Many of us go through our entire lives giving and receiving gifts, often unaware we are doing so. Jonathan’s goal was to give the gift of service—from his dreams of a military career to the hospitality industry to civil service and finally to serve anyone suffering from the effects of addiction. Jonathan passed away on May 4, 2010, yet his spirit lives with us today.
At this moment, he might say,
“My gift to you is awareness. I want to make you aware of what it is like to have a severe addiction problem.
If you are suffering from addiction, ask yourself, ‘Do I want to follow Jonathan’s path? Shouldn’t I dedicate myself to changing and becoming the loving and trustworthy person that I know, deep inside me, I am?’
If you are a family member, I present to you how my family tried to assist me. The heartache that I caused them was overridden by the spirit of faith, hope, and love that they shared for me. They disagreed and argued over what course of action to take to heal me, and they became angry and impatient with me many times. But in the end, I know they love me.
To those of you who have never experienced addiction in your family, I present the gifts of compassion and non-judgment. This disease is difficult to overcome, and has become a disease of epidemic proportions in our country. I ask that you step back and try to understand what these people are going through.
I once wrote, ‘Where there is life, there should also be love.’ ”
Nothing could be truer.