Since Charles’ death June 5, 2015, I am a different person. With a different life. And a different purpose.
I have always been passionate. But I am propelled forward now in a different way than ever before.
For years we suffered with Charles through his struggles with depression, anxiety, ADHD, addiction and the sleep disorder. And I wondered what my purpose was. I always had faith there was one, I simply didn’t know what it was.
I wondered if it was to get this young man to adulthood as a stable adult who could take care of himself.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t it.
Even shortly after his death by sucide, I struggled with the purpose issue. This has to mean something.
With each passing day and each run through my neighborhood, it has become clearer to me. Charles had something to say.
And while he’s no longer with us here on earth, he speaks volumes through the journals he left behind.
In my first presentation of my story, I felt him with me
The butterflies in my stomach were quickly quieted and I felt the deep love and support of those in the room. I felt a power greater than myself and the purpose of the message I needed to deliver.
Instead of feeling down and depressed, I felt lifted. Like I felt writing this article. There is agony and pain in putting together an article or presentation. But a sense of peace and release in delivering it.
With persistence and consistency, the message of talking about mental illness and suicide will gain acceptance which will result in more and better resources.
It is with humility and honor that I accept this challenge. In honor of Charles Aubrey Rogers.
———-A special thanks to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church + ministers, Shannon Weisleder and my other panel speakers. And especially you guys in the audience. This was a virgin voyage and I know you all were with with me. Thank you for your hugs.