Kevin Brian Cherkas was born in LA, grew up in Chesterfield, MO, and died in LA. Kevin was like a magnet: a sweet, smart, really, really brilliant person. He could make you smile on your worst day. His laughter was contagious and it still rings in my ears. He loved his family and friends fiercely. Kevin was an excellent student until he became bored.
At some point he discovered new friends like Vicodin, Ecstasy, Meth and then Heroin. Soon Kevin changed into a child I did not recognize. Even under these influences, there was still some good in my golden haired, green-eyed angel child. We would drive around and listen to music, something that had always tied us together. Then things began to disappear: family heirlooms, my grandmother’s $10,000 watch, Tiffany jewelry. When I spoke up about my missing items his reply was always the same, to throw it back on me and blame my memory, I had to start counting my medication and then I had to lock it up in a safe. I never knew if my son was going to go wild or go to sleep. I had even heard at one point Kevin was the Cocaine King of Chesterfield, a suburb of St. Louis, MO.
Kevin was arrested and I felt relieved. I was safe and he was off the streets. After his release, there were periods of being sober, rehab time, jail time, relapse time. It was a vicious circle. I love my son with all my being, all my soul, but I did not know him. The only part we had left was at the end of any conversation we always said, “I love you.” No matter what, we always ended that way, no judgment ever. Kevin had what I believe is an illness called SUD or Substance Use Disorder. This disorder robbed me of my son. Kevin should be here, alive in 2020 as my son, as a brother, and possibly even a father.
Kevin was born at 8:33 P.M. on June 24, 1988. These are the drugs in my son’s system after an accidental overdose on the morning of February 11, 2012: Meth, Heroin, Xanax, Ambien, and Ecstasy. I had 23 short years of my son. The world lost a beautiful young man. In memory of my son, I created 2 Facebook pages, Purple Ribbons for International Overdose Awareness Day in 2018 and Purple Ribbons for Change. It is possible for anyone to lose their child, their sibling, their spouse or parent. It happened to me and it happens every day, all week long, every month, all year. There are no holidays for drug overdoses. I am the voice for Kevin who can no longer speak. I am Kevin’s mother.
Jacqueline Rachelle Nesbit