A Beloved Son, an Addiction, and an Honest Obituary
One year, after receiving too many Christmas letters about perfect families, I decided to write my first “true” Christmas letter about our family, including living with three sons who were struggling with addiction. These letters were a humorous (but truthful) parody of our lives. A few excerpts from over the years:
It’s been a busy year. The boys are all doing various activities. Unfortunately, most of it is illegal.
Merry Christmas from the Morford’s—the family that knows how to put the fun into dysfunctional. This year consisted of three active boys, two dogs, a workaholic spouse and me wearing a scarlet “C” for trying to control.
Hope y’all are doing well. We sure had a great year; Travis finished up treatment in Louisiana and has been working and living in a sober house. In October, he was ordered by the State of Texas to return home and begin probation. As a welcome home gift, the court presented him with a cute gadget called an Interlock Breathalyzer Device (IBD) for his truck. It is very easy to work, especially if you don’t drink alcohol.
When Travis died from an overdose at the age of twenty-five, it was important to keep telling the truth, even in his obituary, saying that he died from the disease of addiction. We hoped that by continuing to be open and honest, it would bring awareness to this disease and help end the stigma and shame.
On the day of Travis’s funeral, the director of a local addiction treatment facility came to “meet the parents who weren’t afraid to openly announce their son had succumbed to the disease of addiction.”
No more shame.
Danni Morford is the author of the book Shoot My Ashes from a Cannon—Beyond Addiction: The Letters.
Travis Edward Morford
Travis Edward Morford, brown-eyed son of Pete and Danni and brother of Eric and Caleb, died on July 8, 2007. He came into the world late and left far too early. He was a fighter with his lopsided grin from the moment he was born.
At age 25, Travis lost his long fight with the disease of addiction, a fight he could not win. God proved stronger and called him home. He is our hero, protector, and friend, and will forever be in our hearts.
He loved working out, taking his dogs to the park and snuggling on the couch watching X-Files with Megan. The memories we shared with him will comfort us in all the years ahead.
In addition to his parents and brothers, he is survived by fiancé Megan Ballard, grandmothers Pat Fourton and Maggie Morford, aunts and uncles Ed and Michele Fourton, Happy and Diane Fourton, Russell and Michielle Sullivan, Mike Morford, David and Becky Morford, Suzanne Morford, many wonderful cousins, his faithful dogs Tyson and Kai, and countless loving friends. He was preceded in death by grandfathers Edward Fourton and Robert Morford, Sr., uncle Robert Morford, Jr., and cousin Leah Sullivan.
The visitation will be held at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 3125 North Lamar on Thursday, July 12th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held at Westlake Bible Church, 9238 Bee Caves Road on Friday, July 13th at 1:00 p.m.
Donations in the name of Travis Edward Morford may be sent to Austin Recovery at 8402 Cross Park Dr., Austin, TX 78754.
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