You and your boys were living in your little house in Springville. When my son was in control, I would find you outside mowing your lawns, washing down your sidewalks or being excited over the flowers you had planted. You enjoyed cooking and would call me asking for your favorite recipes like Spanish Rice, Shrimp Macaroni Salad, or Apple Cake. You loved and appreciated my cooking so much. You would invite your Dad and me over and I remember sitting at your kitchen table listening to you and your dad talk about hunting or fishing, and I was so happy. It was like I was soaking it all into my mind, to be brought forth, dusted off and remembered another day.
We would go elk hunting with you up Dry Fork Canyon. What a joy it was to be with you and your sons. Before the sun rose, I would hear your knock on our trailer door and ask if I had a cup of coffee you could have. I would fix you breakfast before you, your boys and your dad took off hunting. I wanted to grab hold of those time and not let them go because I knew they would be short lived, and soon the drugs would steal your time from me.
Vince was attending Kindergarten in Payson, although you lived in Springville. With your sisters taking care of your boys for you, it was easier and more convenient to have him in Payson where they could be close to him. It was graduation night, and your little boy was standing on the stage getting ready to get his diploma, graduating into the first grade. He looked so cute in his little cap and gown. I had called you over and over and you kept promising you were just leaving the house; that you would be there soon to watch him. You never made it. Mark saw you headed to Payson on the freeway. You were swerving back and forth across the lanes and ended up going down into the meridian. Mark pulled down in behind you and took Christian out of your truck and had one of the guys that worked for us drive you and your truck to our house. He called me to let me know what had happened. The next day, I called Child Services and asked what I needed to do to get custody of the boys. I was told there was nothing I could do.
In 2001, we heard of a new treatment for those suffering addiction to Opiates. It was an implant of a drug called Naltrexone. It was a time released tablet that was implanted just under the skin. It prevented the addict from the ability to get high off the drugs. You said you wanted to try it, but the only place that had the patent to do it was located in New Jersey. Your dad told me to go with you. We would take Jet Blue Airline's red-eye flight, fly into New York City and then drive to New Jersey. When your sister Rainee found out we were going, she wanted to go too...so did Susan...and Shannon...and Sheree...and Haley...and Mark. Your dad told us to all go and he would stay home and hold down the fort. The spouses of my children agreed to watch the grandchildren (Jereme offered to take care of Vince and Christian along with his own.)
Since we were going to be in New York City, we decided it would be a good time to make it a vacation too. The Whitings Hit New York. I reserved rooms for us all at the Marriott Marquis Hotel on Broadway. (We stayed in two rooms; five in one room and four in the other because Rainee's friend Charmane came with us too.) I called the Grey Line in NYC and made arrangements for a tour on their bus. Our tour was scheduled for 9/11/2001. The tour included a stop at the World Trade Center at 9:00 a.m. Two days before we left, I called the bus line and rescheduled our tour for the Sunday before. We toured the World Trade Center on 9/9/2001.
In order for you to have the implants, you had to be drug free for a week before. When we boarded the plane, I could tell how hard it was for you. Between withdrawals and the anxiety of flying, it was pretty tough on you. Our doctor who knew the reason we were going, prescribed four anti-anxiety pills for you. You took one just prior to our boarding. You needed an aisle seat to accommodate your long legs so you sat in front of your brother and two sisters. Right next to you in the middle seat sat a young man, a stranger to us all. We had been in the air for a while when I heard your brother say in a not very quiet whisper,
I and your other sisters looked back to see Mark pointing and laughing at you. You had fallen asleep, and had your head resting on the shoulder of this guy next to you. The guy had fallen asleep too, and had his head resting on yours. It was a Kodak moment to be sure.
I'm sorry sweetheart. I know it was a pretty traumatic time for you but you know your family. Someone had to be the butt of their senses of humor and you were elected. It continued into the next morning.
When we got to our rooms, you fell asleep on the bed and boy were you out! Your sisters took one look at you and decided this opportunity just couldn't be passed up. They proceeded to put make-up on you. You had blush and blue eye shadow and lipstick...the whole works. You were quite the pretty guy. Then they woke you up.
"Daren! Wake Up! We're hungry. We want to go get something to eat."
You yawned and stretched and set up to the side of the bed and said, "I need a smoke."
We were in a smoke free room.
"Well go on out and have your cigarette. By then we should be done with the bathroom and you can have it."
So my darling boy. You walked out onto Broadway in full makeup, had your cigarette and then came back to the room. One look in the mirror and you laughed and said, "You Bitches!"
- to be continued -