By Dalena Terwilleger
I’m writing this in hopes of helping others. You tell yourself, “this will never happen to me”, but it can, and it will.
Three things could have changed our lives on April 19th, 2020. Testing Strips, Narcan, and the knowledge of The Good Samaritan Law. It’s interesting, because in the few days leading up to Emma’s overdose, in passing conversation, we had talked about “Fentanyl”, and how it was killing people.
Emma had been clean and sober, and doing her best to get out of the situation and house she was living in. We had plans. She was going to move in with me on Monday.
Saturday April 19th, 2020 was the last time I saw my baby girl Emma Elizabeth Christensen. She was just 21 years old, born December 3rd, 1998.
Sunday April 19th, 2020, my alarm went off at 3:15am, I had to be to work at 4:30am. I hit snooze. At 3:30 am, I got up, and got ready. It was just another day. I was extremely busy and stressed at work that day. My feet hurt, I was staying late again, I was tired and had deadlines to meet.
At approximately 12:30pm, there was a phone call for me on the work line. “that’s odd”, I thought. My employee’s face had me concerned. What now? I took the call. My life would never be the same.
In my mind, I see her beautiful green eyes. I need to touch her, smell her, hear her. I see the little freckle on her back left side, just above her hip. So tiny. I have never not known it was there. I see her beautiful smile, the one dimple. The oddly shaped brown freckle in her green right eye. I see her scar above her right eye, the birthmark just above her left knee. It never would wash off. I see her stretch marked belly from bringing life into this world. I see beauty, pain, and sacrifice in them. I see my baby girl.
Had I known that day, I could have sent her out with Test Strips, Narcan, and the knowledge of the Good Samaritan Law, along with the “wear your seatbelt, make good choices, and I love you” that were always said anytime she walked out the door.