily routines. I was so wrapped up in getting high that I started lying and continually going places my parents asked me not to go.
I'm Sara's mom. Sara was 18 years old and our only child. She died of a PMA overdose on Mother's Day May 14th 2000. PMA is a drug similar to Ecstasy.
I can't tell you about Sara without telling you a little bit about our family.
My husband Bob is an Electronics Technician at a national laboratory and I'm a part-time receptionist for a local animal hospital. We don't have a huge social life. We enjoy our families and our home. We enjoyed working around the house and garden. Bob even designed and built a beautiful deck behind our home the summer after Sara died. He tried to cope with the death of our daughter by constantly working. I couldn't even get that far. I couldn't even leave the house. I think this is the difference between men and women and how they cope.