By Jaron’s mom, Danette
Jaron (“Scooby”) Frizalone
January 1, 1985 - September 9, 2017
I am Jaron’s mom. Thank you for letting me come in here and tell our story.
Jaron was an addict and now is an angel. But, I will not let his addiction define him! He was so much much more! He was a brother, an uncle, a nephew, a cousin, a best friend, and a son! He was my only son. My baby, my Scooby.
First of all, I’d like to tell you a little bit about the beautiful miracle God Blessed me with for 32 years, 8 months and 3 days. When that little blue-eyed tornado blew into my life I knew my life was changed forever. Jaron was born with a “no fear” attitude. He couldn’t even wait two days to be born so he could be born on Elvis’s 50th birthday. He never crawled, just went from sitting to walking at 9 months and never slowed down. That was Jaron, don’t ever slow down and don’t look back.
He was such a happy loving person from the very start. Jaron just wanted to make people laugh and to be happy. He loved the ninja turtles; his favorite was Leonardo. Jaron loved music. Jaron marched to his own drum his whole life.
If there was a rule he was going to figure out a way to break it, not just once or twice, but until he got tired of it. Life was all about fun with Scoob. If he couldn’t make it fun from work to just life well then he wasn’t going to participate. I guarantee everyone may not have liked Jaron but if you met him you never will forget him.
Jaron was like a shooting star that burned out too fast. He could walk in the darkest room and make it so full of life and happiness. Jaron could make you laugh when no one else could. You could be so mad at him you just wanted to choke him and he would come off with something silly like only Jaron could do and you would be laughing and probably forget why you were mad. He loved his family with his whole heart, blood or not.
When he was 15 he met the love of his life, Chairity. Sure they had lots of problems but they had a love you don’t find very often and now they are together forever in Heaven. Jaron and his sister, Misty, got a tattoo about 10 years ago of their hands in a praying position and the words “Living On Prayer” underneath; hers is on her back and his on his chest. He said it was proof she had his heart and he had her back. It is truer now more than ever. Jaron loved his #1 little big sis sis more than anyone in this whole world including me or Chairity. They have a love that not even death will break and they will always be living on that prayer.
Jaron speaks to me through music almost every day. One night I turned on the radio in my car just as Bon Jovi was singing “Livin’ On A Prayer.” I had just said to Jaron, “Scoob, I’m just too tired to fight anymore,” and the part of the song was “You live for the fight when that’s all that you got!” So I wiped my tears and put my fighting suit back on.
Jaron got his first pain pill at 14 years old from a friend that got it out of the house medicine cabinet. The battle of addiction of 18 years had begun. I stood by Scoob through it all. I never ever turned my back on him. Oh don’t get me wrong I tried VERY hard not to enable him and I raised all kinds of hell but I always reminded him he was so much better than the lifestyle he was living.
During those 18 years Jaron was homeless, he had his own place, he lived with family. He lost everything to his addiction -- cars, sold his pool table, tv stereos -- you name it, he got rid of it just to get high. He went to bootcamp in Stark where he spent Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and his 18th birthday. I never missed a Sunday; 4 hours up and 4 hours home.
I thought he had it but on his first night home, he got high. Then when he was 20-21, things got really bad he started buying and selling crack and pills. He got robbed, pistol whipped, lost everything. He moved back home but continued to sell so I kicked him out. He was stealing and selling like crazy. He stole a tv at Walmart. Bam! His first felony. He was in jail for 10 days dope sick; you know all the horrors of being dope sick in jail. When he got out he said “I’m done, Mom. I want out please”….. I thought he had it. He was on probation for 2 years and managed to fly through it...did he get it?
Chairity went to jail exactly 1 year to the day prior to Jaron’s death, 9/9/16. She went through the jail diversion program, walked out of Westcare in house rehab on Thursday 2/16/17. I saw her the next day, Friday, she looked so good and sometime that night in her sleep she passed away. I thought she had it.
Scooby did manage to stay out of jail for almost 10 years, then his addiction got really bad. He started stealing big stuff: boats, trailers, etc. He got caught in a raid, etc. Now he had four felonies facing him; that is where the drug court came in. His bail was way too high for anyone to get him out. He pleaded “Mom, please borrow the $20,000 to get me out please.”
He spent Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, his 32nd birthday, and Easter in jail. Neither Scooby nor Chairity were there for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Jaron’s 32 birthday or Easter. We did get to have a few minutes with them both on Christmas. We did the video visit on an iPad and laptop at the same time and put them together so they could see each other and talk. That was the last conversation they ever had. Now we will never ever have another Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Easters, or any birthdays or Mother’s Days with either of them again. All we have are pictures and memories.
