Redefining the meaning of ‘the first birthday’

This is not my son’s first birthday. It’s the first birthday since he died. He would have been 21.

Years ago, I dreamed we would be in a better place with Charles–with his depression and addiction. His sleep disorder, his anxiety, his ADHD. We worked so hard at it.

Instead we are grappling with his suicide. I still can’t believe it some days.

As I look back, I see things I didn’t see before.

I can’t even tell you how much I miss him. How much this hurts. I know you know that.

His birthday is my connection to him … Read more...

Family Matters – a rap by Charles Aubrey Rogers

(aka Reezin the Revolutionary)

Granbobby used to make my card disappear,
and pull a quarter out of my ear,
Momma how’d I end up here?
Life was so different,
I was so innocent,
Who knew I’d ever act like a criminal,
My love for you is far from minimal
Daddy was my hero,
He’s who I wanted to be like,
Taught me how to ride a bike,
Taught me how to live my life.
But you know me,
I never listen to advice.

I write this for family,
The ones I see on holidays annually,
I’m grateful for everything … Read more...

Musical heart – #griefheart number 8

#griefheart Musical heart #8
Musical heart

“I found my place amongst these beats
And my passion with these stanzas.”
–Charles Aubrey Rogers, 1995-2015

This one is inspired by two songs I thought were lost forever. Charles loved his rap music. He was rarely spotted without those earphones around his neck or earbuds in his ears.

The iPod pictured is one we got for him in 8th grade. He loved it. It held tens of thousands of songs. These are what helped him cope and inspired his writing. You might think of rap music as “bad” but I think without it, Charles would have exited a long … Read more...

Charles always reached out

Charles at Wasatch Academy in Utah

If there was one consistent theme about Charles, it was that he always reached out. He reached out to kids who were not always visible to others and to ones who were highly visible as well.

He put himself at risk socially doing this. But unlike other kids his age, he didn’t care.

He’d put himself on the line and stand up for other kids who had no friends at all or had tons of friends. Kids that felt isolated or depressed or were having a hard time with something in their lives. Kids … Read more...

A Rap Song from Charles about Snack Time. #humor

Charles loved sweets. Loved snacks. Loved little convenience stores. He would stand at that aisle and take forever to make a choice.

His earliest addiction was sugar. I can remember finding a bunch of packages of candy under his bed when he was around 8-10 years old and then sitting on the bed crying. I knew it had to be a precursor to addiction. Then I thought I could do something about it which I couldn’t.

Although he was the funniest human being I ever met, he doesn’t have many funny or lively songs.

The Rap Diary after all, was … Read more...

Charles’ Diagnosis from Wilderness

Document attachments are at the very bottom

05-21-12 CR
By this time, Charles had softened a bit. He was showing us the picture we sent of his dog Andy. Still our dog.

Many of you are currently dealing with a child (however old) with an mental illness. It was difficult for some reason to get a diagnosis in writing.

Time and again someone would start to treat him without a true assessment. Wilderness, 2nd Nature in Clayton, Georgia gave us that.

During his stay there, we had weekly one hour meetings by phone with his counselor. We also received letters from Charles … Read more...

Grief: Is that a visit from a ghost?

I feel like I’ve gotten weird and I know some of you might think that my experiences are desperation by a grieving mom.  Maybe they are. But I don’t really know how to explain some of them especially this one.

So here goes.

I’m walking the dog on Wednesday around noon this week, and it’s like 80 degrees F and suddenly out of the blue I feel this very cold, concentrated breeze for lack of a better description. Probably more like a blast. And then it’s gone.

So I look around to see if I’m on a grate or near … Read more...

The long arm of the law reaches down Charles’ pants

1-arresterfield

Supporting Files:

  1. Mp4 – Internal Affairs interview -This has the most accurate account of what happened from Charles’ point of view. Just hearing him on the tape triggers a crying episode of despair.
  2. Word Doc- Transcript of police stop above on the Mp4
  3. Word Doc – Charles account of the original arrest
  4. Mp4 – Police stop with Charles and 6 officers 
  5. PDF – Breathalyzer

One of the incidents I have had a hard time with was one that happened in late February 2015 in Chesterfield County Virginia, just 4 months before Charles died by suicide.

Charles was driving home and was stopped by … Read more...

Dear Charles. My letter to heaven

man-of-steel
Charles was wearing these shoes when he died. Ironic even in death

I bet I am not the first mom to write their child in heaven. But this is my first letter to you since you died. I hope you get it because I am not sure how to have something sent to heaven.

It’s been about 8 months since you left us and I miss you. All the time. Every day. And I always will. There are days I wake up and the realization that you are gone just hits me like a freight train in my heart.

I am … Read more...