In 1996 Joshua Michael Connerton was shot and killed by a deputy sheriff in rural Oregon. The shooting was the final blow of a three-year nightmare that started with Josh's introduction to drugs, continued with his downward spiral into heroin addiction, and ended with his death. In January of 2001, as part of his recovery and healing process, Jeff Connerton was compelled to write about life with his teenage son during Josh's years of addiction and about his own journey from devastation to resurrection after Josh's passing. What began as an open-ended private healing exercise evolved into structured writing sessions, ending in March of 2001 as a 70,000 word memoir, entitled Hi Josh.
The work is in three parts. Part One chronicles the years of Josh's drug use. Parts Two and Three deal with Jeff's recovery and healing after Josh's passing.
The writing sessions provided Jeff with a much-needed format. Part One enabled him to chronologically arrange the mish-mash of horrible memories of witnessing to his son's disappearance into drug addiction. And Jeff was forced to re-examine his role as parent in Josh's demise. Where is the line between over parenting and healthy guidance as your child goes about the business of making choices and growing up? If you don't intercede when your child is in trouble, are you clear about what's at stake or are you in denial? Do you call for help or do you try to will them to change? And what is to be done if they refuse to respond or change their ways?