Misty had to tell Jaron while he was in jail about Chairity on the phone and we showed him her memorial card on the jail video screen. With all the stress of my Scoob being in jail and then losing Chairity I started having heart problems. So in March I was in the hospital for 10 days and was now a proud owner of a pacemaker. Jaron, of course, had to sit in jail and hope Mom didn’t die. Hmm maybe that scared him enough to stay sober? I tried to keep him somewhat happy with commissary food and a little time on his phone but hey it wasn’t MY fault he was there, I wasn’t going to put myself in the poorhouse.
Jaron was arrested on 11/15/16 and on 4/12/17 he went to the Ace House. He was sure he could get sober and stay sober there. I KNEW he could. All he needed was a chance right? I FINALLY got to see him face-to-face and give him the biggest hug ever on 4/18/17 in front of the Ace House! It felt so good; he always was the best hugger ever!
Finally, on Mother’s Day, he got his very first home pass! It was a great day. He went to church with me, made a little speech about how he questioned his faith sometimes but he knew he was going to be fine because mom prayed enough for both of us and had enough faith for him too! We had dinner, we laughed, we played games all sober! It was one of the best mother’s days ever. I was sure he had it!
Jaron continued to do really well, but I saw him less and less on his home visits. I thought it was ok because mom was kind of boring. Then on my birthday (4th of July), he got his pass. This is great he will spend my birthday with me! We can play games and laugh and go swimming and have a cookout! Well, he got picked up at 8 AM, I didn’t see him till 2 PM but we did finally meet up and had a fun family day. A great birthday, yes it really was. We laughed, he sang happy birthday to me like Donald Duck; silly things, lots of fun.
Little did I know Jaron had slipped and used before he got to me. He hid it so well; he was always fun. He got popped for a test and failed. He had used heroin. He got kicked out of Ace but he did the right thing and went to court on Friday. Bam, another 10 days in jail. I had a heart procedure scheduled for the 14th, he was going to be there when I woke up. Instead, he was in jail for 10 days, once again sitting praying mom didn’t die.
While he was in jail this time I didn’t put any money on his account and didn't accept his phone calls. I had told him if he screwed up I wasn’t helping anymore. There that will teach him! He will get this! He used someone else's phone credit and called me. The first thing he said was “Mom, I’m sorry.” He gets it!
Finally, he was out, and yes the judge let him go back to Ace! We talked. He was so sorry. Jaron told me one day in the car, “Ma, I know I’ve said this before but I really do get it this time. I know I can’t hang with old friends.” He told his sister he wasn’t even comfortable with them anymore and that the only people he felt comfortable with were his friends he met through the program. He REALLY did get it!
I picked Scoob up on Monday, September 5th at 8 a.m. and dropped him off at his sister's. We will get together later in the day, no problem. Time went by, he left his sisters and finally showed up just in time to get him back to Ace.
I never saw him alive again. On that Friday night (actually Sat 9/9/17) the horrible night the demons won and Jaron lost his battle. I thought this time he had it, he thought he had it too. He was so convinced he had won. He took one last chance. He told a friend through text, “I’m just going to ride that “shlippery shlop” one more time and tomorrow I’m done for good.
Tomorrow never came for Jaron. I got that horrible phone call at 2:30 in the morning from my son-in-law; he was coming to get me. I knew I just knew it was Jaron. Oh God please just let him be on his way to the hospital or in jail, please. The minute Michael walked in I knew. When I got to Jaron he was still warm, looking like he was sleeping except he was not on the couch, he was on the floor where Michael tried so desperately to save his only true friend except for Misty.
I had about 3 minutes with him before rescue got there. His sister was sitting on the front porch talking to no one on her phone in shock. I hugged him, I kissed his hand where the needle was and I covered him because he hated to be cold. A part of me died right then and there with him. It seemed like forever before the paramedics, police, and medical examiner were finished.
By the time they were done, it was getting daylight and a small crowd of friends and family had gathered including my 19 year old granddaughter, Jaron’s only niece. Starla thought there was no one in this world like her uncle Jar Jar. She wanted to see him and so did I just one last time before they took him away.
They loaded my baby up in a van, stuck him in a cold black bag, just like they did Chairity 6.5 months before. They let me see Chairity before they took her, surely I can see my son one last time right?
“Sorry ma’am you can’t see him,” they said. WHAT?!! WAIT! NO!! The police officer said I could wait! I begged. I cried. I pleaded please please let my granddaughter and me see him just one last time. We will be quick and be good I promise!! PLEASE!!!! Finally, after pleading with all the professional people that were there they said yes.
