Branford was my oldest son. He was an adventurous, witty young man. As a kid, he was just full of energy and was a leader in our neighborhood. He would organize kickball games, snow fort construction and trips to the skate park. As he got older, he got into sports. He played football, ran track and was on the high school wrestling team.
In his senior year of high school, he began having manic episodes and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He struggled with his illness for nearly eight years. He would have episodes of deep dark depression. On August 12, 2019, he left our house, drove to the sporting goods store nearby and bought a gun, which he used several hours later to kill himself. I believe that if Ohio had a red flag law, he would still be here. It took about five minutes for him to buy that gun. Our lax gun laws made it so easy.