Saturday, August 4, 2007

Sunday Scribblings: Decision

Something, or someone, had to give. In the end, it was the youngest boy who stepped forward to save the father.

The father was the epitome of an Air Force officer. Strong, hard-working, a disciplinarian, a benevolent ruler of the office and the home. As far as his children were concerned, he was never weak. They saw him as always guarded, as always one to be feared.

The mother’s action of asking for a divorce stunned everyone. No one was more stunned than the father. Everything he knew was now challenged. And he was ill-equipped to deal with the changes.

He enlisted his entire arsenal in his battle to save his marriage, to convince his wife that she was wrong. Late night phone calls, repeated multiple times over multiple nights. Pleadings with the oldest children to convince the mother that she was wrong. Calling in the reserves: his parents, his brother, her mother, her siblings.

The attempted suicide – whether real or staged – shook the two youngest kids to the core. Any attempt to shield them from the onslaught of the battle fell to the wayside. They were sucked into it as well.

One day, the fourth child and the fifth child talked about their fears of what would happen to the father. And the fourth child suggested a solution to save the father: the fifth child, the youngest boy, would volunteer to live with the father. He would leave all he knew to move several states away, to the next military base, and he alone would live with the father.

That decision was made 30 years ago. The youngest boy is in his early 40s now. His life has not been one of great achievement on the face of things. He heads up the bell desk at a resort hotel. He still smokes pot nearly everyday. He’s an underachiever if ever there was one.

But his decision saved a life of the father. His decision brought peace to the rest of us. Thank you, brother, for listening to me. We all thank you.


[What other decisions have been made? Read about them in Sunday Scribblings.]

16 comments:

Herb Urban said...

Wow! What an amazing story of great personal sacrifice. I wonder if he ever has second thoughts about that decision. Thanks for sharing.

paris parfait said...

This is an incredible story of sacrifice. It must be difficult for him, even though he helped the father.

Regina Clare Jane said...

A beautiful story- very touching. What could be more important than to save someone's life?

paisley said...

now that was a momentous decision.. and where your brother is now could very well be the sigh of relief after a job well done....

Sian said...

Brave of you to share something so personal.Brave mum and brother too and I guess one demand of bravery too much for dad. Decisions have long arms don't they.

Liza's Eyeview said...

What a touching post. Yes, that decision is a life saver.

Poppy Fields said...

Your brother's decision was heroic, but ...the but leaves me wordless.

Fledgling Poet said...

Wow...what a selfless person your brother was. But it makes me so sad also. Thanks for your honest, heartfelt post.

Rose Dewy Knickers said...

Every decision has consequences and some are lifelong.
I sense a longing in your post and a what if.

((((hugs)))

Rose

xo

Tammy said...

Very selfless decision and moving story. I hope he finds great happiness.

Bubba's Sis said...

I loved reading this - you have such a gift for writing. Bless you and your family!

Redness said...

Despite his mammoth decision and sacrifice it's pathetic that he is regarded with such disdain! An "underachiever" - how much more is expected of him, why wasn't his decision enough? Isn't he a hero??

gautami tripathy said...

underachiever? We need to re-define that word in this post.

JerseyGirl said...

Wow. I don't think I ever heard this story...I am learning more and more about you! And about your family...his must have been a tough time for everyone, especially your mom.

Terina said...

wow. amazing story.

Remiman said...

patois,
Some decisions are insignificant in the scheme of things, and others are enormus,,,like this one you detail here. The decision to save a life has tremendous ramifications---like the ripples in the pond from a pebble droppng.
rel

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