Amber Renee Delage, 29, died on August 1, 2016. Born on July 2, 1987, she grew up in Endwell and graduated from Maine-Endwell High School. She lived briefly in the Carolinas but missed her family and home.
Amber had the most unique, all-embracing smile. She was a joyful child, smart, stubborn, and thoughtful. Her heroin use was unexpected; her death more so. When she last (used?) on July 29th, she thought she was smart enough to beat the odds. Every time before, she had pulled it off.
So what went wrong? Bad luck, said the sympathetic nurse. I don’t know, said her addicted friends, it was just like any other time. It’s the friend’s fault, the parents’ fault, the siblings’ fault. Everyone has an explanation, someone to blame.
But we’re all to blame. We ask for a way to avoid pain, worry, and hopelessness. We ask for a way to get through the heartache of losing someone like Amber without crying or showing “weakness.” We blame the environment, the economy,. We think, “I just have to get out of this town.”
If you read this, know that pain and joy are part of life. One is no more avoidable than the other is. If you know Amber, and you watched over her end, you saw them both.
But don’t think you are too smart, stubborn, unaddicted, strong.
She is survived by her children, Jackson Layton and Ryan Tanzini; her partner Dan Tanzini of Endicott; her parents, Cathy Kelly of Endwell and Andre Delage of Apalachin; her sister Amanda Delage of Endwell her brother Joe March and partner Melissa King of Maine; brother Jeff March of Vero Beach, Florida; sister Harley Elliott of Loveland, Ohio; step-sisters Kristina and Morgan Vail: nieces and nephews Madison, who will miss her Aunt BooBoo so very much; Noah, Riley, Tori, Ava, Alivia, Emalee, Bentlee, and Arabella. Also surviving are her stepfather, Jeff March of Winterhaven, Florida, and grandmother Florine Kelly of Endwell. She was loved by a large extended family and many friends, particularly Matt Layton of Johnson City, and far too many close friends to name. Their constant presence in Amber’s life, and during her last days, was a comfort to her family .
The family will receive visitors from 3 pm to 4 pm at Christian Life Church, 500 North Nanticoke Ave, Endicott, on Friday, August 5, 2016, followed by a memorial service.
In lieu of flowers, if you’re still using, please get help. Try again. And again. We need you. If you love someone addicted, reach out for help for yourself. Donations to Amber’s children would be appreciated; please send to Horizons Credit Union, 519 Hooper Road, Endwell, NY, 13760. (607) 724-5876.