Devin Glenn - March 23, 1993 to March 8, 2017 - Age 23|
Some of you know that I write for a living. That was always my dream
and, for maybe a semester, that was also Devin's very brief dream
after a kind CNM professor told him he had potential.
That's the thing. Devin, my first born and my last born, had so much
potential. Sometimes I think he knew that maybe all too well.
Sometimes I don't think he realized that at all.
Words are my business, but in the 10 days since Devin left us all, they
have been hard to gather together to convey anything meaningful,
anything near what I want, what I need to say about my son, Devin
Gabriel Krueger Glenn.
So what I did was look back to words I wrote about Devin about 23
years ago on the eve of his very first birthday. At the time, I wrote a
column for The Albuquerque Tribune called The Mother Load, which
was all about raising kids as I saw it through raising Devin. For a time,
that meant Devin was the most famous kid in the city, and thousands
of readers knew about his dirty diapers, his first boo boo, his first
haircut, his first wise words.
In that first birthday column, I reflected on the many gifts and lessons
he had given me. In part, here is what I wrote.
We were talking about his impending first birthday -- I talked, he
gibbered -- and wishing that days like these could go on forever.
But today Devin Gabriel turns 1, and I'm already mindful of the day
when he is no longer just my little buddy, ready to burst into a fit of
giggles with the tickle of my finger or the crunch of my face. My buddy
who thinks that I can turn juice bottle lids into gems. My buddy who
reaches for me when he is scared, when he is happy, when he just
wants to be loved.
So it goes...
First birthdays are monumental, joyous but bittersweet, made more of
by the parent than the unassuming birthday star. In Devin's mind, it is
just another day, just another haircut. Just another toy.
But for me it's a year of memories.
He taught me that I must play a part in making this world a better place
for him and all children. He has taught me that there is more to life
than a career and a Cuisinart. He has taught me the importance of
clipping coupons for disposable diapers because they sure get
And he has taught me about unconditional love.
As we sat there that day at the Point, I thought about the things I'd like
to teach him. Things like being kind to animals, treating women as
equals, how to fish, how to bake bread, how to keep appreciating
nature like that which surrounds us in the Manzanos.
How to stay perfect and never grow old. But that would be a gift for
me. Better that he should grow up healthy, strong, independent and
Most of all, I want to teach him to remember simple days like those at
the Point and how much I love him, how these days will not go on
forever but that love will.
Happy Birthday, my dear son. May you have many more.
Devin went on to have 22 more birthdays. He would have celebrated
his 24th birthday next Thursday. Like I said in that column long ago,
these days will not go on forever. And they didn't. And my heart is
I am angry that such a thing as heroin found him, seduced him and
enslaved him, all with me having not a clue it was happening. I am
angry that Devin did not believe he was as good and perfect as I saw
him that he needed that horrible killer in his life.
Devin and I talked often about drugs like heroin. Mom, he'd say, I'll
never even try heroin. I'm scared of it. I hate needles. Besides, I'm
There will be time for that reckoning, for fighting against the scourge of
heroin and opiates, which are killing so many of our sons and
daughters. And believe me, I swear, if any of you for a moment think
about using that poison, remember who we lost because of it and
remember that I will come for you and smack you into your senses,
something I didn't get a chance to do for Devin.
Today, though, I ask that we remember the beautiful days, the happy
days, the days when we were fortunate enough to have my son, my
buddy, my rock, your Suga D, in our lives.
I ask you all to honor him as he honored me, by learning we must all
play a part in making this world a better place for all children.
- Joline Krueger, Mother