OxyContin, 'I hate you'

Samantha Light writes of the loss of her father to opiate abuse
(Originally published on April 3, 2007)

Samantha Light, 14, who lost her dad to OxyContin abuse, is seen in her living room.
(Craig Murray/The Enterprise)

Dear OxyContin,
 My name is Samantha and I am 14 years old, and live in the Whitman area. We have met before. YOU KILLED MY DAD! You took him away from me when I needed him.
 I was only 4 when he met you. I hate you! My dad used to sing "Little White Duck" to me. He used to ice skate and fish and tell me how pretty my new shoes were. I was his princess. Then you came along. You grabbed hold of him and that was it.
  I didn't know you then, but I know you now.
  Dad never played with me anymore. Instead he told me to leave him alone. I would cry. He'd tell me to go away. He would rather be your friend than my dad.
 You made him look sick and ugly. His face was sunken in and the dark circles under his eyes scared me. He never smiled, or told me he loved me. He looked like a monster. I was afraid to look at him.
  Then I turned 5. Daddy wouldn't even get up Christmas morning to watch me open my presents. I cried more. All the nice things I had, you convinced Daddy to take away from me so he could have more of you. He was always tired, sick and angry. He threw up a lot. I didn't know why my dad was so sick. Why was he mad at me? Didn't he love me anymore?
 When I was 6, my dad left the house and didn't come back. Now I know he went to jail. You did that. The next four years I saw him maybe three times. He looked awful. He was so pale he looked like he belonged in a horror movie. He kept telling me he loved me and was going to get better, but you wouldn't have that, would you? You needed him to need you. You did not care that he was my dad and I needed him more. You didn't care that he promised me he would get better.
 All you cared about was that he continued to let you destroy him because that is what you set out to do the second someone uses you for the first time. They take you and you take them.
  Then when I was 10 years old, my mom sat with me and told me that Dad had died. He climbed into his bed and was found later that day, dead. Alone. He was only 32 years old. I cried. I screamed.
  I blamed myself, my mom, everyone - except you. I now know better! I hate you, Oxy. I didn't even get to say goodbye. He was my dad and you took him away from me. I will never get to see him again. What do I do? Who do I go to when mom and I are disagreeing?
 He is supposed to be here to tell me how beautiful I look in my dress the night of my prom. Everyone else's dad will tell them - what about me? I will never get to run to him with excitement when I get my license or my first job. When I graduate high school and college, he won't be there applauding how proud he is of me.
 When I meet the man of my dreams, he will not be there to approve of him. Who will take my arm and walk me down the aisle when I get married? Who will give me away? Who will twirl me across the dance floor to "Daddy's Little Girl" playing in the background?
 I have a new little brother now and a stepdad. I know he loves me and takes good care of us, but sometimes I watch them together, and I remember playing with my dad before you killed him. It makes me so sad. He's lucky, his dad is here and with him. Hugging him, kissing him, loving him.
 I wonder what I will tell my brother when he asks why my last name is different than his. What should I say when he sees a picture of my dad with me and asks who he is? Where he is? You took my dad from me and I will never be able to tell him how much I love him and, worse yet, I will never, ever, hear him tell me that he loves me.
 I know he does, but just once, I would love to hear his voice say it. Just one more time I would love to hear "Little White Duck, sitting in the water." Just one time I would love to feel his arms hug me and see him how he was before he met you - healthy and alive.
 I love you dad!

 (daughter of Danielle Light)