Submitted by: Kathy Keenan – Mom
My Tribute: Andrew’s courageous battle with addiction ended on December 19, 2014 with a heroin overdose. Andrew fought hard against this horrendous disease that finally took him from us. He left behind two loving parents, a 14-year-old sister that adored him, a 36-year-old brother who yearned to see his brother clean, a devoted fiancée and his beautiful 17-month old daughter. We buried our son two days after Christmas, remembering the promise of life through the meaning of Christmas and the birth of Jesus.
Andrew was kind, loving and incredibly artistic who had so many hopes and dreams. We are so proud of the man that he was and the strength that he exhibited throughout 2014 as he successfully navigated rehab during the summer and obtained employment where he quickly was promoted to management. He had a vision to re-start his life anew with his fiancée and baby girl and had secured housing for a targeted move in date of January 17, 2015.
But his final relapse took all of those hopes and dreams of a “normal” life away. In its place we are faced with the reality of the ultimate consequence of heroin addiction. It is a struggle that he fought everyday and the war that he fought was written on his face during his final weeks. The heroin had stolen Andrew’s happiness and peace and this is excruciating for parents to witness, trying everything you know to stop the speeding train without any success. The final hug from Andrew was one that I will never forget. It’s as if Andrew knew it would be our last. He held on tightly for a very long period of time…and when I started to pull away, he pulled me closer. His sister received the same hug. We made sure that our last words were “I love you” and Andrew thanked me for all that we have done for him. All of these were later recognized as a gift from God.
Andrew had a faith in God that could not be eradicated by poor choices and the disease of addiction. We are fully assured that Andrew is with our Lord and the pain of depression and addiction have been erased and he is now rejoicing with his Savior. We ache to feel that hug again here on earth but know that we will once again have that warm embrace when we see him in heaven. We miss you Andrew and are so proud of you and love you unconditionally. You fought a hero’s fight and we are not ashamed to tell your story. Your daughter will know that her father was a man of character who wanted nothing more in this life than to be a good father to her. The addiction did not define you but it stole from you every good thing that you hoped for. Rest easy son until we meet again.