To our Friends and Family,
It is hard to believe that it has only been a week since we received the phone call that is every parent’s nightmare. I want to thank Mike Ernst for dropping what he was doing to bring our family to the mainland in his fishing boat because it was too foggy to fly and the next boat wasn’t leaving soon enough. I also want to thank Chief Vin Carlone for making arrangements for Haley and I to be taken to Kent Hospital by the State Police (a really funny story for another time). The care and compassion at Kent Hospital was amazing, from the doctors, nurses, clergy, and other support staff, to the cleaning lady and even other patients’ families. The world is full of caring people but they are seldom mentioned on the news or in the papers. There really are no words that we can find to express our deepest gratitude… thank you! I also want to thank everyone who has reached out to members of our family to express their condolences, sympathies and shock over Kelsey’s death. Most of all, I want to thank my parents and brothers. I have no words that can express how much it meant to me for them to be there till the end.
I am not going to shy away from the fact that Kelsey died as a result of a drug overdose. She decided to try heroin for the first time and didn’t live to do it again because the heroin was laced with Fentanyl. She was young, and, like all young people, didn’t think it would ever happen to her. I am here to tell you that, in this day and age, buying and using any drugs off the street is like playing a game of Russian roulette with a fully loaded gun.
Aside from Lyme and other health issues, Kelsey also suffered from severe anxiety and depression. As a result, her life was difficult because we never found a treatment that worked. Even so, she had been taking strides to move forward. She was working with the National Alliance on Mental Illness to start speaking to nursing students at Butler about her experiences as a patient, to help them gain some insight from a patient’s perspective. She and I had talked about her coming to the island to talk to the high school about mental health issues. She wanted to let them know that mental illness isn’t something to “keep quiet” or “be ashamed of.” Because of this, we would ask that in lieu of flowers, people consider donating to Block Island’s chapter of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Donations can be made on the NAMI website for Block Island, blockislandmentalhealth.org. Donations can also be mailed to: NAMI Block Island, PO Box 1719, Block Island, R.I. 02807
I posted a thank you to my uncle, on Facebook, not realizing that what I was posting was more public than I thought. But, in rereading it, I realize that it expresses what I would like to tell you.
“Thank you. Our hearts are broken but we are pulling together as a family to support each other. That is the bright spot in this whole nightmare. We’ve been given an opportunity to become better people, to recognize that life is short and how you feel when someone dies is directly related to how you treated them in life. In my heart, I know that Kelsey knew that I loved her (and her sister and brother) because I told her so at the end of nearly every phone conversation I had with her and every time she left the house. I knew she loved me. So, even though I didn’t see her every day, I am not feeling guilt over words I should have said or things I should have done. When Bob and I left the hospital, I told him that this was the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. Our old life is gone. This is our opportunity to look at how we lived our lives before and reflect on what we can do to make our future even better. It isn’t an end, but a new beginning.”
In closing, hug your child, sister, brother, husband, wife, parent, or anyone you love and don’t be afraid to tell them you love them.
With love and sincere thanks,
Amelia, Bob, Travis, Haley (and Kelsey) Gallant
The great state of R.I.
To the Editor:
A few weeks ago, I had a letter published in The Block Island Times. It said I was doing a state report on Rhode Island and asked you to send me some information.
Your response was overwhelming. I have tried my best to send a personal thank you to everyone, but if you sent something and have not received a personal letter, please know how much I appreciate the time, thought, effort, and money that you took to help me with my project. I learned so much, and will never forget the experience.
On May 18 we had our big State Fair where we get to display the information and items we received. The people of the great state of Rhode Island were well represented. Thank you again.
Mrs. Hughey’s Class
Charlotte Latin School
To the Editor:
On behalf of the New Shoreham Harbors Department, I would like to thank Interstate Navigation for recently assisting us in bringing new pilings into Old Harbor. These pilings are used to replace older, damaged ones. This process is vital to the safety of the Harbor.
The ongoing cooperation between Interstate Navigation and the Harbors Department is both helpful and very much appreciated.
Stephen C. Land