Miles Anthony McEntee
June 20, 1990 ~ June 2, 2015
Heroin took away my precious son Miles on June 2, 2015 -- just 18 days before his 25th birthday.
I think of Miles every minute of every day. I have cried every day for a year--it has become just a normal part of my day. I exist in a monochrome world where there is no joy.
Miles was everything a mother could ask for in a son. He was sensitive and caring. He loved animals and they loved him. He enjoyed music and fishing; particularly ice fishing with his dad and stepmom. He was a passionate skateboarder and was very good at it. Miles was close to his cousins and younger sister, Taylor.
While in high school, Miles experienced serious pain, which stemmed from breaking the scaphoid bone in his wrist. He celebrated his 21st birthday in a hospital bed, recovering from surgery. Even after three surgical procedures, Miles still had considerable pain and very limited range of motion in his wrist. Miles started a “Go Fund Me” campaign to raise money for physical therapy and to hopefully see another doctor but it never happened; we were all out of money.
Miles then discovered a cheap alternative for his pain relief, black tar heroin, and soon the pain didn’t matter anymore.
Things got out of hand very quickly. Miles lost jobs, wrecked his car and mine, and moved into the dining room of my one bedroom apartment. But as long as he was under my roof, I knew he was safe. I spent countless sleepless nights worrying about him riding his bike or skateboarding home from work in the middle of the night. I could not close my eyes until I heard him turning the key in the door. Only then I knew he was safe.
As I look back over the year or so he lived with me, things were mostly wonderful. We were very close. We had a similar sense of humor and shared many laughs. He was my best friend and always did his best to make sure his mama was okay. He made sure I had food everyday. Many nights, Miles would bring home pizza on the bus after his shift working at a pizza parlor. We would talk, eat and laugh. We loved watching storms together -- Miles dreamed of being a meteorologist, something he was never able to become due to his addiction.
In a very short time Miles became addicted. He told me he wanted to stop using because of the challenges that came with it and many of his friends were dying.
We did not have the money to get him into rehab -- this I will regret for the rest of my life.
After a while, things seemed to be getting better for Miles. He moved into an apartment with his sister, Taylor. She was not aware he was using heroin. One morning Taylor woke up and found Miles in his room. He was already gone.
Since then, I have also learned that if there had been Naloxone in the house, Taylor possibly could have revived Miles. However, that is something we will never know.
In the year since Miles passed, I try to make sense out of what happened to my family. It feels like phantom limb syndrome, except it is a piece of my heart that is gone.
There are startling numbers of families across America with the same story. Miles’ addiction consumed him so quickly and took everything. Nothing in my world will ever be the same.