Loving, troubled, talented, compassionate and funny
Jon was funny, athletic, hard working, giving and smart. He loved sports like baseball, football and basketball and enjoyed hunting, shooting pool and especially fishing. He wore his heart on his sleeve and was passionate about his family, especially his two children, Sidney 15, and Ian 12. He strived to be the best he could be and to help others reach their full potential. His mom said, “If someone needed anything, he would make sure they got it, without them feeling they were needy.”
Jon had just earned his certification to work in the coalmines, like his great grandfather, grandfather, father and brother, and saved money to buy a new truck. He loved working with his hands and building things, starting in construction, then roofing and building swimming pools and outdoor kitchens. He wanted to buy a house, get married, travel, and spend more time with his children.
It was a dirt bike injury that took him down the path of pain medications that eventually led to his addiction. While in a 13 month Christian rehab he earned his GED and was proud to start online classes, which led to his certification.
Jon was living with his mother when the seven grandkids spent the weekend. Jon and other family members spent the entire day with the kids playing hide and go seek. Jon was not to be found, until finally his daughter spotted him. It is now her favorite memory. She often laughs and says, “I can’t believe he was on the roof.”
Jon was honest about his addiction, not keeping anything from his mom, who had cared for others in her life with addiction, and their children. Jon was revived from overdoses more than once. When she said, “You died, what makes you keep going back to the drugs?” he stated, “you don’t feel the overdose, you just feel the withdrawal.” He said he regretted the day he first tried heroin, “It is true what they say, you are hooked after one time.”
His mom misses his hugs, smiles, laugh and his walking in the door saying, “Hey, what’s for dinner?” She no longer gets to spend holidays with Jon, watch movies or hear him say, “I love you, mom.”
“One of the hardest things is feeling that I let him down,” his mom said. “As a mom, I feel like I was supposed to take his pain away. He tried so hard to quit; it was like a demon that had a hold on him. Now that he is gone, I always feel like something is missing.” ‘I believe God has a purpose for me and maybe being a caregiver is one thing I am supposed to be.’
Jonathan’s mother, Theresa Emehizer, provided the information for this narrative.
September 20, 1985-May 2, 2018
Age 32-Lived with the disease of addiction 15 years