Monday, August 25, 2014

Suicide and My Dad

Make a donation to the Out of the Darkness Walk 

Dad(R) with brother Raymond (L) and Sister Edna(center)
I wish I did not have to write this post. I wish no one ever had to write about suicide.
This year my Dad, Ward E. Barton, committed suicide 6 days before his 73rd birthday.

My Dad and me

This year I lost my Dad. Six words that still make me cry after saying them, typing them or writing them. I had to say those six words over and over again as I notified friends, family, banks, retirement boards, insurance companies...the list goes on and on. It is those six words that I wish I did not believe were true.
Dad and me at Halloween and Easter. My brother Andrew and me with Dad.

My Dad was my hero when I was a young girl. He could fix anything. He could build anything. He was strong. He was funny. People loved him. He was a Railroad Engineer and a good one! He loved us the best he could. He worked very hard and he played very hard.

He always had us on a boat, fishing off a pier or on the beach. He taught me how to cut bait, take a fish off the line, run a boat among many things. I still do bait my own hooks and can tie a rig on my line so it won't fall off! He taught me how to skin squirrels and clean a gun. I never felt good around guns. They always made me very very uneasy. Unless he was the one handling it. He was very smart about guns and always kept his equipment in tip top condition...whether it was a fishing pole or a rifle.

My Brother Andrew , Dad and Mom
Dad was always the first one there when someone had a need. If I broke it he fixed it. If you needed help...he was there. I remember him always showing up after Zachary was born and bringing over huge bags of diapers and wipes. He loved that boy to the moon and back. He loved all his grandchildren and even his grand dogs. Some of you have been the victim of "Eddie's picture show and tell" . Smile if you have ! :)

I love this picture. I sent Dad a Bible and he was so excited.
Dad loved to take pictures and then make everyone look at them. Most of them were of his kids, our dogs, his boats, motorcycles, cars, jeeps, vans, hunting cabin. Sisters , Brother's , etc. He was a collector of all things Railroad and probably had one of the coolest things a railroader could ever want. I can say this now because he is it's safe. He had a BELL. A real GIANT Locomotive Engine Bell. He painted it Brass gold and when people would come to the house he would ring that sucker SO LOUD! Mostly he loved to do it in front of my boyfriends!

After Dad retired many of his coworkers, family and neighbors passed away. He really took that so hard. He had a love for the "drink" and would often get himself into messes, yet always seemed to pull the boot straps back up.

When I got the call that my Dad had shot himself I was numb. It did not surprise me that he used a gun to end his life. I can't imagine how hard it must have been to sit there and do what he did.

Dad was a "jack of all trades" but this haircut bothered Zac!
At the time, he was living near Roanoke near his 3 brothers and last surviving sister. He had told them that if he did not answer his phone or answer his door that he was dead. He told his neighbors in the RV park where he lived that he would not be around in another 3 days. He made his plan and followed through. My Dad always followed through.

Dad and I at Christmas. I have his wavy hair.
So, where do you start to pickup the pieces when you lose your Dad. I knew right away that I would be involved in the Out of the Darkness Walk. I knew that Dad did not want fanfare and pomp around his untimely death. Instead, as Dad had often told me, I had his cremated. My brother and I took time to spread a little bit of Dad here and there. I still have a list of places to go and see and things to is to go fishing again during spot season...and let a bit of him go in the Bay. Another is to return a bit of him home to Roanoke. He was born in the mountains and was one of many many children. He told me many times that his Momma had about 2-3 sets of twins that never made it past their first year.
Cora and her Pawpaw

My Dad. Short in stature....big in personality. I miss him. When I look at Cora's big blue eyes I see my Dad's with a glint of "hey I am up to something " in them.
I think my Dad wanted Zac to have this toy more than Zac wanted to have this toy! :)

So. I walk the walk in September. I am collecting donations. I am blogging to share my story and hoping that if we all become educated about depression and suicide we can CURE IT! But the stigma of mental illness is a shroud. It's time for that to be removed.
here is a quick video explaining the walk. Showing who walks and why we should all be aware of depression and suicide. thank you for watching.

Will you share this blog today?
Will you make a donation today? Here is the link to go directly to my fundraising page~!

Here are some facts that I think you need to know!

 IN THE UNITED STATES, a person dies by suicide every 13.7 minutes, claiming more than 38,000 lives each year. It is estimated that an attempt is made every minute; with close to one million people attempting suicide annually. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. among adults 18-65, and the second leading cause of death among teens and young adults. The suicide rate among U.S. military members rose sharply in 2012, with an average of one suicide per day

Suicide is a public health issue that does not discriminate by age, gender, ethnicity, or socio- economic status, and it takes an enormous toll on family, friends, co-workers, and the entire community. AFSP provides opportunities for survivors of suicide loss to get involved through a wide variety of educational, outreach, awareness, advocacy and fundraising programs.

A contribution to AFSP is a good investment! More than 82 cents of every dollar you raise can be used to:
  • Educate the public about mental disorders and suicide prevention
  • Fund scientific research
  • Promote policies and legislation that impact suicide and prevention
  • Provide programs and resources for survivors of suicide loss and people at risk, and involve them in the work of the Foundation
  • Offer educational programs for professionals
Please visit the Programs and Research section of our website or download AFSP's Annual Report and learn more about how the funds you raise make a difference.
When you walk in AFSP’s Out of the Darkness Community Walks, you join the effort with thousands of people in hundreds of cities to raise funds and awareness for AFSP’s vision to create a world without suicide.
The importance of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s mission has never been greater, nor its work more urgent
Join the Movement Today!

This is Mr. Jim (L) Zachary and my Stepfather Pat (R) Mr. Jim took his life in 2009. We miss you too Jim.

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