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For the Love of Joy; death of a daughter, fall of a father

For the Love of Joy; death of a daughter, fall of a father

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Published by Charlie Griffith
This is th true story of how I became the 1st parent convicted of the mercy killing of their child ; after my 2 year old daughter Joy' was accidently strangled in the footrest of her grandfather's recliner chair & spent nine months in a chronic vegetative state - and my attempts at making amends for that decision through Joy's House; a sober house for girls I opened in her memory & It's all in the Journey; the only magazine written by, for & about the recovery community.
This is th true story of how I became the 1st parent convicted of the mercy killing of their child ; after my 2 year old daughter Joy' was accidently strangled in the footrest of her grandfather's recliner chair & spent nine months in a chronic vegetative state - and my attempts at making amends for that decision through Joy's House; a sober house for girls I opened in her memory & It's all in the Journey; the only magazine written by, for & about the recovery community.

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Published by: Charlie Griffith on Dec 29, 2011
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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09/11/2013

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 Prologue
I wonder sometimes why God has plannedsomething for me. Not if. Not what.Why.I know there is something; He has shown me toomuch to deny it.I don’t know why.I don’t know if I can do whatever it is. I don’tknow if I want to.I get mad/sad/scared.Do you know who I am?What I am?Really?I am an alcoholic and an addict.I drank, swallowed, snorted, shot up, and smokedanything.Because I did not want to face who I am.Do you know who I am?Really?I am a father who,Who,I want to say I am a father who ended his child’slife.That’s not true.Who I am?Really?I am a father who killed his daughter.Ended her existence.
 
And the internal, eternal war goes on as I struggleto try to come to grips with what I did.Still.One side says remember what it was like for her;Blind, deaf and paralyzed, with massive braindamage after being accidently strangled in thefootrest of her grandfather’s recliner chair.Being fed through a tube in in her stomach.Breathing through a tube in her throat.Trapped inside a dead body. Never laughing anymore.Always scared.The other side rises from the prosecutor’s table.Its cross is short.Did Joy feel any pain?Were her last thoughts, ‘Why is Daddy doingthis?’‘Did you do it to end her suffering, or yours,Charles?’This is what I face every day.Sometimes every hour.I know God forgives me; He’s told me I wouldsee Joy again one day.It’s the forgiving myself that I am still fightingfor.
Charles and Becky
One day in 1979 I was sitting in my room, readingthrough The Miami Herald. I lived in my Dad’s houseand had decided to get a new job and move out on my
 
own. I was tired of living under my dad’s rules; Ieven worked for him - and it was not at theneighborhood hardware store. My dad owned andoperated adult theaters and live striptease shows. I ranthe spotlight and projectors.It seemed that everything I did, everywhere I turned;there was my dad. We were always arguing and I wastired of it. I was nineteen years old and ready to makea go of it on my own.As I looked through the classifieds, I quicklyeliminated anything that required technical skills,certification, or education beyond a high schooldiploma. The list of possibilities got considerablysmaller, but I did find one that was interesting; a dogtrainer needed help in the kennels. No experiencenecessary.I’ve loved animals ever since I was a child and mygrandparents had sideshows with a traveling carnival.All the kids loved us in our small town in Michiganwhere we lived during the winter, because instead of cows in our pastures, we kept the elephants there!Later, as I grew up, I had dogs, cats, horses, and eventwo goats, as pets.So I called the number in the ad and spoke with thelady who told me the job was still open and to come by. I got the address, thanked her, and hung up.I didn’t have a car; on my 18
th
birthday, while visitingmy Mom in North Carolina and celebrating my rightto legally drink, I was arrested for DUI and lost mylicense for one year.So I got ready to catch a bus.

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