Charile G. Story – Pt.8

Charlie G. Story

It was a media circus. I was on tv and in every major newspaper around the world. It was on every channel. I was being called the first mercy killer by a father of his child. Whenever I saw, or heard the words ‘killed his daughter’, it cut me deeply. Not sliced me, that’s too easy a description, but cut me, tore at me inside. Like a punch to your stomach, only deeper. It was horrible.

I was in Time magazine. Even The Enquirer and The Weekly World News. I know this because I would get bundles of mail from everywhere. Europe, Canada, even Japan. I read them and they were either hate mail or people praying for me. I actually read through the hate mail. Anything starting with ‘God forgives you’ or ‘I’m praying for you’, I threw away. There was no God. How could there be?

My trial lasted a month. I was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years. I remember Judge Cowart asking me if I had any last words before he passed sentence. I was crying as I asked him, begged him, to let me say good bye to Joy before I was sent to prison. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to visit her again.

He explained he didn’t know if the Dept of Corrections would pay for it. Then, a Sgt., the guard who was in charge of the detail that brought me to the courtroom and took me back to my cell each day for the last 6 months, said that he and fellow officers would do it. This was the same officer that had taken me to the funeral home to see Joy, and to her funeral. He said that they would do it on their own time! I wish I could remember his name. I’ve tried, it’s just not there. He was a red headed Sgt. at the Dade County Jail and his picture was in the Herald taking me back to jail from the funeral home. If you should ever read this, “Thank You. I’ve never forgotten you. You gave me my last moments with my daughter for over a decade.”

I said good bye to Joy on Christmas Eve. I prayed beside her grave in handcuffs. It was surreal.

I’m at my daughter’s grave.

I’m at Joy’s GRAVE.

In handcuffs.

Convicted of killing her.

It was surreal.

Charlie G. Story – Pt.7

Charlie G Story

The next day (I think), a guard came and brought me my clothes and told me to get dressed, as he stood there and watched. I was brought to a courthouse, for a bail hearing. All I could do was ask ‘Please let me go and see my daughter, please, please, please. And the judge did! Judge Cowart (I will always remember that man) let me go to the funeral home to see Joy, to her funeral, and after I was convicted he had me taken to the cemetery so I could say good bye to her.

I wrote the following poem for Joy and put it in her casket at her funeral:

We were so lucky God gave you to us,

You gave us your love, you gave us your trust.

With your golden blonde hair and eyes shining bright,

God made you so beautiful, so perfect, so right.

Now you are gone and I’m so full of grief,

Only 3 years old, your time here so brief.

But now you can see, you can laugh and can play,

And I promise you honey, I’ll be with you some day.

What love is, Joy was.

A day or two later after I had met with a shrink and started on I don’t know what kind of meds (What I was given, I took gratefully), I was given my clothes, taken to an elevator, and transferred up stairs to a ‘high profile’ cell block. When I was taken to the funeral home and to her funeral, upon return I was always put back in that strip cell downstairs for a day or two, leaving me naked and shivering on that narrow bench, not understanding how the world had tilted so badly.

I went on trial six months later.

Charlie G. Story – Pt.6

Charlie G Story

So many questions. All I wanted to do was sleep. I was so tired. I didn’t want to think about what had happened.
They left me alone in an interrogation room and I climbed onto the desk and fell asleep.

I was awakened I don’t know how much later and told I was being taken to the Dade County Jail where I was going to be booked for 1st degree murder. As we left the police station or when we were entering the jail ( These memories are like leaves falling off a tree, so many, yet so random. It’s hard to put them in order), all of a sudden there were lights turned on everywhere and flashbulbs started to go off. I didn’t understand. I had no idea who I was, where I was. or what was happening. I was lost. I think I was in shock.

I was brought into the jail and placed in a strip cell where my shoes and all my clothes were removed. It was so cold.

I remember the cold.

