A few short week’s ago, Preston and I had the privilege to meet a 24 year old young man named Kendall.
We met Kendall at our weekly Tuesday night Chainbreaker’s meeting when he came to share his recent graduation from a Christian based rehab facility. Kendall had previously sought out help and the director’s, Delois and Rick, helped him get into a rehab facility.
Kendall could have been a real life Ken doll alongside Barbie. I remember being drawn to his classiness. His blonde hair, blue eyes, and lithe looks were a plus, too. He was the all American boy from a middle class upbringing. His mom joined him, and it was easy to see where he got his looks and his class from.
The Kendall we met was a recovering heroin addict.
With his mom by his side, he shared his testimony. Kendall didn’t set out to be a drug addict. I can’t remember all the details, but I’m pretty sure he shared that his drug addiction started with a legitimate prescription for pain medication. Then another. It eventually led down a path to heroin.
I remembered Preston’s 3 month stint in the hospital recovering from his brain aneurysm. I remember coming to the realization during his last month that they were feeding him pain pills around the clock and had been all along. I demanded to know why when I had never heard Preston complain once about being in pain and Preston did not have the mental capacity to ask for any form of medicine. The nurses reply was that it was doctor’s orders. I remember my inner voice( I give God the credit) telling me I needed to nip it in the bud before I had an addict on my hands. I literally had prescription after prescription of oxycodone that I refused to get filled. I changed his doctors more than once when they were too eager to pull out that pad. Hearing Kendall’s story made me realize what could have been. NOBODY is immune.
I remember thinking that this boy is only a few years older than my own son. My heart broke for his mother. I can not even begin to imagine how it feels to have a child suffering at the hands of addiction. His mom sat there alongside him that night with tears of gratitude that her son had finally faced his demons and won.
I had the chance to talk to him afterwards and I asked him what was going to keep him clean this go-round. He truly wanted his sobriety and also knew that God was his hope.
Last Wednesday morning, I awoke to a devastating message.
Kendall passed away at home. What was supposed to be a Thanksgiving full of new beginnings ended up being one of a devastated family mourning the loss of their beloved son.
Heroin may or may not have taken this beautiful young man’s body, but I know his soul is now on the yonder side of the crystal sea. In a place that knows no more sorrow, nor pain. And in the amazing presence of his Maker.
I can only imagine.
If you would like more information about Chainbreaker’s Addiction Ministry, please friend us on Facebook or message me and I will put you in direct contact with the director’s, Rick and Delois Carpenter. Please pray for Kendall’s family and also our communities that are hurting.