When I was a child, I remember seeing my father, and thinking that he always looked so sad.
It took me years to finally figure out why he looked that way, but eventually I did. I think most of us, though by all means not all of us, don’t necessarily want to acknowledge the ugly truths in our past. It’s especially difficult when we have to face the failings of those for whom we are taught not to find fault. Our parents are somehow above all the things that make people human. It’s only mortality that makes us face the fact that they’re human.
In general, but not always; some of us have to deal with the fact that they’re not only human, but very flawed ones, well before that. I am one such.
I realized my father looked sad because he was always struggling financially, emotionally, and eventually medically. He was fighting an uphill battle against a foe he could not defeat, and would not retreat from for whatever reason(s). He looked sad because he was sad. He was sad that his life had gone the way it did without, at least in his mind, any recourse for him to take.
In August of 2002, my wife and I suffered a traumatic event in our lives that would change it forever. At first, we felt that this was a fresh opportunity, a new chance to do things with our lives that wouldn’t have been possible before. We soon learned, however, that this was not the case. It was a cataclysm of unparalleled proportions in our life together and it left only ruins and wreckage in its wake like a tsunami. While the devastation was initially only financial, it soon spread and left us emotionally and mentally wounded and reeling. It left us physically drained and exhausted, and it would be years before we began to recover.
Before that recovery began, we were treated to horrors in the name of "love" that I can't begin to describe. We were stripped of everything we had materially, and stripped of our dignity. We were accused of being liars, and thieves, of abandoning our children, of seeking a way out of debt into a "new lifestyle." We were accused of not trying to resolve our situation though we suffered devastation and financial hardships trying. We were accosted at every turn, chased and eventually run out of our only "refuge" into the world. Those circumstances left us with nothing and no one to aid us.
Through it all, we tried to have faith. Repeatedly, that faith failed us and left us falling into the chasm that opened beneath us.
We finally felt that, despite the awful losses we’d been dealt, we could endure and that our lives were getting back on track in May of 2004. That never really manifested, though, and we are now once again staring into the face of the same overwhelming forces that nearly destroyed us before. What little support structure we had in years past is gone now, and should we fall, the fall will be much longer, farther and greater than before. We have absolutely no safety net now.
I sit and live my life in fear, and each moment that goes by is spent battling those palpitations of my heart and pulse that shoot burning harpoons of adrenaline coursing through my veins. I sleep fitfully, listlessly, and without rest. I can’t relax and just enjoy myself, because the future continually becomes the present and thence past, with each clock tick bringing doom closer to my doorstep once again. And I hear my son’s voice as he plays, and watch my infant daughter as she sleeps, and wonder for how much longer that will be my privilege. And I become very sad.
I wonder if one day soon, my children will look back on life and say, “My father always looked so sad …”
If you're praying people, pray for us please.