“We were going through so much,” the mother said.
“I was so scared.
I felt helpless.
I was scared.
It was scary, because it’s not something you do everyday.”
In the end, she said, her father’s death was a blessing.
“It gave me a chance to live a normal life and to be a normal person, not to be scared of something so big,” she said.
Her father, Mike, was a retired Air Force officer and Navy veteran.
She was 15 when he died at the age of 70 in January 2016.
“He never really got to see me grow up,” she told NBC News.
She had planned to go to college in Florida when she graduated in 2018, but her mother said she was concerned about her academic standing.
“He would have wanted me to have gone to college, and he would have said I should go to an Ivy League school,” she explained.
She said she felt she “lost my way” during the divorce.
“I was struggling and I was in a lot of pain, and I wanted to be able to go back to my home and go back and have a normal day,” she added.
The couple had a three-year-old daughter, Ava.
She has not been seen since her father died.
“It was really hard,” she recalled.
“My dad was a very caring man.
He loved his family and loved my family.”
The mother said her father did not suffer from mental illness.
“In my opinion, he was just a person who wanted to go on and have an normal life, not a criminal,” she continued.
“You have to do the right thing.
That’s the only thing I know.
It doesn’t mean you should get involved with drugs, but it does mean you need to do something.”
In October, her son, Ethan, was born, and the mother has since started a new chapter in her life, living with her family in a small house on the side of a busy street in Fort Lauderdale.
She is now going through a new phase in her recovery, focusing on being a better mother.
“Being a mom and being a person is really important.
It’s something that I’m very thankful for,” she concluded.