The strongest person in the world is a grieving mother that wakes up and keeps going every morning.
— Tara Watkins Anderson

                     Jen and Blaize at Fork Union

                    Jen and Blaize at Fork Union

He was hand delivered to me by Jesus Christ himself...

— that's what I always said. He was the kind of child that every babysitter dreams of watching. A child that would make any mom proud. At his 5th grade graduation there wasn't an award that he didn't receive. "And the award goes to Blaize," all the kids would yell as each award was presented and handed to Blaize. "I Promise," that was our pack. If you said "I promise" then nothing else needed to be said. It was an oath that he and I took very seriously. As we sat in Joe Paterno's office at Penn State University after years of honors classes, "Who's Who" awards and numerous football camps and accolades, I knew we had finally arrived...but then his senior year came and with it, lots of changes.

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As a loving mother (one who carried Blaize for nine months), I began to notice and sense things that only a mom's kind of love could reveal — things that others couldn't see. I can't begin to tell you how many people told me, "You're worrying about nothing," or better yet (and I truly loath this one), "it's JUST WEED !" Well, weed led to stealing my Valiums which led to Opiates which led to "Broken Promises" and lies (this was unheard of between the two of us). All of this just to party. We did one round of rehab, which insurance only covered three weeks. He came out of rehab and didn't change people, places or things. Within a month he relapsed, turning to pain pills...5 years would pass and he would cry to me numerous times about his struggles. He finally decided to go back to rehab after getting arrested, which was something he had never experienced. Something he'd never imagined being a part of his life's journey. Following the arrest, Blaize was reevaluating his life position.  He said, "Mom when I go to court on the 18th, I'm going to tell them I want to go back into rehab." His funeral would be the 17th, the day before his court date. The day before he was going to reach out, ask for help and change his life. 

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“When potential dies, it puts a fire in you”
— Prophet Vanessa Newton

Blaize had all the potential in the world, but with the loss of that potential there is a fire within me to make sure others realize and reach their potential. 

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There is not an addict who ever used drugs with the intention of becoming an addict. The epidemic is at an all time high with people who never saw themselves giving over control of their life to addiction.