Wednesday, September 12, 2007


When life is cruel

This is one of those posts where I veer from my usual fiber-related musings. Something happened last night which rocked me to the foundations. One of my daughter's closest friends is a bright, academically motivated 16-year old boy with hopes of attending a Midwestern university, and in the process of coming out as a homosexual. Unfortunately, there were some issues in his home life. His mother virtually abandoned him and his brother. He was living with his dad, with whom he had a good relationship, and his dad's girlfriend and her daughter, with whom he didn't. As is often the case with the type of kids my daughter bonds most closely with, the young man feels more at home at our house than in his own. Someone remarked today that maybe that's why I had only one child of my own--because there are so often other people's kids at my house.

I don't know what to say to that, except that we've been very fortunate to have been together all our child's life, yet it's sad that we're in the minority. I don't have any theories, I'm not going to expound here on the state of the American family in the 21st century. All I know is that last night, this poor kid's life was torn apart in less than an hour. His dad suffered a sudden heart attack and died in the emergency room. No one has been able to reach his mother as far as I know. The girlfriend made an awful scene at the hospital and I knew that wasn't helping him, as he was in shock and what had happened hadn't registered yet. After enough time went by, I took him, my daughter, and another of their friends to Denny's. At least the kids were able to giggle over waffles and milk shakes. Tonight I'm cooking up huge pots of meatballs and pasta, and he's joining us for dinner.

I feel rotten. There is nothing I can do for him except provide comfort food and a place to hang out away from the drama, and pray that his mother will show up and take care of him.

Trust me... when all is said and done, you're doing enough by giving him a way to escape for awhile. You have a loving, stable home, which is exactly what he needs right now. Even if he just visits a little each day, he's gaining more than you know from being there.
That poor kid. You are doing exactly what he needs.
Sharon, I have two words: Thank you.

Thank you for being there for this young man during his time of absolute need. Thank you for raising a daughter who has compassion. Thank you for having one child (which is a blessing indeed) and making room in your life for more.

I believe that we cross paths with others for a purpose, even if we sometimes don't know what that purpose is. This young man has been blessed to cross paths with your family. And I reckon you feel blessed to have him around, too.

"Friends are the family you choose."
It's so painful to watch the unhappiness unfold. You are doing such a kindness to this friend and it's so not easy.
That poor boy. Your compassion and support are just what he needs right now. Bless you.
My heart goes out to that poor kid and to you. Wish I could do more than just send sympathy and prayers.
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