It seems as though every month has a designated awareness month. I have two months that I pay special attention to since July 26, 2017. September is National Suicide Prevention and Awareness, and May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Both are quite self-explanatory. My family and I advocate for any who suffer or who need someone to talk to.
Mental health, along with suicide, is such a taboo subject. I will never understand why. Many have some mental illness; it may be minor or may require medication. The stigma of being “crazy” is really just because you have a mental illness. Education is beyond important, and resources are available. National Alliance on Mental Illness is one of the best online resources around. This organization educates and listens.
My son, Zane, had a mental illness.
Depression and social anxiety ruled his mind. He was being treated medically for this with medication, but unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough. The thing was, we didn’t know that it wasn’t enough. We will never know if he couldn’t talk about it or if he didn’t want to talk about it. Even his best friend had no idea how deep his problems were.
My oldest son Daniel also suffers from a mental illness, Bipolar Disorder. We have dealt with this since he was young, at least ten years old. The older he gets, the more controlled it is. After Zane’s death, my husband and I now suffer from depression, and I have added anxiety. We are both medicated.
While every month is a difficult month, May is particularly rough.
May is busy. Usually, we have end-of-year school activities. I have mentioned how Zane always makes his presence in the smallest things or events in previous blog posts. The month of May is no different. My husband, Joe, lost his job last year. Friends of ours, the Sykora’s, recruited him to remodel their backyard pond completely.
After round one of removing rocks, new liner, adding new gravel, and placing them, Joe had a dream that night. Zane was there. Joe had not dreamt of him in quite a while. In this dream, Zane, Joe, and Daniel worked on the pond together, and at the end, Zane shook his head and said, “nope, it should look like this…” Joe woke up with a new vision of how the pond should look. That day he and Daniel rearranged it to where it is today. That evening Joe told Annette about the dream, and it brought tears to her eyes.
She said now the pond has meaning.
My son has a street sign named after him at South Plains College. This sign was a donation from my sister and brother-in-law, Carol and Carl McDonald of Plains Motor Supply in Levelland. They were the winning bidders at last year’s SPC Scholarship Gala of this prize. Although Joe and I were sitting right next to them at the Gala, we had no idea Carl was going to bid on the street sign. When he did and won, we broke out in tears.
The sign will read ‘Zane Timmons Ave.’ Ironically, the sign was supposed to be put up last March, but the campus shut down because of the pandemic. When it slowly started to open back up, the plans went underway. May couldn’t have been a better month. Another “Zane Thing.”
At our home in the front yard around a tree, we put Zane’s original marker from where he was buried. This was the one the funeral home put down before the monument was placed. We decided to make it Zane’s flower garden. It started with two Crinums from our old house, but now it’s full of color. The other day Joe planted Lantana for me, and as I was dusting Zane’s marker off, Zeagan asked,
“I don’t get to hug him?”
How many of you have had a four-year-old ask that about their uncle?
Please, if you are in any way having suicidal thoughts, call someone or the AFSP hotline.
Text NAMI to 741741 www.nami.org