Wednesday, March 31, 2010

FACES OF HOPE: EMIG FAMILY

The Story of a Family Who Inspired the Creation of the Purple Ribbon Fund for Children and Camp Butterfly



"On April 26, 2007 our lives changed forever. It was the worst phone call we could ever receive. Eight year old Anthony crying "Nam, I need you now, my dad shot my mom" At that moment it never occurred to us that she was dead. My first thoughts were to get her help, and get to Anthony and Jillian, his 3 year- old sister. That wasn't the case. Our second born daughter was shot and killed by her husband, who then committed suicide, with Anthony watching. What trauma for a child to suffer.

We have suffered so many losses through this tragedy. Our daughter and their mother gone forever. The children can only visit her gravesite. It is a very unpleasant task to take them to the cemetery. We lost the joy and privilege of being their grandparents. We now have to play the role of parents and that changes everything.

It is so hard to put into words the affect this has had on us all as a family. We lost our daughter, Anthony and Jillian lost their mother, and our other two daughters have lost their sister. Although 3 years have passed, the pain remains.

Anthony has said that he would like to get to know other kids who have lost their parents like he did. He feels like he and Jillian are alone in that respect. We were very excited to hear about Camp Butterfly and the opportunity for the kids to meet other kids who have lost their parents to domestic violence.

As grandparents raising these children, it would be great to be able to share our feelings and frustrations with others who truly understand what we are experiencing. Purple Ribbon Council's Camp Butterfly would be that place. Domestic violence is horrific and it affects so many people. The effects of domestic violence homicide are forever.

We didn't think to ask for help, we just thought we had to do it all ourselves and go on with our lives. We are so grateful for the Purple Ribbon Fund for Children and the support this special fund has provided to Anthony and Jillian. This is a blessing to us.”

Glen & Perry Emig

Grandparents of Jillian, age 7
and Anthony, age 10
Bethlehem, PA

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