I write to tell you that the path you take is tough but you will survive
and be very happy someday.
When I look at you I see a kind, smart, and athletic boy. You come from
a lineage of basketball and there are unreasonable expectations. You
are programmed to be tough and win.
Christopher, it will seem hard to
express yourself and have a voice. But ONE day you will and people will
High school you play in sold out gyms getting taunted. Wearing your
name on your jersey isn’t easy. The scoreboard has much more meaning
than fun. As your spotlight get brighter, you feel uncomfortable and
confused not knowing your losses are as important as the wins… both
have valuable life lessons.
At 15 you won’t understand the power of a red solo cup full of beer and
the blunt that will lead you to stronger and more dangerous drugs. I
wish you never felt like you had to change who you are. You are perfect
just the way you are. Find comfort in knowing that ONE DAY you will
look into the mirror and like what you see.
Your senior year, the country’s top colleges recruit you. But you choose
to stay close to home. Fall River is your safe place. Your relationship
with your mom is unconditional and immense. Your father and brother
offer you protection from the madness around you.. and Heather is
your sanity and one of the best things you hang onto in your life.. and
ONE day she will be your wife.
At Boston College, you will be introduced to ONE line of cocaine, and
although you promise yourself ONE time, that ONE line will be the
reason you get kicked off campus and barely make it through your
second college… and that ONE line will last 14 years. And although
you’re gifted enough to get drafted into the NBA, your struggles will
continue chasing that ONE LINE.
At 22 you will spend $20 on a little yellow pill called Oxycotin and that
40mg pill will turn into 1600mgs (a day) and that $20 will turn into
$20,000 a month drug habit… And that ONE LITTLE pill will have you
outside the Boston Garden in your Celtics uniform 10 minutes before a
game waiting for your dealer. That little yellow pill will strip you of your
NBA dreams and goals and you will no longer be invited back into the
league. Two years later that ONE little yellow pill will become a syringe
that will stay in your arm for the next six years. Addiction will follow you
wherever you play. Whether Italy, Iran, Istanbul or China, you will fail.
You will take risks with your life and jeopardize your family’s safety
searching for your fix on street corners all over the world. ADDICTION
will be your toughest opponent.
As a husband and father you will spend every dime you ever made on
drugs and put your family in debt. You will feel defeated and at times
suicidal. But ONE day please know you will find it in you to fight back .
On August 1, 2008 your awakening begins. You are granted a day off
campus from treatment to see the birth of your son. Yet again, you fail.
After his birth you walk out of the hospital and go get high. Upon
returning from the relapse your counselor tells you to pick up the
phone and promise your wife you will never call her again, and to tell
your three kids their dad has died in a car accident because you don’t
deserve a family and you should let them live. BUT instead you pray for
sobriety and from that prayer on, God willing, you will stay sober.
Treatment and faith gave you sobriety. It will be your life’s greatest gift.
Sobriety will enable you to become the man you always wanted to be.
You will find your life’s purpose from your struggles and you will share
your story in hope that it may help JUST ONE.
You will be a voice for
those who are sick and suffering. You will no longer have shame and live
one day at a time.