Noah here, back again.
Well, after I hit rock bottom I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about my past and simply wondering…why.
We have a word of the day every day in prison, and today’s was “wonder.”
And it got me thinking about dad and what you and I had talked about the other day.
I wonder what life would have been like if he never died so soon?
Would I have still gone down the same path?
Would he have come down to the cities and drug my ass back up to Roseau to clean up, and talk some sense into me?
I have thought about dad a lot since he died but never more than in these last 12 months while in treatment. I have openly shared with the community here in prison about dad’s passing and the effect it had on my life. I don’t know if I ever told you this Morgan, but I didn’t call home within the last 3-4 months of dad’s life.
I wasn’t even selling drugs yet, but I was 20, and I was a junior at the University of Minnesota, and I was partying a lot and using plenty of them. I was writing bad checks and every week my account was anywhere from (-)$500 to (-)$1,000. Dad kept trying to call to see what was wrong, just trying to find out if I was okay, and if I needed help.
There are two things dad said to me that I’ll forever remember that will always have an impact on my life and how I love my kids.
Both occasions were a time when I was at my worst and didn’t deserve anything but blame and fierce discipline.
The first I was probably 14-15 years old, and my childhood friend and I totaled our snowmobiles, and we both had to go home and face the music. First, we went to my house because we were on the Roseau River, closer to my home, and his snowmobile was still operational. So we arrived at my house and went inside and found my dad. I told him what happened, and I could see by the look on his face he was pissed off, and deservingly so, but instead of scolding me, he looked me in the eyes, and asked: “are you okay?”
He also said don’t worry about the snowmobile, we will get it fixed, and then he walked away to most likely vent in private. I will never forget that moment, and I don’t think my friend will either, as he mentioned the next day that his dad just immediately asked how bad the snowmobile was and didn’t bother to ask about his well being.
That was our dad; his famous line was, it’s just money.
The next thing that will always stick with me is that final voicemail that I got from my dad, and I wish it wouldn’t have been the last time I got to hear his voice. Of course, he wanted to know why my account was continuously going negative, but he also focused the questions about what is going on with me.
He said, “Noah, I don’t know what is going on down there, but your account is in the red every time I check on it, whatever it is you can talk to us about it, please call home so we can help, we love you.”
I didn’t call home, the next call I got referring to my dad was from my brother informing me that he had been airlifted to Grand Forks, and I needed to get there fast. I never talked to dad again. Being the next time I saw him he was in an induced coma, from which he never woke up from.
I started selling drugs about 19 months after dad died. I am in no way saying this was a deciding factor but I can’t help to wonder, what if?
I have also said in the past that I don’t focus much of my time on regret, but I can’t help but wish I would have picked up that phone and asked for help. Or simply, just talked to my dad.
It wasn’t just to my dad I should have asked for help from, along my journey filled with criminal lifestyle. I had two wonderful siblings that would have dropped everything to assist me, my mom, all my awesome aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, the list goes on and on…
But I didn’t. I was too scared, too proud, too ashamed, or too embarrassed.
There is nothing harder than being so lost on drugs and criminal behavior and then allowing yourself to be vulnerable to people who don’t share your struggle. I had gone years where the drug use got so bad I was used it to, to mask my emotions and feelings, and it allowed me to escape from the pathetic person I had become.
All I can do now is use that as fuel, and share what I went through in case someone out there knows someone going through this right now too. I look forward to getting out and helping people get out of the mess I was once in myself.
Thanks for listening!
From the inside,