Yesterday was Father's Day. You'd think I'd be remembering all the wonderful men in my life who are or had been the "best of the best" as fathers go. And I was. Yet why did I have my 32 year old nephew, Christopher on my mind. Yes, he's fathered two children, but a father he's not, and in my humble opinion, never will be!
Christopher is incarcerated at the Marienville State Prison in Pennsylvania for the next 10-20 years.
His list of offenses is a mile long, but the most egregious is child endangerment. While under house arrest for parole violations, Chris and his girlfriend got into an argument. She walked out taking their 2 year old daughter, Liza, with her. Unfortunately their 10 month old little girl was left with daddy.
As the story goes, my nephew continued to paint the livingroom leaving Lena to crawl around the floor unsupervised. According to Chris, when he went to use the bathroom, the baby pulled herself up on the rungs of the ladder causing the paint can to come crashing down on her tender skull. He stated that when he reentered the room, he found his daughter limp and unconscious covered in blue paint. At first he believed her to be dead, but after a time he noticed she was breathing and dialed 911.
Of course, the police were involved immediately. They'd followed my nephew's criminal activities
since he was seventeen when high on drugs and alcohol he grabbed an elderly woman's purse, knocked her to the ground and broke her arm. He turned eighteen before trial, making him an adult and eligible for imprisonment in jail for 13 months. After that first offense, Christopher became a regular in county.
Upon further interrogation, my nephew's story changed multiple times until finally the truth was uncovered. When his girlfriend left, Chris called one of this druggie buddies to pick him up to go searching for the "good stuff." Since there was no car seat available, he simply put Lena on his lap and continued to enjoy the ride. While speeding through town, the driver had to make a sudden stop, sending the baby into the dashboard so violently her skull was cracked in three places. No one knows how long it took these two addicts to realize the extent of her injuries, but eventually Chris was dropped off back at the house with his unconscious daughter. He said it took him awhile to call 911; he was afraid of the possible consequences.
Lena was taken to the hospital and since the swelling of her brain was so dramatic, operating on her had to be postponed for two weeks. For two weeks, this 10 month old little girl remained in a coma.
Finally a shunt was permanently placed in her brain so that the constant buildup of fluid could be relieved. The shunt will be there for the rest of her natural life.
That was three years ago. To this very day, if you ask him, Christopher will proudly say he is the father of two beautiful girls. He will tell you that when he gets out of prison he plans to get full custody since his girlfriend is also an addict and unfit to raise his children. He believes he can be the same kind of father my brother Dan was. Of course, by everyone's account, my brother was the "best of the best." Unfortunately his son didn't follow in his father's footsteps. Yes, Christopher fathered two beautiful babies, but a father he's not, and never will be!