Heroes Then & Now

**Warning: Some graphic details**

My Casey is a double handful. He burns energy and daylight like there is no end in sight. Rarely still for more than a few minutes at a time, there are some questions that do give him pause and really rock my world all over again.

Before his mother and brother were so brutally murdered, he was already asking questions as to why his birth mother didn’t want him. And to then be at the house while his adoptive mother fought for their lives…

It is a true horror story.

And I have no answers to help him.

Casey has not said much to any therapists we have seen. He is, however, talking to my wife, Becki. Just this past Saturday he offered a new tidbit of information unknown to me before.

When Paul Buckman burst into our home that day, he forced Casey and Karen at gun point to bring Cole out of his room in his wheelchair. I have wondered at times if he really intended to murder them or if maybe he was just taking Cole outside to try and get him to change his story.

But, according to Casey, he was screaming the whole time that he couldn’t go to jail for a hundred years so he had to kill them.

And Karen? She was a hero. She fought like a banshee–she wrestled his hatchet away from him and worked on his head with it. I am told before he took the ultimate coward’s way out, he was a bloody, bloody mess.

And Cole? According to Casey he got in one good punch that bloodied Paul Buckman’s nose.

As much as I hate the violence they endured, I am so glad Cole got in at least one good lick. I hope it rang Paul Buckman’s bell.

I fully believe Karen could have escaped with Casey. But there was no way she would leave her son to face his fate alone. We have no way of being certain, but we are fairly sure she lived to see Cole murdered before succumbing to the same fate.

The horror they endured played like a never ending loop through my head for months–over and over again.

I am still stricken with grief when I stop and consider how much little Casey saw, how much he remembers, and how much of this horror invades his conscious thoughts and nighttime dreams.

Thankfully, Karen is not the only hero in Casey’s life.

For those of you who do not know my Becki, you are missing out on an amazing, sweet, and beautiful person. She doesn’t want any accolades. She is not looking for any credit. But she is an astounding hero nonetheless.

No, she hasn’t faced any intruders comIng in to her home with hatchet and gun. She has not fought tooth and nail against flesh and blood bad guys.

Instead she has selflessly embraced a broken wounded man.
She has invited into her home and heart two children who have experienced the worst this world can throw at them.
She has no idea what future heartache or drama will leak out from all the old and horrific pain and accepts that risk
She has chosen to love fully.
She has determined to heal completely.
She assigns value to those who sometime fail to see value in themselves.
She makes me a better man than I am.

I don’t know if I could walk in her shoes…

But I’m so glad she does.

As far as Paul Buckman is concerned, he was a coward. To this day we have never heard from any of his family. Lawyers tell us us he had a sizable pension from BP, but we cannot go after it in any way. Not that I want to live on his money, but it makes me sick thinking that others are profiting from his death.

But any way you look at it, neither he nor his supporters are worth the time or energy needed to hate them…

20 thoughts on “Heroes Then & Now

  1. I love you and I was so hoping for a story about the most heroic woman I ever knew! 🙂 It brings tears to my heart to read the details you share…but it makes that same heart swell with pride thinking of how hard that petite amazing woman fought that day. And I know without a doubt she would have fought just as hard for her “Baby Grantman” had anything ever threatened to harm him while in her care. I’m so happy for you, Conner & Casey that you have a loving, caring female who loves you where you are on this road! Love you more than you know!!! 🙂

  2. So very thank-ful that Becki is able to “stand in”that empty place for Casey. He has such wonderful examples of strong loving women,in her&Karen. Prayers,Vicki:)

  3. I know I expressed this aloud, but one day Casey will understand he had two mothers who cared enough to fight for his life and safety. The birth mother who knew she could not offer the best life for him and the mother who knew his escape was his chance at life are both heroes. His experiences that day are mind-blowing to me. Thank God for you, Becki and the therapists who are helping him express his emotions and share his memories. And, guess what, you are a hero to him, too. He knows his feelings are important and not taken lightly.

  4. Les, you don’t know me personally. I know Kyle and through others have heard about you and their love for you and your family. I’ve been reading you blog. I am so heartbroken for you and your family and what you have gone through. Not only the tragedy that tore your family, but also the tragic words of so many who are followers of Jesus. Thank you for writing and sharing your journey with us.

  5. Thank you, brother, for what you are writing here. I know I’ve said it before on FB, but your writing is challenging and encouraging. I was at their funerals, and when I saw you, it made me think, “How would I ever make it through something like that?” Your writing has shown me that it is possible. And it encourages me to break the mold of typical “comforters”, to stop trying to have all the right answers, actually to just stop talking, and instead just listen.

  6. Beautiful words for Karen and Becki. As a preacher-turned-funeral director, I look at your blog every day. It’s hard reading, but you have no idea how much your story gives me insights for helping the families I work with on a weekly basis.

  7. Les, I look forward to your insightful blogs to keep tabs on your/your family’s progress and healing. You all continue to be in our heartfelt prayers. I was heartsick to learn of the additional issues you had to endure besides the murders of precious Karen and Cole, i.e., highly insensitive comments/judgments, insurance issues, etc., etc., etc. You mentioned Casey hasn’t said much to any of the therapists he has seen. I used to work at a child and adolescent psychiatric hospital in the 80’s. One delightful psychiatrist was particularly effective and highly sought after because of the rare play therapy techniques he employed. Thought you might want to consider seeking a therapist for Casey who specializes in this type of treatment modality. The below website will shed some light re it:

    ~Carol (and Bill)

  8. Karen has always been my hero. And, now, Becki is my soul sister! Tell her I can’t wait for the day that I can hug her neck. You are helping me in unspeakable ways. Keep writing…

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