A Little Tea or Something. Sigh. I have not posted on this-here neglected blog since I returned from NYC at the end of last summer. And while I have a number of posts floating around inside my head, I am just too consumed these days with ballet: teaching it trumps writing about it. I have also been consumed with parenting a very tricky boy teenager. And while I am guessing he does not believe this, his dad and I love him more than life itself, in spite of the substantial curve balls he has thrown us.
Which brings me to this particular post. I failed my own New Year’s resolution to resurrect my blog. If ever there were a reason to resume posting, though, this is it. Please be advised, readers (if any of you are still out there): this one is not about ballet. But it speaks to parents everywhere I hope, and to all of us who trust that our law enforcement agencies work the way they are supposed to when bad guys commit crimes.
This is a picture of Henry Granju, and his mom, Katie. We—my family—have known them for about twelve or thirteen years, although our paths have crossed very little for the past few years for a number of reasons, not least of which geography, and the fact that our kids no longer attended school together. But for several years we counted the Granjus among our best friends. We enjoyed each other’s company in a number of venues, and our kids shared interests outside of school.
Henry Granju died this past May from a brain injury following a drug overdose and a brutal assault, after 38 days of hospitalization, with a brief period of wakefulness and then a dramatic, horrible decline. It’s our worst nightmare, as parents, isn’t it? That we should have to bury a child? Unthinkable. My own teenager is now the same age as Henry was when he died. On the day of Henry’s death, I kept mentally rewinding images of the two of them joyously playing with toy pistols in carefully orchestrated front yard battles, with Henry’s younger siblings and other neighborhood friends in tow. I thought about the dog that Henry’s family had fostered and later gave us. I replayed images of my own child and Henry’s younger sister at the stables where the two of them took riding lessons, and I remember Katie’s astute observation one frustrating afternoon that my child was emphatically NOT interested in ponies—what he wanted was a Ferrari (truer words were never spoken). I could not accept that this horrific event had come to pass, and even now, in spite of the fact that our two families are no longer close, I often find this an impossibility.
Katie is a mama’s mama, through and through. In fact, her excellent blog, mamapundit, is all about mommying. She is a contributor at Babble, another blog about parenting. She is also a published author and currently works for a prominent media outlet. And she is the proud parent of five beautiful children, the youngest of whom had not quite arrived when Henry died. Yes, you read that right—just try to get your brain around it. New baby came a tad early, but appears to be doing just fine. Thriving, actually. This tiny little miracle is amazing considering the circumstances, and a testament to Katie’s mommying skills, even in the face of crippling adversity. Like losing your firstborn only a few short weeks earlier.
This post is my own feeble attempt to help Katie and her family, in some small way. Katie has requested that all her bloggy friends write a post about Henry. The purpose is not so much to bring awareness to the real and insidious problems we are experiencing on this planet with prescription drug abuse and addiction, but to the inept, callous, unprofessional, and appalling way that local law enforcement agencies have handled—or more appropriately, mishandled—Henry Granju’s case. Katie maintained relative silence about this for some time following Henry’s death, hoping that her low profile would help the people we trust to go after dangerous criminals—criminals who supply children (yep, in my book an 18-year-old is still a child) illegal drugs and exploit them in unimaginable ways to continue to support illegal drug trafficking—actually, say, do it. That is far from what has actually transpired.
Katie is now going public with all the details of Henry’s case, hoping to inspire local law enforcement to step up to the plate and do their jobs. She and Henry’s dad, Chris, are now actively engaged in local television and radio interviews about Henry’s case, and hope to attract the attention of the national media soon. As difficult as it is, please visit Katie’s blog to find out more about this family’s awful story.
Hug your babies (and teenagers, if they’ll let you) extra tight; there are people living right in our own community who seek to harm them. And worse, there are others we have empowered to bring those very bad people to justice, who will turn a blind eye.—Deb