05 December, 2007

Giving Up, At What Price?

Please indulge me these thoughts and rhetorical questions from my soap box today.
I've witnessed this type of situation before. This really effected me today, as it demonstrated what has become a seemingly epidemic condition~

I was down at church this afternoon, speaking with a fellow committee member in the parking lot after a meeting. A handsome young man drove in and parked his car. He didn't get out, but rather sat there in his black Chevrolet with the windows rolled up tight. I recognized him instantly, he was in my daughter's confirmation class seventeen years ago at this same church. I'd known him since he was in the first grade. He gave no sign of recognition in my direction. I was surprised at his behavior, but only for a moment. His wife then appeared in her own car, she's a beautiful woman, as beautiful as he is handsome; by all outward appearances, a picture perfect couple...both of them talented, educated, and professional. She got their children out of her car and placed them in his. They each fastened a respective seat belt and she was off, but not before hurling loud and hurtful words in his direction. Then it was clear to me what was going on. This was their transfer spot, a safe place to trade off the precious dividends of their short marriage. I felt anger and resentment on several levels... that they would choose this place for such a task. How would these children come to think of this place, our church, in years to come? As a drop-off zone? But more than that--these children are so very young; 2 and 4. How did all of this unravel so quickly? Weren't there warning signs? And now here are these two perfectly innocent children, and this is their reality... being shifted from Mom to Dad, from back seat to back seat; in our church parking lot. I wanted to scream at this couple: "Isn't anything worth fighting for anymore? Can't this family be saved? Won't you fix whatever is broken?" But they were gone, it was over; that fast.

Life is Good!
...I honestly believe that...
And there's plenty that's worth hanging in there for,
let's start with the children.

16 comments:

Karen Dianne Lee said...

You've pointed out so many things that are wrong!

Anymore we are taught to quit rather than work at it. When did that really start? Was it the Women Movement of the 60's? Being a daughter of the late 60's I tend to think so. But no controversy ment here. Just my personal thought. No blame towards my mother. She was right for her time being a working woman.

Maybe my generation missed something and it continues with the next. Epidemic.

But what do I know?

Nancy said...

Such a sad vignette, such a sad situation. You're right, though -- it is epidemic. Our little school directory has five and a half pages of cross-referencing index for "families with multiple surnames." I thought that wealth (for private schools are full of very rich people) had something to do with it, but there is more than that. It's something to do with lack of commitment. Terribly sad for these little kids with their little suitcases . . . .

dot said...

i know what you mean. It just seems like this is so normal for this younger generation. I don't get it and I figure all I can do is say a little prayer for the situation and little ones when I see this. We have become such a selfish society.

Shelina said...

It is definitely a sad situation. As I do my genealogy, I have come across several families that have so many halfs and steps, that it is easy to lose sight of all of the relatives.

Since I'm not with my daughter's father, I can just say that it takes two to make things work, and we apparently never both working at the relationship at the same time.

I suppose that using the church as a dropping off point was to remind the parties to be civil to each other. Apparently it didn't work. Or maybe it did, and they were more civil than usual.

Alison-My Little Stitching Corner said...

Hi there I am visiting for the first time and was very moved by your entry. I see where you are coming from but maybe those Children will see the church as a place of safety one day. Maybe one day, when they want to explore faith, it will be the church they choose because they are 'familiar' with it. God can use a bad situation for good.

Pam said...

The sad thing is that they chose to do it all in front of the children. Very selfish people. I think that maybe the main problem is that people have become so self centred and think only of what is in it for them, not of what is best for the community or the world.

atet said...

Sad -- and one of the reasons I stopped working at a profession that meant I dealt with it every day. I don't know what it is -- I don't know where to place the blame. I do know that it's a shame when adults can't act as adults and realize that their problems should NEVER be aired in front of their children. I'm happily married and I try to remember that one myself -- my problems are not my daughter's. And it's my responsibility to make it better. Maybe that's it -- a lack of personal responsibility and a society of folks who enjoy their victimhood so much they aren't willing to ask "so what can I do to make it better?"

meggie said...

A sad modern malady. I sometimes feel it could be worked out, if only pride would take a back seat, & some love & humility stepped in.
Poor little children.

keslyn said...

We have all been through rough patches in life but a marriage is worth fighting for, I couldn't think of any better place to be now that my children are grown up.
It all seems far to easy for young ones to just walk away, without any thought or consideration for the poor children, they are the ones who hirt the most in situations like this.

Carole said...

I've always said that you can pretty much live with anyone, it's a question of what you're willing to put up with. We do not know what happened. At what point do you call it quits for your own sanity and that of the children? However, one should never leave in anger. In this society there is a need for anger to justify one's act, that's the selfish part. Why not leave in love? All of the great teachers left in love and not in anger. Many have this ideal about marriage, how it should be etc.... One problem is the belief that your partner should make you happy. That's quite the responsibility on the other person's shoulders. Each and everyone of us is responsible for our own happiness. Happiness is something that comes from within and not from without. When I look around me in public places (expecially during this time of the year) I see many empty souls. What I find the saddess are the children who are grasping for meaning outside of their self. They are walking around in malls, some causing trouble, looking for attention and a place where they belong. I see what's going on in families via dd's friends. Ah... I'm on my own soap box...

Finn said...

Hi Mr. Goodneedle, such a thought provoking post today. A scenario that would would tend to chill one to the bone...seeming careless and unthinking, and it probably was. A transfer without words would have been better. One more thing that has gone so wrong in todays world.
But we don't know the whole story, we rarely if ever do.
Regarding the church parking lot as a transfer point, I think I approve of that more than some fast food joint with a chance of getting shot or run over. At least it was quiet and safe for the children. And I think as older caregivers(of experience) we want to 'fix' what is going on, happening to the innocent children, but I don't think we can. We can, however, do our best to create and share as much love and security as possible for those we do have access to.
I'm with you *VBS* Life is good...just not always so pretty. Big hugs, Finn

Quiltdivajulie said...

Amen... and yes, there ARE things that are worth fighting for!

As others have pointed out, we see the public view but, as watchers, we cannot know the private side of scenes like this.

As the parent of an adult son with a disability, I am all too well aware that things are not always what them seem.

Still, the breakdown of the family unit lies at the root of SO many of society's serious issues... there are no easy answers, which is perhaps the hardest part of all for us.

gwen said...

We have got the same sad disease over here too. Maybe too many expectations which are not fulfilled straight away. I want something and I want it now! Maybe no capability to compromise anymore. Anyway fortunately I am happily married and when we have a row, we never sleep over it. Discussion always helps.
I hope your DH came home safe. Take care.

Tanya said...

A wonderful post, so sad and so true. I wonder how many bloggers will read it and think twice about what their marriage means and how the children are affected. I wish your parking lot couple would come across your post...

Quilting Journey said...

Eventually, the holy spirit emmanating from this holy place will fill the hearts open to recieve it. It may be him, it may be her, it may be the little ones. Somehow, somewhere the sacredness and spirit will pass on from the connections being made here. You are so filled with the Holy Spirit of this season right now, Mrs. G. and that is so huge in you. Send love to them in your prayers, that's all we truly have to offer to combat the darkness and deep fears that they all are feeling. We all need forgiveness in different ways and we all need to give as well as to for-give.

Lindah said...

Amen!
Celebrating 48 years next week. It wasn't/isn't always easy. Only through the grace of God. And the sure belief that he did not want our home to be broken, but rather a shining, beautiful reflection of his redeeming love.

Merry Christmas everyone!
Linda H