Remember that day it snowed? You know; the one that had you stranded in the airport. The one that caused the power to go out. The one that no one could get out of their houses for a couple days because the snow was so deep? The one that turned a 2 hour drive into an 8 hour crawl? Everyone that lives anywhere that snow accumulates has a snow day story. I’ve got my share but there is one in particular that forever changed the course of my life.
March 21, 2018 it snowed significantly in Pittsburgh. Not a big deal right? I mean it was the end of March and to get a heavy snow was out of the norm but it ended up being a big deal for me. I had just returned from a getaway trip to Disney. I spent that time reminiscing about the days I had spent their with my ex wife and kids. It was an opportunity to say goodbye to the last place I felt I was happy. I spent each evening writing memos to my son telling him what I had done that day and the things I saw or did that reminded me of him and our times there. My plan was to hang myself a week after I returned home from this trip.
I already had everything planned out. The date and location and how I was going to do it. I had put a couple boxes together of things I wanted to be passed along to my son when the time was right. I had written my obituary, I had planned my funeral, I left detailed instructions concerning my life insurance, and wrote letters to family and friends. All were packed together neatly in one large envelope. I planned this well enough that I wouldn’t be found until it was to late. There wouldn’t be any signs that anyone would pick up on. No texts sent. On March 22, 2018 I had planned to die.
Why March 22nd? Its simple for me. March 23rd marked the 2 year anniversary from the last time I had seen my son. I didn’t want to say as a father that I hadn’t seen my son in 2 years so I figured I’d end it before I reached the 2 year mark. May seem silly to some but for me it was humiliating and demoralizing to say I hadn’t seen my son in 2 years and with no real plan in the works to see him I didn’t see a purpose to continue living the same crap day after day.
I can remember the weekend I returned from vacation. My sister and brother in law had some family friends over for dinner. I gave them the souvenirs I purchased for them and we shared a meal and some drinks. In the back of my mind I kept thinking that no one in this room knows that this is the last time we will all sit together at this dinner table. The 4 of them will but I won’t be here next week at this time is what I thought.
The plan was in place, I had the items I needed, and had squirreled away some medications that I knew would render me unconscious. That week I started to tidy things up a bit but not so much so that it would cause suspicion. In my mind I was gone. It wasn’t a oh wow is me type of minute. I had calmly calculated this decision for quite some time. Then March 21st came along.
March 21st came and we received a substantial snow fall in the area. I can remember going outside and shoveling the sidewalk. The snow came right up of the concrete because the ground was warm, but it was a heavy snow. I thought to myself how great it would be to have a heart attack shoveling so that I didn’t have to end my life myself. So with that in mind I pushed myself more than I would have, but unfortunately for me at the time instead of a heart attack I ended up with a sore back and a swollen knee.
The morning of March 22nd arrived. It was death day. Everything was still a go. I watched as the snow trucks plowed and salted the streets and noticed how white the trees and yards were. Then my mind began to turn. My plan could be foiled because of this snow. My location was in a spot where I had planned to park my car in one spot and then walk to this location. This would have worked fine… if there wasn’t snow on the ground. Everything illuminates at night when there is snow on the ground and I was afraid I’d be seen carrying a gym bag at night down a residential road. My second concern was being seen getting to my final spot. In order to get there I had to climb a hill. Not a small one but a pretty steady incline. Fear of being seen climbing that hill side crept in along with the idea of not being able to make it up the hill. I picked this location because it was a location I had been in once before. It was a location that I laid in for 12 hours in December. A location where I hoped I would end up freezing to death. I knew it was far enough off the road that dogs hadn’t been able to pick up my scent and there was plenty of brush around to hide me from plain sight once at the top of the hill. My perfect spot ended up being foiled. Foiled because of all things a heavy snow in Pittsburgh in late March. That was a sign to me. It was time to change my life.
On April 10th, 2018 I made a declaration. On that day on my twitter account @tonyk10933 I declared that I wanted to live. I had enough of thinking about what it was going to be like when I finally decided enough was enough and go through with my plan to end my plan. I needed to close that chapter. I needed to be here for my son even if I wasn’t seeing him. Two weeks later I did something I had never done before. I walked myself into a clinic and asked for help. I knew in order to move on I would need help and this was the on place I had received help from in the past that actually worked for me. It’s only been a few months and yes I still have thoughts of suicide. I have good days and I’ve got really bad days just like anyone else. The big difference right now in my life is that I’ve chosen to live regardless of the circumstances.
On Tuesday July 3rd, 2018 I will see my 9 year old son for the first time in 824 days. I had chosen not to be part of his life because my own life wasn’t something any child should be a part of. I had issues that I needed to work through, the desire to live being the biggest. I’m not proud of staying out of his life. Not proud of the pain I may have caused him but I’m going to see him again and I can do so knowing that I will not do anything to cause us to be split up again. You can call it what you want but I owe it all to a day I’ll never forget. I’ll always remember that day it snowed.