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Timothy Schenke

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Without Tim - book cover

Without Tim:
A Sonís Fall to Suicide,
A Motherís Rise from Grief
Driving Test

Knowing Timís personality and his challenges with patience and self-control, failing the parallel parking test did not come as a complete surprise. As expected, he was extremely disappointed and embarrassed. I told him to go back to school, face the questions from his friends, and just get it over with. That evening Tim sat in his room in the dark. While trying to check on him and comfort him as little as he allowed, I also had to deal with a new problem - Davidís developing appendicitis. The next morning Tim refused to get up for school and I let it go, partially because I needed to get to the hospital with David. Tim later called me at the hospital and apologized for his unreasonable behavior. Iím not sure if he was actually feeling better or if he just wanted to get out of the house, maybe to self-soothe by smoking pot to help overcome his disappointment.

On Christmas morning, Tim asked to go out for a while. As usual we were celebrating the holiday at our house with the three grandparents as guests. When Tim arrived home for Christmas dinner, I could tell he had smoked pot. I spoke to him quietly about it, letting him know how disappointed I was that he could sit at Christmas dinner with the family and be high. Andy was not nearly as upset as I was. He did not approve, but as usual, he would say something like, "Heís still getting the grades; heís still involved in sports." I had about had it with those responses. While Tim was still getting the grades and playing soccer, he was losing interest in other hobbies such as shooting baskets, playing street hockey, and skateboarding.

I was extremely quiet for the rest of Christmas day. In reflection, I was both hurt by and worried about Timís priorities. Timís next driving test was scheduled for the next day, December 26th, and this time he passed. The following Friday night, December 29th, when Tim arrived home, we smelled alcohol on his breath. I just could not believe Tim would drink and drive the very first weekend he had a license. He had to know that we would be looking for it! This behavior seemed to be part of a pattern. Tim would break the rules, accept punishment, and then cross the line again and break another rule or even the same one again. However, this time Tim did not accept the punishment as willingly.


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