I want to tell you about my friend Laura “Nicky” Terell. She was a beautiful Native American woman. She would come over to mine and my boyfriend’s house for coffee and talk about her life. She was an alcoholic and prescription drug addict.
She told me about how rough her childhood had been and she would still cry over it. She had bouts of severe depression because she had been taken from her family and put in foster care. Both of her parents were alcoholics and could not take care of the children.
When I first met her she was attending A.A. regularly and trying to get her life together. We had a lot in common in that we were both trying to deal with an alcohol addiction and an unhappy childhood.
The last time I saw her was Veterans Day 2008. She came over to the house and asked if I could copy a map for her. She was giving some land to her younger brother and the map was for him. After I copied the map she said she was going home to get the stuff to make caramel popcorn and would be right back. She didn’t come back, but I didn’t really get concerned because she had done that before.
The next day her son called me to ask if I had seen her. I told him that I had not seen her since the day before. He had been trying to call her but got no answer.
On Sunday I was in my kitchen making breakfast when I heard her address announced on the police scanner. I told my boyfriend that it was ‘Nicky”. That was the name I knew her by. But, still, I didn’t think she would be dead. About 20 minutes after hearing the scanner, her son called me. He said he had found her on her bedroom floor dead.
I started crying. I just couldn’t believe it. This wonderful woman who was like an aunt to my kids is gone.
One of my favorite memories of her is from about 2 weeks before she died. She came to the house and made Halloween cookies with my kids. We talked and laughed and had a great time.
I will spend the rest of my life missing her and I will always wish that she was here to talk to and watch my kids grow up.
Her death was ruled a suicide but I know it is because she could not break her addiction to prescription pain pills.