I am grateful, lucky and privileged to be Christopher Matthew Manning’s father. Christopher was my first born son. It was on his day of birth that I became a father. Even though my physical time with Christopher is over, I still feel very close and connected to him. Here is his story.
Christopher was born on May 14, 1990. He was a good little boy and did well in school. He could play any sport, basketball, baseball, and football. Christopher was also artistic and he could draw the most beautiful pictures and even taught himself how to play guitar.
Unfortunately, at the age of 16, he was struck with the disease of addiction. It started with smoking pot then lead to other illegal drugs and alcohol. I agonized with him on a daily basis through countless recovery centers to stop hurting himself and his family. Sometimes he would hear me, but most of the time he did not. You see during this time I was consumed to fix Christopher from this disease but I could never win the battle to stop it.
Christopher didn’t smile much during these years, but when he did it would light up my world. It gave me such comfort. I now hang onto that smile in my memories and am longing to see it again.
Christopher’s life story should not be about how he died or what he went through, it should be about that man who was a hard worker and had a huge heart for everyone. He had a smile that could light up a room and his humor would make you laugh especially when he was with his brothers. He just wanted to be loved and share his love with anyone. He had all of these tremendous gifts to share and so much talent that was shredded to pieces by this disease. That is what pained me so much with this disease, at times it was destroying my son’s future as a man who could have achieved everything he wanted and who I know would have been a good husband and father.
I have a picture of Christopher with his brothers Patrick and Kameron he sent it to me on father’s day of last year with a caption that said that I was his hero for what I had done for him, well you should know the truth Christopher, you were always my hero to be able to make it through what you went through time after time and to fight back and climb that mountain and be back on top. I wouldn’t have been able to do it but you always did!
Christopher died of an accidental overdose on August 5, 2014. Part of me also died that day. He left behind a mother, step mother, two brothers, two step-brothers, and a loving Grandmother. My wife and kids are what keep me going and give me the strength to get through my day. I do not ever want another family to go through the pain we endure. Christopher will be in our hearts forever. I miss him but know he is finally at peace.