Spread the Love: Dealing with Tragedy
By Contributing Author, Beth Sanborn of Far From Camelot
I knew a young man. He had three older brothers, so lonely, only he was not. His parents were still as much in love with each other as the day they wed over thirty years ago. He was cared for, provided for, and most importantly for a boy, love was showered on him. A love that knew no limits in a house full of boys and one gracious mother.
Life outside this loving home began to seep in when this boy was an early teenager. His eldest brother, in his last year of high school, decided to ditch his college football career for drugs and alcohol. A new world opened to this family. A world they knew nothing of. A world that did not belong in their God fearing home. This world hit them hard and all they knew what to do was shield this boy from the pitfalls of addiction. You see, this boy thought the world of his older brother even while at his lowest depths. Surely something had to be done to keep their baby from heading down the same path.
This boy’s parents herded him in the direction of being a fireman as this is what seemed his highest interest. At age fifteen, he began fire training school at his local fire station after school and on the weekends. This would keep him busy and uninterested in that other world his parents were fighting against at home. Until one day their home was shattered again.
This boy was sexually assaulted by one of his fire trainers. Yes, the man was tried and convicted. He would spend at least ten years in jail. But this boy was no longer a happy and loving child. The care and counseling he received was minimal as his parents were still trudging through the mire of their first born’s addictions. This boy found other ways to numb his pain.
A juvenile conviction of arson would be the start this boy’s new life. Next came the drinking. Because he would not be recovered the next day from his nights of binging, school was no longer a priority. He barely graduated and had no interest in future education. A new crowd of friends introduced him to drugs of all kinds. Nothing too hard, but pills were the easiest way to go for him. By the time his parents realized what was happening, it was too late. He was now another addicted child, draining the kind hearts of his parents, and tormented with pain he could not get rid of.
This boy hid his torments well through the years. He had friends, a few jobs here and there, and also took some classes at the local community college. But he never moved out from under his parents protection. He never strived for a better future. He was too busy partying. He was trying to become that child that was taken away from him by a man he trusted.
If you didn’t know the story of his past, you would think he was a normal boy. In his mid twenties, he still kept his torments to himself. His family knew it was there, but in no fault of their own, believed it was handled. Even his faithful girlfriend tried her best to bring healing to him. Recently a counseling appointment was made for him to attend. The first one in a long time. He had received notice that the man that had been torturing him all these years was about to be released from prison.
But he never made it to that appointment for at age twenty seven, he took his own life.
This boy was my little cousin.
I urge all parents of boys to get involved and stay involved in their lives. Do not let a day go past where you don’t offer them a chance to talk to you and let them get their normal, confused feelings off their minds. Show them they can trust you and turn to you; not drugs and alcohol. Keep loving them with all your might and prove to them that life is ALWAYS worth living for!
About the Author, Beth Sanborn: I am a daughter, wife and stay-at-home mother to a 2 year old little boy. In my 3rd decade, balance and happiness have finally come into my life with a little help from my parents and a lot of help from my faith. I have been writing all my life but new to publishing. My first gig was contributing to a weekly mom’s advice column in a local online paper. I’m finding that blogging and all that the online community entails is where I need to be. Life has changed me but my passions have stayed the same; The South is my conditioning, history is what keeps my attention and Spring Training is what gets me through the winter.
Visit her blog Far From Camelot