Rick Calhoun still cries everyday.
He has suffered through stress-related health problems and admits sometimes his head is still spinning.
However, the Linden resident has done his best to move forward two years after his 4-year-old grandson Dominick Calhoun was beaten and tortured to death in April 2010 inside an Argentine Township apartment.
“I still talk to him everyday,” Calhoun said. “Every time a good thing happens to me, I know he’s the one that is watching us.”
After Dominick’s mother Corrine Baker and her ex-boyfriend Brandon Hayes, formerly of Tyrone Township, were convicted and sentenced for the murder of Dominick, Calhoun said he and his family have been able to take a step forward.
“It was an emotional rollercoaster. We were devastated,” Calhoun said. “I feel better now. When the case ended, it was a huge release of stress and tension. You are walking around on eggshells anticipating everything. Now that weight is lifted off."
The family helped put on an Easter egg hunt Saturday in Flint that included 15,000 Easter eggs and 1,000 children. The Calhoun family helped to organize the Run the Course for Dominick Calhoun set to take place at 7:30 a.m. April 21 at Kensington Metropark in Milford. Calhoun is also set to be named the Crime Victim Advocate of the Year.
Calhoun said he has again been able to focus on his contracting business and working with his son, and Dominick’s father, Eric Calhoun.
“It was emotionally draining,” Eric said of the court case. “It was very stressful.”
Rick said the family is planning to have some private time alone this summer, perhaps taking a frequent trips up north. He said the family has made a commitment to having fun and enjoying themselves.
“We are coming back as family,” Rick Calhoun said. “We will keep Dominick in our hearts. We need to lay back and have some togetherness alone. Everything is out there and we need some private time.”
Rick said the efforts of child abuse awareness and prevention will not stop. There will still be plenty of lobbying to pass Dominick’s Law and events to honor Dominick. He said there are plenty of supporters across the country that can carry torch as his family heals.
“That’s what has kept us going. People have continued to support us and give us kind words and rally. There are a lot of great people out there,” Rick said. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished to make sure things change.”
Rick said the incident has changed his life forever and that he will always fight child abuse.
“When you are watching TV and hear about a child being murdered or hurt, you sit there and think ‘oh my Lord, that’s so terrible.’ But then the sports come on and you won't think of it again. That’s the way I was. My whole family was. Now it hit us.
“Now instead of going back to sports we are going out and making difference.”