I wrapped myself in toilet paper. From my ankles up to my chest. It was so cold. People kept walking by and looking at me as I lay on a narrow wooden bench meant to be sat on, shivering. Guards, inmates, and people in regular clothes. Some said kind things (I don’t remember what – just the tone), some said nothing.

But I remember one – this memory isn’t like a strobe light – it’s embedded in my soul. He came up to the bars and said “You killed your child. You’se a child killer.” and walked away

THAT set off the train

The train is what I call THOSE thoughts. Those thoughts that can only come from hell itself, because I know of no worse torture. “Were her last thoughts why did Daddy do this?” And “Did you do it to end her suffering, or yours, Charles?” They flew around my head, like a child’s train on a small oval track. Over and over again.

It doesn’t pull into the station as much anymore, but when it does.

That night, sitting in that strip cell, all illusions were gone. I had killed my baby. My beautiful little girl. To end her suffering? Yes. To end mine? I’m so afraid of that answer I can’t face it, even today. That night was long and painful and lonely and so cold.

‘Joy was at peace.’ ‘Joy was at peace.’ ‘Joy was at peace.’ I told myself that over and over and over throughout the night.

Recovery Music at Rally for Recovery in Miami

Richie Supa Recovery Music

There was plenty of recovery music at the Rally for Recovery in Miami, as part of National Recovery Month. Saturday 12, 2009 marked the first annual Intherooms.com South Florida Rally for Recovery.

The event featured a 5-mile walk for the sake of raising money for charitable recovery scholarships, as well as tons of great food, guest speakers covering a slew of recovery topics, family activities, and really great musical performances.

Although many recovery music acts performed at the Rally for Recovery, and all were excellent, the show’s highlight performances featured Richie Supa (former Aerosmith member) and Eric Burdon and the Animals.

Richie really rocked the house. He played all his best stuff, including Pink. Supa also played his In the Rooms Song, which was recognized by the prism awards for outstanding Recovery Music. The set had some amazing acoustic moments, the crowd was totally into it, and Richie’s voice was as good as ever.

As for Eric Burdon and the Animals, they were awesome. They also played all there best hits for the Rally for Recovery crowd and showed their support for recovery music and the recovery community as a whole.

Charlie G. Story – Pt.5

Charlie G

We spend all of our lives on a ledge. As life thrusts things at us, sometimes we’re pushed off.

I got the bottle of valium the mental health center had prescribed me and poured them out onto the kitchen table. Then I started crushing them. When I was finished, I put the bottle of valium, and a gun, into my jacket pocket.

It was raining as I got on my motorcycle. The rain mixed with my tears as I drove.

When I got to the pediatric intensive care unit, I sat with Joy, holding her and singing softly to her for 2 hours, and then I opened her feeding tube, poured the bottle of crushed valium into it, and recapped the tube. I walked up to the first nurse I saw, I pulled out my gun and I told her ‘You are going to help me end Joy’s suffering or I will kill you.

And at that moment I would have.

She went and stood with me at Joy’s bedside as I waited for my daughter to die. I asked her if there was a God. She told me she didn’t know. I told the nurse to go and call the police.

As she walked away I told my little girl, “I love you so much. It won’t hurt any more, it’s over.”

I killed my daughter.

I remember it.

I remember a guy running over with a crash cart and I was up. “Don’t touch her, leave her alone! Your not going to cut on her anymore. LEAVE HER ALONE!” I screamed. I might have been crazy. I was hysterical.

A nurse, The nurse from Joy’s bed? was there and told him to leave us alone.

I remember it, the way he looked at her.

She told him “There are other children here, leave them alone.’ And he did.

A security guard came running up. I knew him, I’d have coffee and talked with him through many nights. He put his arms out and I fell into them. My legs gave out again, and we both started crying. A policeman came and I was put in a police car.

I’m at the homicide office. I remember all this in flashes. Like a strobe light going off in my mind.

