Guest editorial: The Empty Chair - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Editorial

Guest editorial: The Empty Chair

Josh's younger brother, Chris Johnson, with Melissa and their 2-year-old son, Parker. Josh's younger brother, Chris Johnson, with Melissa and their 2-year-old son, Parker.

Guest editorial from WSFA 12 News Chief Meteorologist Josh Johnson:

My younger brother Chris Johnson's smile lit up every room, and his laughter filled the next room over. He was tall, funny, intelligent and athletic. 

He loved his sweet Melissa, and he loved their 2-year-old son, Parker.

Chris hurt his knee, which led to surgery, then Oxycontin. Chris became addicted to painkillers. Over the following decade, we helplessly watched him sink deeper and deeper into the pit of addiction.

One year ago Saturday night, they found Chris dead in a dark, dirty alley behind a movie theater from a heroin overdose.

The people with him called 911 as they left him - cold, alone and afraid - to die.

Heroin doesn't cost as much as pain pills, so some people call it a "cheaper alternative."

It cost young, innocent Parker the chance to grow up knowing his Dad. 

It cost my parents their youngest son.

It cost me my only brother and my best friend.

It cost my infinitely clever and always laughing brother Chris his life.

Heroin isn't cheap. It sure cost our family a lot. 

Heroin did give us one thing, though - an empty chair.

Halloween is almost here, then Thanksgiving and Christmas will soon follow. At each holiday, forever, my family and I will look around the room for Chris.

But, he will never, ever be there. All we will see is an empty chair. From Parker's first day of school to his wedding day, he won't see dad, only an empty chair.

Right now, heroin is being transported into our state, sold to our people and shot into their veins. And it's getting worse every day.

Chris' fight is over. We didn't find an answer in time. Don't let someone in your family leave an empty chair. If you've never tried drugs, DON'T DO IT. If you're fighting addiction, don't fight alone. Get professional help.

If you love someone who is fighting this battle, encourage them to seek professional help. Love them unconditionally and let them know you're in their corner, before it's too late.

Copyright 2016 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

  • EditorialsMore>>

  • Opinion

    Editorial: Montgomery crime

    Editorial: Montgomery crime

    Tuesday, October 17 2017 11:51 AM EDT2017-10-17 15:51:55 GMT
    (Source: WSFA 12 News)(Source: WSFA 12 News)

    Mayor Todd Strange was a bit upset last week when he addressed the crime problems of Montgomery during a news conference.

    More >>

    Mayor Todd Strange was a bit upset last week when he addressed the crime problems of Montgomery during a news conference.

    More >>
  • Opinion

    Editorial: Fall is in the Air!

    Editorial: Fall is in the Air!

    Thursday, October 12 2017 12:54 PM EDT2017-10-12 16:54:50 GMT
    (Source: WSFA 12 News)(Source: WSFA 12 News)

    Fall is in the air and if you are like me, it couldn’t get here quick enough.  With the cooler temperatures finally heading our way, why not go out and explore Montgomery and have some fun with the family.

    More >>

    Fall is in the air and if you are like me, it couldn’t get here quick enough.  With the cooler temperatures finally heading our way, why not go out and explore Montgomery and have some fun with the family.

    More >>
  • Opinion

    Editorial: Stop the Bullying

    Editorial: Stop the Bullying

    Friday, October 6 2017 6:56 AM EDT2017-10-06 10:56:49 GMT
    (Source: WSFA 12 News)(Source: WSFA 12 News)

    A recent study from Ditch the Label notes half of teens and young adults between ages 12 and 20 have been bullied and 17 percent experience bullying online. 

    More >>

    A recent study from Ditch the Label notes half of teens and young adults between ages 12 and 20 have been bullied and 17 percent experience bullying online. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly