Death of a Family
Today in beautiful house, on a great street in a good neighborhood in Louisville, KY two families will meet to disassemble their future; all their futures. Their goal is to eradicate a family’s existence from the face of this earth. Its existence will be scattered to the wind. It will be as if it never was.
It is 4 am and as I write I have to wonder if they are sleeping peacefully, gathering their strength for the job ahead, or, are they lying awake the same as I, wondering at their actions? Will they rise with a yawn, to the smell of coffee and bacon frying in the pan, slowly waking to the sun reflecting through the window? Are will they wake in the darkness of the cold dawn with vengeance and destruction on their hearts, with no thought of substance other than the blood lust before their eyes.
Or, are they not sleeping as I don’t sleep? Are they reflecting on the long term effects of their actions yesterday, today and tomorrow? If only I knew for sure what they were thinking at this very moment. It could tell us so much.
I suspect, I know what they are thinking, and I will speculate. Last night they went to bed worn out. The day was very emotional and physical. Destruction is hard work. This morning they will rise and dress with a grim look on their face. Some will sit to eat, others will stand and sip from a coffee cup until one will say, “Well, we might as well get to it,” and get to it they will. There will be heaviness of heart mixed with a little of the bloodlust, looking for revenge on whomever they have decided that brings them to this gruesome task today. They go forth under the banner of love and honor that will forever be drenched in the stench of deceit and selfishness.
Today these invaders meet in the home of a family facing divorce. The victims, the children, are hidden away safely in another location as their home is stripped of its life. The invaders are a motley crew, but all of the important players are present and accounted for. We have the husband, the wife, the mother and father of the wife, the aunt and uncle of the wife and the mother and the sister of the husband. It is not coincidental that all of these people know each other. They have been together numerous times. In fact, they all met the first time 16 years ago as they stood as witnesses to the creation of the family that they now help destroy.
I have to wonder what was their thoughts way back at the beginning of the beginning of this family. Were they for the union and the construction of this new family? Did they see hope and a future for two young lives coming together? Did they live a life that promoted this union? Or, I wonder did they have a different line of thinking. Did they forecast destruction in the future? Did they think it was a futile attempt, this union? If so, I wonder if their doubts have fed into what brings us here today.
Why are they here? If only I could sit them all down, and in a quiet moment ask them that question and listen carefully as they ponder what it is they will say. Could they speak it in a quiet, thoughtful way, or would it come out like vomit staining the world around them.
Sixteen years ago, Julie walked down the isle of a beautiful church. Her dress was the most brilliant white, hanging on her in a way that made the witnesses envious, hopeful and shameful. The women that were older looked at her with envy to a time when they were so young and vibrant. The younger women and girls looked at her as a vision for their future, their future walk. The men both young and old looked at her with some lust as the beautiful women that she is. There were I am sure, hundreds of combinations of thoughts that day, but they all agreed on one thing; it and she were beautiful. It is a good day to live.
John stood at the altar, proud as a peacock dressed in his tuxedo. He was looking better at that moment than he ever had or ever will look again. His face was beaming, his heart was beating, and his hands were sweating as he looked at his future coming slowly towards him like an angel floating on clouds. He was almost faint with the anticipation.
They were all there. John’s family on one side of the isle and Julie’s family on the other side of the isle. Mother, father, siblings and grandparents sitting in the best seats in the front rows. Behind them scattered out through the church was an assortment of lessor family members and friends. All witnesses to one of the greatest event know to humankind; the creation of what we call a family. Oh by the way there were two more people there. In fact is for them that I write this story. Did you know reader that when a female human is born that inside of her womb are all of the eggs that will grow someday into her children. Yes, inside of Julie just waiting for the union with John their father, waiting patiently are Jared and Jonathan. The entire family, the total existence of this unit arrived by a miracle at this altar to begin their beginning. Without this meeting, without this accumulation of events the people we know as Jared and Jonathan would not ever exist.
It can only happen this way you know. Do I mean this dress and this tuxedo? Do I mean this church on this day? No, of course not to all of that. What I mean is that in order for Jared and Jonathan to exist on this earth is for the birth of Julie with eggs in her womb and for the union of Julie and John. Any other combinations, any slightest deviations from this path and we do not have the Jared and Jonathan we have today. It is the same process that brought everyone together for the wedding. Any deviation at all and this wedding does not happen, but it did and it happened for a reason, maybe for a lot of reasons.