I wish I could turn it off.

Charlie G. Story – Pt. 4

Charlie G

When I was at home and saw children playing or a toy commercial on t.v. I would start crying. It hurt so bad. I finally went to the Miami Beach community mental health center, told them what I was going through and that I thought I was going crazy. The doctor told me it was a terrible situation and gave me a prescription for valium.

When Joy had been in the hospital almost 9 months I got a call at home (Becky and I had separate visiting hours at this point) telling me that Joy’s shoulder had been broken. A nurse turned her too hard, or too quickly (she had to be turned every hour or so to prevent bedsores – but she was so stiff from her body fighting the erratic signals from her brain stem that turning her was sometimes unwieldy). I thanked the person, hung up, and sat there.

I thought of Joy going through the night in pain, screaming that it hurt, but only in her head, as she was turned off and on that broken shoulder for an hour at a time.

I sat there.

Thinking of Joy laying like that for 30 or 40 yrs. Never seeing. Never moving. Never laughing.

Thinking of Joy struggling to breathe as she was suctioned.

Thinking of unseen hands suddenly turning her without warning, scaring her because she couldn’t see or hear them coming.

And I thought of her lying alone in a large, empty room. Alone and afraid.

Charlie G. Story – Pt. 3

Charlie G

It didn’t help.

Then, CAT scans showed that the parts of Joy’s brain that had died from lack of oxygen were turning to liquid and being absorbed by her body. Her brain was shrinking.

To watch your child go through this and know there is NOTHING you can do –
Imagine your worst nightmare – then wishing it were only that.
It is indescribable. Words can’t touch the pain.

After 6 months Joy started having seizures. She would be laying in bed and suddenly her arms and her legs (which had removable casts on them to try to prevent drop foot, and were extremely heavy), would shoot out to the sides shaking, hitting the steel railings. I lined her hospital bed with stuffed toys so she wouldn’t hurt herself. Then I went to her doctors and agreed to sign the no-code.

But Joy’s mom refused. A nurse told me she heard her say that she was suing the recliner chair company (we both had law suits with different lawyers) and her attorney had told her that the chair company would have to pay for 30 – 40 years of medical care after a settlement or trial. Since Joy was in a vegetative state she didn’t think she was suffering and she was going to wait till the lawsuit was settled to make a decision.
This was in 1985 and without both parents signature there was nothing I could do (this was before you could go to court and get an order to discontinue life support).

The horror continued.

Joy started getting pneumonia. Her lungs had to be suctioned to clear them of mucus because she couldn’t cough or sneeze. This involved inserting a tiny tube that was attached to a vacuum. You continuously twirled it between your fingers while it was in her lungs so it wouldn’t stick to the lung’s lining. The problem was Joy couldn’t breathe while this was happening. So I would hold my breath as she was being suctioned and when it became uncomfortable for me I would tell (scream) at the respiratory therapist to bag her, give her air. They would reply, “She doesn’t understand, she doesn’t feel anything.”

I started suctioning her after that.

Today Marks First Day of National Recovery Month

Intherooms.com Rally for Recovery

Today, September 1, kicks off the month-long series of awareness and prevention events that mark the 2009 National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month. All month long, various charity walks, open air concert, guest speakers, and festivities will celebrate the value of recovery and rally to spread the message that help is available today for those who suffer from the illness of addiction.

One such rally is the “South Florida Rally for Recovery,” which takes place September 12, 2009, in Downtown Miami, Fl. The rally is a day-long event, sponsored by the recovery social-networking site: intherooms.com, and includes food, charity, sharing, and most of all, the spirit of addiction recovery.

Right now, the South Florida Rally for Recovery is asking for the help of the recovery community to support the event. The idea is to raise money for recovery scholarships that would equal the distance of the charity walk, 5 miles, if quarters were laid down end to end to complete the route.

