By Maureen Norton-Hawk, co-author Can’t Catch a Break.
If you were to meet Nicole you would never imagine that she had been battling a drug addiction for years. I can still see her sitting cross-legged on the lawn at the Common during one of our meetings. Her long auburn hair framed her slender face as she chatted away, oftentimes not pausing between sentences. She would talk about her love of making jewelry, her efforts to start a business, and the antics of her tiny dog. She was young, attractive, energetic and kind. Her desire to volunteer with the elderly was just one of many expressions of her deep desire to help others.
Unfortunately her giving nature made her vulnerable to those who would exploit her. The combination of her youth and desire to please others made her an easy target to be used and abused physically, emotionally and economically by traffickers, boyfriends and some family members.
Nicole tried to stay off heroin, and succeeded for substantial periods of time. “I don’t want any more heroin. I want to live, I don’t want to die,” she declared shortly before her death.
Nicole died with a needle in her arm. Even the drug she ran to for relief took advantage of her.
I’d like to think that you are making beautiful jewelry in heaven. Rest in peace, Nicole.