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My story....


sippiofficer

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sippiofficer

Danny and I loved so much at a young age, I gave my heart away, only to have it crushed within a couple years. After his mother's death he started using drugs and became violent because of his cocaine withdrawl. I found that I was pregnant with a baby boy during this time and as much as I loved him and wanted him to get sober, I had to leave becuase it was unhealthy for me and my unborn. Eventually he did get sober during my last trimester and we found ourselves together again, only for him to relapse shortly after our son was born. I had to leave again. This habit eventually led to stealing and writing bad checks and he wound up in and out of prison for a few years. Each time he would get out of prison he would see our son but not as much as one would think. I started keeping him away because I knew that he was still doing drugs by what his family had told me.I moved on with my life after his relapse and met my now husband, who has been my son's father figure since he was 2. He's now 15. Danny's last trip to prison was a 5 year sentence. I work at the same correctional facility he was in but could have no contact with him. I saw him from afar once and he just looked at me and never said a word, as it was against the rules to do so. I was working one day and heard that a ambulance had been dispatched to the unit he was in. My sister saw me and told me that they had called the ambulance for Danny, that he had passed out. As angry as I was at him for his past and the way he treated his son, I just said, "Oh he's just lazy, nothing is wrong with him." I was more wrong than I could have ever been. I heard through a friend that worked at the hospital that they had transferred him to a local hospital and she said, it's bad. It's against policy to directly check up on an inmate, I contacted the Chaplain over his unit and told him my situation and he said he already knew, that Danny had requested his son. It was then my whole world crashed. I was told that Danny had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

After the news my heart was broken. Deep down inside, I still loved and cared for him, He was my first love and gave me the most beautiful gift I could ever receive, our son. I never let my son visit his father in prison; I see first hand of that place everyday and I just didn't want him to be in that environment. After he was diagnosed, the chaplain got in touch with me again about arranging a special visit for him, because the dr. gave him a short time to live. After hearing this I broke down at work and had to leave. I had to get Danny's wish fulfilled. I needed his birth certificate with his name as the father. His name was never on our son's birth certificate due to me being so young. There are a lot of things that have to be done to finalize visits. Then I thought about it, he was listed as the father on an affidavit that we had signed. I rushed to the courthouse to get copies, faxed them in to the chaplains department, and within a hour, my son was approved to visit. I so badly wanted to go but I couldn't because of my job policy. My husband took my son to visit his father in the hospital that evening. I was a mess that whole day. I cried until my face was swollen, and I was sick to my stomach.

After treatment started, Danny was getting better. So well that he was released from the local hospital back to the correctional faciltiy hospital. Eventually after a few months he was medically released. He had found a girlfriend and had settled down, doing wonderful with treatments, and visiting with his son. I had heard again that he was back on the drugs and was not going to treatments as he was supposed to. I was at a loss, angry, betrayed and kept my son away from him again. A wonderful aunt of his called me one day and asked if my son could go to Arkansas for a visit, that Danny would be there and she would make sure that he wouldn't do anythng or go anywhere unless she called me first. She made it a point to say that Danny was not using and I believed her. So I let him go and he came back more in love with his daddy that he ever. That made my heart smile, that Danny was actually straightening up.

On January 25th, 2011, my son was playing his high school basketball game and I received a call from Danny's girlfriend who was crying hysterically saying that Danny had started complaining of shortness of breath and soon after stopped breathing. She said they brought him back and he was on a ventilator in ICU. She said that the doctors gave her the go ahead to call the family in because he wouldn't make it overnight. Sepsis took a toll on his body and his blood was almost 100% blasts.cells. It was a blurr after that, I had to go outside and collect myself, my thoughts,...What would I tell my son? How would I be able to? After getting better and both of them reconnecting as a father and son should, he was going to lose his dad.

After the basketball game, it was the most quiet ride home. I waited until we were in the drive-way and told him. It was the hardest thing I had ever had to do. He screamed and cried. I asked him if he wanted to go see his dad, that we would leave that moment, and would make that 2 hour drive to the hospital. He said that he didn't, that he wanted to remember his dad the way he was, without tubes coming out of him. He was a smart 13 year old. We both cried together and eventually went to sleep. The next morning on January 26th, 2012 at 2:13 a.m. , Danny lost his battle with leukemia. I received that call shortly after.2:30 a.m. and my son heard the phone ring, He said daddy's gone isn't he? I started crying and told him yes, that his dad had passed away. I will never forget the look on his face. We consoled each other and he cried himself to sleep shortly after. That day I was up early making funeral arrangements. Danny had always told me early on that he wanted to be cremated if something ever happened to him. Danny was 31 with basically no family. A girlfriend, who I let be involved as much as possible, a brother that he had no contact with, and both parents were deceased. I didn't mind making those arrangements. It was for my son, and I refused to let the county bury his dad. I was not going to let that happen. I let our son make most of the arrangements; songs, urn, pictures, and such. I didn't make him, he just wanted to do that for his dad. It was a nice memorial service.

Fast forward almost a year later, and I am taking it harder now that I was before. Why now? The guilt has consumed me. I wished I could have done more, I wished I would have taken our son to see him before he passed. I wished I was a better person and left my feelings aside. I wanted so much for him to change and nothing in my world could have made me stay in that environment. I can't make myself accept that I did the right thing by keeping our son away. I wished they had more time together. God that was my only wish....more time. I can't get that back. I miss him and still love him for giving me the most amazing son. My heart hurts, I'm broken, it's taken a toll on my marriage, I have cried everyday for a month because I knew the anniversary of his death was coming up. As I look at his ashes, I tell him Im sorry. Nothing is said back. This is killing me and I am angry! My son saw me crying yesterday and sorta knew and we both cried together. He's been holding in a lot and I encourage him to talk, but he doesn't. I just don't know how to get passed this guilt that I am having. Just had to get my story out.

Thanks for being there.

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Sippiofficer,

I am sorry about the loss of Danny. You shouldn't feel guilty. You did everything you could, and you should never have stayed in that environment or let your son be raised in that environment. I am a drug counselor at a prison. I know well the lifestyle Danny lived. You made a wise choice with your son and with moving forward in your life.

It's okay to grieve your loss. Perhaps it's time to get some grief counseling. Would the chaplain at your work be helpful or be able to point you in the right direction for help? Your son may need someone to talk to, also. What about his school counselor?

It's good you are talking to each other.

We will be here for you,

ModKonnie

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sippiofficer

Thank you so much ModKonnie. Keeping this built up for so long and now allowing myself to freely talk about it to other people besides my family has done wonders. I realize now that I was harming myself and my sanity by not seeking those that would understand. I just needed someone to listen, to understand and to just let me cry. I called up a great friend of mine that I hadn't seen in a while yesterday and made plans just to ride to wherever the road led us. It was during that time tonight that I was able to let it all go. I gave into my grief and cried more than I ever have. I spoke of Danny and my dear friend just listened and gave that shoulder I had been needing. Never judged and never said anything. Just let me cry, get angry, and be that one person that I needed to let me know that I never needed to feel alone in the world and that Danny's death and the circumstances surrounding our past was not my fault. I have also started looking for grief counselors for me and my son as well today and hopefully this will help him open up some. Thank you all so much for being there for me.

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