The event envisions thousands making the cause possible and asks that people in recovery, along with their friends and family members, spread the word about the event. Currently, the charitable walk asks for a donation of $9.00 to participate, which includes entrance to the day long scheduled festivities and speakers, and also includes entrance to the evening concert featuring Eric Burdon and the Animals (House of the Rising Sun).

Regardless of whether you can make the event or not, the South Florida Rally for Recovery encourages people that want to take part of National Recovery Month to donate anything they possibly can, be it a penny or a million dollars; every little bit helps fund the recovery scholarships awarded as part of National Recovery Month, which provide addicts the life-changing treatment they require.

Holistic Health Magazine.com Hosts Daily Recovery PodCast

HolisticHealthMagazine.com

Every day, Holistic Health Magazine.com’s John Hollis hosts the two-hour “Holistic Lifestyles Radio Show.” The show covers a slew of topics but regularly highlights addiction recovery.

Just yesterday, August 20, 2009, the radio show had guests Ron Tannenbaum and Ken Pomerance, who are the founders of one of the biggest social-networking websites for people in recovery called IntheRooms.com.

One of the things mentioned, to give an example, was how much the tone and discussion about recovery has changed in the last 25 years since Ron and Ken began the process.

They mentioned how people in those days were very discreet, and how many people thought of addicts as people who lived under bridges in the “BAD” part of town.

They went on to say how much the general attitude has changed, and how the internet has made it much easier for people to have sincere conversations about their addiction comfortably.

They summed it up by saying that the face of addiction is much more realistic and open now. The addict is no longer seen as the guy under the bridge, but rather, as everyday people from a neighbor, to a family member, a co-worker, or a best friend.

The show went on to discuss how social-networking sites specifically geared towards people in recovery, such as intherooms.com, has brought people together across fellowship lines (AA, NA, GA, OA, MA, etc) and given them a place where they can get together between fellowship meetings and discuss their worries, fears, insecurities, accomplishments, health, feelings, mental state, etc.

For anyone interested in hearing more about Holistic Health Magazine.com’s “Holistic Lifestyles Radio Show,” check out the following link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/HolisticHealthTalk

The radio show’s daily schedule is as follows: Monday – Friday (2 p.m. to 3 p.m.);
Saturday (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.); and Sunday (9 p.m. to 11 p.m.).

Holistic Health Magazine was founded 25 years ago by Keith McManus, Founder and CEO. Originally the magazine could only be found in print, and its circulation was limited to South Florida.

In the years since, Holistic Health Magazine is still going strong, in-print, with national circulation to more than 182 book sellers but has also expanded to an online version, HolisticHealthMagazine.com, which has received much success since its inception.

The Magazine’s philosophy can be summed up perfectly by the words of its founder Keith McManus who said:

“There is nothing that matters more to me than making a positive difference to uplift the lives of others in any way possible…Holistic Health Practices…lead me to spearhead a magazine…that connects incredible people from all over the globe…making a true difference in people’s lives…”

Ed Hardy to Design & Donate T-shirts for Intherooms.com Rally for Recovery

Ed Hardy Intherooms.com

To raise funds for the 2009 South Florida Rally for Recovery, world famous tattoo artist and clothes designer, Ed Hardy, has committed to creating and donating custom T-shirts to InTheRooms.com. Hardy is best known, as of late, for adapting a Japanese-style, tattoo art that he often incorporates into his T-shirt designs.

Although there are few details currently about what the t-shirts will look like, or how much they will sell for, Intherooms has confirmed the donation/fund raising project.

For those unfamiliar with Intherooms.com, it is a social networking site specifically designed to help connect people in the recovery community world-wide. Currently, intherooms has more than 40K members with a combined recovery time of 120,000+ years. Additionally, Intherooms.com is the official host of the 2009 South Florida Rally for Recovery, which takes place Sep. 12th in Miami, FL.

For more information on the event, please click the following link, 2009 Rally for Recovery.