Sunday, January 23, 2005

Lies I Tell Myself

I tell myself he'll be alright. Millions of children grow up without a father. With a mother who can't maintain a stable long term relationship. Millions of them. They grow up to become sane, productive, even happy adults. They don't get involved with drugs and drug users and abusers. They go to school, they graduate, they go to college. They survive, despite their miserable childhoods. I tell myself that his going to sleep every night wondering where his Dad is and why he doesn't call or write, much less make any attempt to support him, emotionally or financially, won't leave a whole in his heart that may never be repaired. I tell myself that the stability he sees in his grandparents lives and marriages will show him that people do make commitments and stick to them.
But in those cold dark hours just before the dawn, reality slips in and I know deep in my heart the odds are not in his favor. This precious child that I love so much and feel so helpless to help.
When he was born there was never a child so loved and wanted. He was his parents first child, our first grandchild and his Nana's first grandson. He was beautiful and perfect in every sense of the word. There was a new, bright shinning star in the heavens and his name was Zachary. How we all loved that little brown-eyed baby boy. The pride and joy of both families.
What happened and when? I don't know. Who's to blame? I'm sure there's plenty of blame to go around. Everyone failed. We've all failed this child we promised to love and care for, forever. Some more than others.
The guilt weighs me down. Where did I go wrong? How did I fail to instill in my own son the responsiblity that comes with bringing a child into this world. Not once in all his life did his father or myself ever fail him. No, we weren't perfect parents but we were always there. No matter how hard, no matter what the obstacles we never once thought of running away. Well, maybe we thought about it, but never did we walk out that door. His Dad never walked away, he never gave up. He worked long hard hours to support our family. I was a stay at home Mom for many years. Even when I worked I was there at night for my children. We made the sacrifices that parents make. We did the best we knew how to do. How is it that he cannot carry on that family tradition with his own child?
Does he ever for one moment consider the impact his absense has on his son? Does he ever lay awake at night and weep for that little boy who weeps for him? Dear God who is this man I call my son? Will he ever be the father his son deserves? If he isn't, if he doesn't, will Zachary ever be able to be a happy child or adult? Will the damage done to his heart, his spirt and his mind be enough to destroy his future? That's where the lies come in. I tell myself he'll be alright.
Dear God, how I pray I am right.

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