Sunday, March 6, 2011

The most special boy I never met.

I've met a lot of people in my lifetime - that was basis of my profession for quite awhile. I would spend countless hours pursuing someone, getting to know them, establishing a bond, and developing a relationship. Despite so much time and effort cultivating these connections,  I cannot think of one person (aside from a professional mentor or two) who made any long term impact on my life or influenced my thought process to a great degree. Impacting someones life is a very special ability.

Now...let me tell you about someone who HAS impacted my life and changed the dialogue I have and will have with my children. 

His name is Henry Louis Granju.

Sadly, I have never met him, and never will be able to do so. I only know of him through his brave mother's words on her personal blog.  Henry was a very kind, peaceful, intelligent, organic fellow. We all know that I have a soft spot for a fellow in tiedye with a guitar strapped to his back - but it is very apparent through her words, and years of pictures; He was a very special boy.

He left this world much to early in the spring of 2010, 10 months ago. He suffered from a very vicious drug addiction in his young life; He was only 18 when he died.  By her sharing his struggles publicly, I realized how nonchalant I had been in my general attitude towards drugs and how urgent it was to have an ongoing conversation with my oldest children. My view on addiction changed and I, very importantly, no longer felt my kids (as young as they may be) were exempt from such. I will forever be grateful to their family for sharing their journey.

This is all very tragic, right? A loving mother loses her boy to a drug overdose. That alone tears your heart right out of your chest.  What could be worse?

Oh, my..... it IS worse.

Very, very, worse.

Mama Pundit (Katie Allison Granju) is taking the details of her 18 year old son's death public this week via her blog and some radio interviews. She has patiently waited the previous 10 months for the Knoxville County Sheriff's office to investigate the criminal assault her son suffered prior to his death. Understandably, and respectably, she is staying silent no longer. You can read her detailed narratives here. In addition to them breaking my heart - they leave me appalled at the way this case has been handled. You can also see more about Henry's Story in a professionally produced video here, and you can read (or donate) to the fund they have in his

Every day I read something else that leaves me more appalled than the day prior.  The cold, callous, inept attitude of the Knoxville County Sheriff's Office is frightening. Seriously, you guys - it's terrible the way this has been handled. If you can even say it's been "handled".  I don't personally know this family, but as I read these details - a tightness develops in my chest, and a frantic sense of urgency to see these people held accountable arises. It's impossible to shake.

Please take a few moments and help this mama by reading their story. For my praying gals, please pray very diligently for headway, strength and peace to this family.

It really could be any one of us - any of our children.

Rest in Peace, Henry. Your mama loves you very much, and your life is making a difference in the lives of others. I think of you every time I hear this song..... "....give him 5 minutes, and you could feel the music in his heart..."