Johnny Angel

Vikki Mankins

My son's full name is John Paul Adams. He was born on June 11, 1972 and became an angel in God's Heaven on November 13, 1993, at the age of 21.

He was so handsome, he was 6'3" tall, sandy brown hair, blue eyes, rather out going, but rather shy. He was a big boy weighing in at 290 lbs., but he was solid muscle. A kinder and more considerate person you would ever want to meet.

He always seemed to take everything in stride. Never seemed to let too much bother him. He told me one day that's what he liked about football, he could take all that was bothering him to the field on Friday night and get rid of it all.

Somewhere from the time of graduation and the time of his death, things seemed to really change. I just thought it was a part of becoming an adult.

Before he graduated from high school, he started to receive alot of credit card applications, I did not realize that he was returning most of them and receiving a card in the mail. He was a very responsible person. He paid all his payments on time. He had gotten a job not too long after graduation that turned into a real opportunity for him. He got in just after this company had started, in fact, the president and his boss told me that most everyone that worked with him, he got them the job and if it hadn't been for him choosing the right people to work there, the company probably would not have been as successful as it is.

He had moved out of the family house in August 1993. He seemed a little afraid at first, but then seemed to enjoy being on his own. He called me one night and asked what I thought about him moving back home and I told him to come over that night or that week end and talk it over with me and his step-dad. He said to never mind for right now and not to say anything to David right now. When he really decided he needed to do that he would let me know. I respectfully did as he asked. I had always shown m y boys this respect.

He was having girl problems and financial problems. He had told me that he had the girl thing worked out and not to worry. The only thing that was bothering him now was finances. He had maxed out every credit card he had to the tune of nearly $20,000.0 0. He also had a car he had bought in July 1992. His dream car, a beautiful red Mustand GT. He was so proud of it, he kept it cleaner than he ever kept his room.

I was working with him to get this credit card problem straightened out, I could not afford much financial help, but had offered to get him some credit counseling. He didn't want to file bankruptcy but, he said he could deal with that, but he said that h e couldn't bear the thought of losing his car. Which I had told him not worry about that I would help him keep his car.

The week end before he died, he had come to visit and said that the girl problem was back. She was a friend's girlfriend that had come to see him while her boyfriend was working at night. Needless to say one thing lead to another next thing you know the y are involved too deep. John, could not bear the thought of hurting his friend and told the girl it was over and if she didn't leave him alone he was going to tell his friend everything, even if it meant losing his friendship. The night before he came over she had told him that she wanted to keep seeing him and the other boy. And if he told the friend about them that he would be sorry. He didn't know what to do. Neither of us ever having that experience did not really know what to say, except to try to stay away from her. I called him a couple of days later and he said he was alright and had not spoken to her in this time frame.

He called me a couple of days later and talked and talked and talked. His spirits sounded so good. He sounded like my ol' Johhny Boy. He told me of his week end plans.

He came by the house on Friday (not a normal thing), to get ready to go out with his friends. For some reason that night I couldn't do anything except give him all my attention. He told me he was going to leave and that he loved me and I told him that I loved him, and to be careful driving because he had my precious cargo on board (I always told him that). He said not to worry. I asked him to come over the next day with his bills so we could get ready for the credit couseling, and he said he would cal l but Sunday would probably be better and not to worry because everything would be over by Thursday.

That night I woke up in a cold sweat. I had a dream about me and him talking (couldn't remember what we were talking about) and all of the sudden, like a t.v. going out he dropped from the the dream and I was alone. Scared me so bad I couldn't go back t o sleep. He was supposed to be staying with a friend after they went out, so I couldn't call him or go make sure he was ok.

That morning I got up and went to work. About 9:00am my husband calls and tells me to come home now. So I did, I knew something bad had happened. When I got home, David told me that it was John. I assumed he had had a car accident. I was trying to ge t David to tell me where he was and how bad was it. He then told me it was worse that John had died. I can remember nearly hitting him because I thought that was a cruel joke to play on someone. Then I realized that he was not kidding. I immediately b ecame hystrical, he just held me. I asked what had happened. He told me that it appeared to be a self inflected gunshot wound.

Still thinking that it wasn't true we went to his house, there were at least five police cars there. The medical examiner had not yet arrived. He had been dead for about 8 hours. My parents had found him on the garage floor. They will never recover fr om seeing him like that, my father and the police would not let me see him. I had to know how, so I asked the detective how he did it. He had placed the gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. The police did not rule out homicide for nearly two weeks, even though he left a note.

At his funeral which was held on the following Wednesday, for some reason I looked around, there were over 250 people present. I am glad that he had touched so many people, I just wish he had known how many he had touched and helped. He was right, it wa s over with my Thursday, but only the ceremony. I will forever be grateful for the time I had with him and for his friends. Many still keep in contact with me today. We laugh and we cry together. He was a special person, I wish he had known he was. M aybe, just maybe, he would be here today.

Mail Welcome.
You can reach Vikki at the following email address: [email protected]

[return to home page] [column] [book excerpts] [honor page] [discussions page]