I appreciate my wife allowing me access to her blog to post a thought that I hold dear. I would like to share a story.
In March 2000 our dojo was running very successfully and we had many great kids in our school. Among them were a brother/sister pair that had been taking karate for 4 1/2 years. The young boy Vince was 9 and his sister Julia had just turned 8. Yes, she was such a wonder she was able to perform Nai Hanchi katas before she was 4 years old. Julia was the once in a lifetime protege, the only student that I have had that learned kata by watching them. Vince was the intelligent, quiet type. He didn't have the technique of his sister but he was gifted in the understanding of what was done. I was very close to them as I had literally watched them grow up. It was like family.
We had spent every night for a week preparing for a tournament that Sunday. The mother and father were going through tough times. She had a PFA against the father for threatening to kill the children and make her watch. There was a hearing on Thursday and the father showed up for court with the most expensive defense lawyer in town to show what a horrible mother was there keeping this father from his children. The judge dismissed the PFA and sent the kids home with unsupervised visitation. Saturday night he kept having the kids call the mom pleading with her to get back together with the dad. She held her ground. That night he killed them both in their sleep. It wasn't a fast death but a slow one. When he was sure they were gone he took his own life.
March 19 2000 Vince and Julia Marasco didn't show up for the tournament. They were dead. Dead because there is no law that says if you threaten to kill your children you should have therapy before unsupervised visitation. The judge says she is sorry - it was a mistake.
This single event was the most painful thing I ever imagined...the funeral of two children.
Tonight, kiss your kids, tell them you love them. And pause for a moment to think about all the children that die at the hands of relatives.
Just one simple law would have given the father a chance to mellow out and not had a chance to go unchecked. No unsupervised visitation within 90 days of a decision on a PFA.