Sunday, March 29, 2015

The tragedy of my son David

I do not believe that I ever wrote here in my blog about why David killed himself.

David put his life's energy into caring for his foster children. It was a great challenge and burdon for David to be a single parent and keep a full time job at Bay Area Rapid Transit [BART] where he was a senior engineer in the Research & Development Department.

In 2009 David began blogging about his foster parent life. I have kept his blog alive by a link on my blog to David's story. And I am so very happy with myself for continuing to pay David's internet provider so that the story is still here on the internet for all who care to read.

David killed himself during the late afternoon on Monday, September 20, 2010. He drove his car into the Sierra Nevada range where just passed the town of Arnold, California, is located Calaveras Big Trees State Park. He arrived in the park shortly before sunset. Pulled off the road and parked his car under a tree where the car was hidden from view from the park road. Then he sat himself down in a nearby clearing, his back against a tree, and watched his final sunset. After the last of the Sun disappeared, he used my 22 caliber Smith & Wesson target pistol to end his life.

The day before was Sunday. David and his Mom walked from his home that morning to the Greek Festival. Attending the festival was something that they had done together for several years. While they were enjoying the Greek Festival, Concord police arrived at David's home. They had a search warrant. When there was no response to the police knocking at David's front door, a battering ram was used to smash the door open.

On the Thursday before the police smashed open David's front door, the mother of two of David's foster children had talked to a caseworker in Child Protective Services. After that talk, the caseworker notified authorities. A judge issued the search warrant.

The police went through the home tearing everything apart. In David's bedroom the bed was piled three feet high with all the stuff from closets and dressers. All of the rooms were the same. Piles of things pulled from where they were stored and thrown about.

One of David's neighbors walked down to the Greek Festival to look for David. "You had better get up to your house", he told David. "The police busted down your front door and are inside."

At that point in time, David had been a foster parent for fifteen years to over 30 children. During that period, David was investigated every couple of years for child abuse. Nothing ever came from those investigations. But that is how things go in our society for male foster parents. People think of males who take care of children as child abusers.

These investigations were very tough on David. His best friend told David that he was crazy for keeping on being a foster parent. "You know that you are going to be investigated forever. Why do you do it? You must be crazy!"

The year of 2010 was not good for David. One of his foster kids was into drugs. At work a project that David had worked very hard on for several years was scrapped by BART, his employer. David's woman friend began seeing another guy. And now David was charged with child abuse and his home torn apart by police.

David was a very strong person. He was the first person from his high school graduating class who began his own business. I myself observed David over the years taking care of his foster kids. He was a wonderful parent. But as strong a person as David was, the year of 2010 wore him down. Crushed him.

In David's suicide note he wrote, "I've been wondering for awhile how the end game would play out." Oh God.....I can only imagine the pain of those days for him.

The last thing he wrote in his suicide note was, "P.S. 2010 really sucked !"