A new family brings a lot of things. First it is an extension of families before; it is what we call a new branch of the tree. It is a chance to continue building on all of the good work that was poured into two people by their parents. It is the time to throw out and reject the bad teachings and influences of those families. It is truly a new start and one more new chance to get things right. It is true and most sane people will admit that families are made up of both good and bad, and if they think just a little past that they will realize that means that the people from those families are made up of both good and bad pieces. Bad families don’t just create bad people, and good families don’t just create good people. It is a combination of a lot of things but remember it all starts with a coming together of two people, and what is in them gets passed onto the person that comes out of that union. This is why that union is so important. It is the combination that matters.
When a child is created they are not just born like one parent or the other. It is a beautiful event in our world. The child has a lot of exact parts of the mom and a lot of exact parts of the dad, but it is the combination factor, the joining together part that gives us a new life, a new child. It is the combination factor that is always adjusting by keeping the good, rejecting the bad and creating more for a greater good. It is a system that works and has worked since the beginning. Families are the same.
Families are the adjustment. Family is the combination factor that creates our homes, our neighborhood, our community, our world. The combination factor of a family is the system that is always working for the good. It is a way of constantly moving to a better tomorrow. It is the outward womb, or the outward nurture, the outward protection for that new person that has come into this world and has not only the past but the future in them.
Does the system always work? Of course not, children are unfortunately born with birth defects every day, but with the right combination they will be loved and nurtured. I am not talking about that. I am talking about people themselves, in their own minds deciding that the system or the combination factor is not right. That is what this conversation is all about. People deciding for themselves that things are not good and they do this by ignoring the proof around them. In this case the proof of the good is their health, their wealth and their children.
Which brings us back to today? To this street, to this house to this family. What is happening today is a rejection of all of that system that brings life to this world. Not just life, but good life. These people have decided that this union is not to be. They have decided in their hearts that it was a mistake, and in doing that they have sealed the brokenness of the past into the hearts of a man and a woman. These families that were there at the beginning are saying that they have it right, and the combination factor is no factor at all. Of course they won’t see it that way, of course not, are they would not be here today. It is a strange phenomenon, because what they destruct today, is in fact, their own future.
No they will argue. It was a mistake that this marriage happened, or if not a mistake than just a tragic accident. They will say they are good people, and can make good decisions. And I would ask, is not the proof of the breakdown, proof of the brokenness in two people, is this not proof that at least some of the brokenness came from them. I cannot address this marriage as an accident, because I don’t believe it is possible that such a planned, thought-out event can be an accident.
In fact, this destruction today is no accident. It was in fact birthed out of people that cannot, or will not see the faults within themselves. They cannot or will not see that this family, and these children are the best hope they have. If they could pour into this family in order to keep it whole, and to get it healthy, than their own future has a chance. The combination factor again would seize the day. The combination of people coming together to build and support the good, and to construct a future that not only sustains life, but creates it.
If we end here today with no reconciliation, with no healing, with no re-creation and re construction of this union between John and Julie, than we cast our hopes, dreams and future into the wind. We gamble with lives, hoping to turn up a winner with the same lack of knowledge and common sense a person has when they throw the dice on a felt covered table as a way to decide their future. At best it is foolish, and at worse it is the end.
Will John, Julie, Jared and Jonathan live past today? Yes, with all of my being it is what I hope for. But I have to tell you, they will no longer be the people that they were intended to be. The adults go forth with a solidification of their view that the world is a difficult place, and a beginning of the idea of their mortality mixed with an acceptance of their mistakes. They will begin to travel down the road of thinking there is no hope. In fact, because their parents are still married, John and Julie will now think that they are less than their beginning, and will no longer see in the mirror the person that they thought they knew.
Jared and Jonathan, well, we will have to wait and see who they become. They are changed forever today. Today is the beginning of their lessons, their study on the evil in the world. It is a real lesson; it is a lesson they learned at home. They will be somebody, but be assured they will not be what they were to be. They will forever be crippled in the most important place. They will be crippled in their heart.
If only I could get them to see the future that the destruction today will bring. But who am I to write such a thing as a future for anyone. Me? Who am I? I’m just a fool that has been down the road of self-destruction under the banner of honor and good. I myself unfortunately learned that at the end of that road is no good, no nothing, but sadness and regret.
Good bye to the four “J’s.” After all, it is like a part of you never existed, and the pain you feel, it is what we call phantom pain; a pain for what is no longer there. It is a pain that will sneak up on you, and seem real, but when you look at it you will remember that sometime in the past it was cut off and thrown away. If you’re lucky, real lucky, that pain will fade away also.
It is a good day to die.
Good bye, with love.
P.S. Stop! It doesn’t have to be this way. There is another way.