A Fathers Story
It was 30 years in August that my daughter, Erin, and her children, Brittany and Joey, died at the hands of her husband and their father. I still struggle talking about it. There is much I don’t remember. I was alone when the phone call came and instantly I couldn’t breathe…..multiple gunshot wounds… all three dead and Joe, too. Triple homicide, suicide. My life fell out from under me. On August 28, 1983, the door closed on Erin, Brittany and Joey’s lives.
I questioned myself. If only…. What if… Why didn’t I? Thirty years later, I still question how I could have kept Erin and the children safe. I miss Brittany running up the sidewalk squealing to greet me; I calculate how many candles should be present on birthday cakes; I search for their faces on the playground, and watch blonde-headed boys on the ball field while wondering what position Joey would have played.
I can’t bring my daughter back or demand my grandchildren’s return to physical existence. What I couldn’t do for my own daughter, perhaps I can do for yours. The pain we’ve experienced in our family doesn’t need to be repeated in yours. There weren’t resources for Erin in 1983. Erin needed a safe place to go, the resources to heal, the skills to support her young family, and the confidence to live an “I Can” life.
While a door shut for Erin, I am committed to opening doors for you and your families: opening doors to safe haven; opening doors to education; opening doors to financial independence; opening doors to healthy relationships and opening doors to violence-free futures for this generation and those yet to come.