He read voraciously - loved Dirk Pitt novels. We shared that. He rode a motorcycle - I hated it. He changed to a dirt bike - that was only a little better, but I fly an airplane, so what could I say? He wanted to skydive and I said only if I didn't know about it. Too scary for me. He had just learned to snow board and wake board from his cousin Kaleb. He joined my Union and worked football games and golf tournaments as a camera assistant. He was a Journeyman Millwright having just completed a 4-year apprenticeship. He was attending classes at DePaul University to increase his chances of advancing in the leadership of his union. He loved his sister and was learning how to be a good uncle to his new little niece.
John was dating a girl that I introduced him to - much to my regret. She dated him; he wanted to get married. She took him to a couple’s counselor - I didn't know about that. On a Sunday last fall, he waited for her to get off work and picked her up to drive to Wisconsin. They never got there. I pieced together the rest from her phone calls to me, the police reports, and the voice mail messages on his cell phone. They fought in the car; she broke up with him. He told her he was suicidal and asked to be taken to a hospital. She told him it didn't work that way, that she had to call the police. He asked her again, she got out of the car and left him. She took a bus home. He called his cousin - the conversation had no substance. He drove down a country road very near by, climbed down into a quarry and shot himself in the chest. The police got a report that he was found Monday night.
I have had a great deal of trouble dealing with not only his loss, but also the girlfriend. She contacted me looking for him that day, but lied. She contacted me several times after that only asking for things that she wanted - an oil change kit, a barbeque grill, things from his truck that she couldn't identify, things???? I offered to let her speak at his memorial service - she did, but I can't offer her anything more. Believe me, I know she must be suffering but I don't want to add to it. She doesn't want to hear what I have to say.
She was (is) a psychology graduate student who should have known better. She should have told me. She should have gone with him to the hospital. She should have called me or brought him to me, something. I should have done something. I should have seen what was wrong. I should have taken the gun away from him - he would have given it to me. We were very close. I told him many times over the last two years that he was the best son a mother could have. I loved him very much and miss him terribly and want him back.
7/16/66 - 10/3/99