Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Justice for Henry Granju

I haven't yet "gone public" with this blog yet, mostly using at as an escape from the stress of life, but yesterday was one of those days that I really want everyone to know what I'm saying. Will I bite the bullet and share it via facebook? Not sure yet, but I know I have something to say today.

I had an awful day yesterday. Bad day at work, then found out -- once I got there -- that my dance class had been canceled. The one I look forward to every week. GRRRRR! I also went home to a grump toddler who picked last night to wake up with a night terror. Just bad all the way around. Still, none of this was the really bad part. See, I embraced the awfulness of the day and even kissed my little boy in the midst of his screaming. Because he was there. And I am glad.

My friend Katie (well, we've not yet met but I feel like we'll get along famously when that happens) posted something on her blog. She can be found over at Except, unfortunately, she can also be found over at I say unfortunately, not because what she is doing isn't incredible for all the people she's helping. Rather, it is incredibly tragic and awful that she has to put her own time into fighting for justice rather than just grieving the loss of her beloved son. She has gone through what no mother should have to endure and yet some people just seem to want her to hurt even more. And, to use a word that even I despise, it sucks. Or, as my Aunt Mary (God rest her soul) would say, it's putrid. 

Katie shared that Henry's case has been closed by law enforcement after an "extensive investigation." One in which most of the witnesses and even the victim was never interviewed. I'll leave it to you to follow all the detective work she is done to help solve her son's homicide and let you draw your own conlusions. Maybe you'll disagree. I can't see how anyone wouldn't think this case is fodder for an investigate reporting show. It is truly unbelievable.

I know there are some of you that think Henry deserved what he got (Lord knows there are hundreds on newspaper comment sections). I tend to be a libertarian who believes in a more sensible drug policy, but there is so much more to this story. And Katie has been more than willing to share Henry's struggles with addiction and even point out that he took responsibility for his actions. That's not what this is about. It's about criminals who took advantage of someone who was incapacitated and did not get him the help he needed. They should at least get as much time as Casey Anthony was given (that's another story).

I am extremely lucky that I did not end up on the same path as Henry. I come from a long line of addicts -- nicotine and alcohol on my maternal side, hard and prescription drugs on the paternal -- but I was fortunate enough to have a strong will and loved ones who helped protect me from them. In Henry's case, he had that, too, but even his loving family couldn't save him. Addiction is that strong. My heart aches for Katie, knowing that she has to be thinking "what more could I have done."

Katie did her best. Even making the difficult decision to take a "tough love" approach. Nobody can bring Henry back. The most we can do now is honor his memory, what his family has done with Henry's Fund to help others battling addiction, and find justice for him so that other moms don't have to go through what Katie is facing.

And last, but not least, never miss a chance to tell your babies that you love them. I'll be hugging my boy extra tight tonight and thinking of a mama who will never get that chance again. Come on Knox County law enforcement, get it together and provide Justice for Henry Granju.

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