They pulled him out of the cold steel van and they unzipped the cold black bag and there he was, my baby, my Scooby, cold and starting to turn blue. Starla just stood there and cried; 19 years old, heartbroken like never before. I kissed him I don’t know how many times and said: “I’ll see you later, Scoob, I love you.” I asked them to keep him warm because he hated to be cold.
They put him back in, zipped up the bag and drove away. My baby, my Scooby was gone forever. Jaron never thought he would lose his life on that last ride. Neither did I. But what he thought was heroin was 100% fentanyl.
I prayed all the time for Jaron to find sobriety and that he would find it before I die because I didn’t want him to have any regrets when I died. I would recite a scripture from the bible when I prayed for him, Jeremiah 29:11:11 “ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ ”
I had 110% pure faith that God would get him sober and keep him safe. So when Jaron died my faith wobbled really hard. How could this happen! I prayed, I believed! The Bible says pray in faith and your prayers will be answered! Did God make a mistake? Did He lie to me? I used to tell all moms just pray and keep your faith, it will happen I know it will! Then when Jaron got arrested and got in this program I knew my prayers had been answered and I would tell anyone who would listen how good he was doing and how I knew God was doing all this! “See Scoob,” I’d say, “you got this!” And he would say, “yeah Ma, I think so. I think I really do have it this time!”
BUT then that fateful day came and he didn’t “have it.” So there I was saying, “Why God, WHY!" I prayed, I trusted you!! And you still took my baby!” But then I felt so guilty for being angry with God but hey I couldn’t be angry with my Scooby.
The funeral and viewing is still kind of a blur but I do remember all the people that were there and all the love they had for him. The room was packed full of his friends and family; all devastated and in disbelief that he was gone. He was so full of life, how could this be! I did his eulogy. It was the last thing I could do for him. He was all dressed up in his favorite clothes: shorts, a white T-shirt, his sneakers and a Giants jacket. Pictures and little mementos were placed in with him. He looked like he was sleeping again, but this time he was cold and hard. It was like touching a stone but I couldn’t stop touching him, kissing him because I knew I could never do it again.
The hardest part of that day was walking out of the funeral home knowing I would never see his beautiful face again on earth. Now ½ of his remains sit in my living room by the tv in a cool blue urn, the other ½ is at his dad’s in the china cabinet cold and hard.
It’s been over 2 years since that awful awful day and I have been able to come to grips with my faith. I still lay awake at night and cry and wonder why and where did I go wrong. I doubt that will ever go away. Jaron is the first thing on my mind every day and the last every night. I still wake every day praying it's all a bad bad nightmare. I pray I never get Alzheimer's and forget him because my memories are all I have left. When I laugh too much I feel guilty like I’m not supposed to feel any happiness; I doubt I ever find peace. But being here with you all gives me a purpose to continue. We are a shattered family that will never be the same. We lost our brightest light, our music, and our laughter.
I still believe that God kept His promise, that he has plans and a future for Jaron, it is just not here on this horrible place we call earth. God knew what laid ahead for Jar and it probably wasn’t good so he took him home where he can do more good than he could here, to lead me to where God wants me to be to continue to help save addicts from their pain and the demons that surround you.
And so, now here I am, my job now as Jaron’s mom is to tell his story, my story, our story to people to give hope for a future. All I have left of my Scooby is a few clothes, his favorite jacket, his thumbprint around my neck, and this Scooby tattoo.
I am not here to make anyone feel sorry for me, I’m just a mom who wants to help someone else not take that last chance, to get high just one more time. All the shirts, tatts, necklaces, keychains and pictures will never ever bring him back to me, but I have to continue the journey for him, for me and for all of you.
He was my Scooby, my baby. I know today that there are a lot fighting the same demon Jaron was fighting. If just one person gets sober because of his death it will make some sort of sense. Every one of us is somebody’s somebody! No family, especially a Mom should ever have to feel the pain that his family and I do right now.
I have a Facebook page called Scooby’s Story and I give out bracelets to people in recovery or try to take that step towards recovery, please friend us and if you would like one of his bracelets to let me know also. You can wear it or share it with someone who may get what they need from hearing Scooby’s Story. This is now my new role as Jaron’s mom to tell his story and try to help those who need it, even if it's just a listening ear for them to have hope and know someone out there cares.
Scooby’s story is growing like crazy! I have over 600 friends on our Facebook group and have bracelets in over 35 states and Canada. I have been told by people in recovery that they didn’t use because of the bracelet they had on or because of hearing his story. Nothing in this world can bring my Scooby back but to know that his story is helping save lives makes life a little easier. God Bless you all and thank you for listening and sharing our story.