There are No Guarantees

I was doing a random blog search the other day when I came across this mother’s story.  It is one of heartache and loss as she tells about her son, also named Henry, who died at 18 of a drug overdose and injuries he suffered from a related attack.  I was compelled to read her words and to watch the video that a local news crew had made about her son.  As I watched, I mentally patted myself on the back for the clean lifestyle the CPA and I live, how we don’t drink, we don’t smoke, we go to church, etc. etc. etc.  I found myself thinking, “surely that will never happen to us or to our Henry because we don’t do things like that.”  At least that’s what I want to believe.

I wasn’t trying to minimize the efforts of the other parents by doing this.  I was trying to assure myself that what happened to them, would never happen to us.  I think we all do that in our own way when hearing about a tragedy.  When we learn that someone died in an accident, we want to know exactly what happened.  When someone passes away from cancer or a heart attack, we want to know specifics.  Some would say it’s a morbid curiousity but I think it’s because it makes us feel better to say, “oh, it happened because of such and such.  Well then I’m okay because I’m in good health or I drive carefully, etc.”  Deep down, it’s because we want a guarantee.  A guarantee that it will never happen to us and that we will be safe.

Something the mother in the video said struck a chord with me though.  She said, “It is embarrassing as a parent to admit that your child has such a (drug) problem because it is seen to be a result of bad parenting.”  I stopped the video right then.  I knew what she was going to say and I think I knew the truth all along: that she most likely isn’t a bad parent.  She is probably just like the rest of us who try to teach our children basic principles of right from wrong.  We do our best to steer our children away from things that will hurt them and to teach them values that will guide them for the rest of their lives.

And yet, no matter how hard we try, our children will ultimately have to make their own decisions.  They are, after all, their own persons with their own free agency.  Yes, we do all we can to make sure those choices are based on the foundation that we have given them, but it is still their choice.  And sometimes one choice will seem so small, so inconsequential, that they won’t realize how detrimental it may end up being.

Which is why we continue to try and do our best each day.  We take time to enjoy what we have whether it be our children, our spouse, our job, or our good health.  And we feel compassion for those who are struggling, who may be suffering from the decisions of others or through no fault of their own.  We support them and we help them because we never know when that “them” may in fact be “us.”

Because as we all know, there are no guarantees.

 

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Mom of 5 - January 30, 2012 - 5:26 am

All so true…treasure each day and appreciate everything Heavenly Father blesses us with daily. You’ve discovered one of lives real gems: do your very best and have faith for the rest.

Isn’t life just the best, every day we keep finding gems of truth every way we turn. We recall all those things our parents told us only to find out they really are true and then it’s our turn to share with our children because we too love them so much we desire for them to choose wisely so they will avoid pain and sorrow where possible by their making wise choices also.

Confirms that life is truly so wonderful and full of so many joys along our journey. You’re a wonderful Mom, wife, daughter and sister and have so much to share with everyone around you. Thank you for sharing of yourself in your blog – it’s always uplifting, informative and moving.

Kristina P. - January 30, 2012 - 7:45 am

It is totally true. That anxiety I mentioned? It’s basically phobia related that something will happen to Adam. Whenever I hear about a car accident, I want to know if they were wearing their seatbelt. And when I find out they weren’t I breathe a sigh of relief because we always do. I think it’s human to be glad it’s not us.

But people have agency and make their own choices, and things happen. Our dog is currently in the hospital with pneumonia. I know it’s just a dog, but he’s all Adam and I have right now, and it’s been hard. And then I think about people who have lost human children, and I can’t even imagine what they have gone through.
Kristina P.´s last [type] ..In Other News…

admin - January 30, 2012 - 7:52 am

Thanks Mom, for what you said. I have to admit that I almost didn’t post this today as I wrote it on Saturday and then read it this morning and realized how somber and almost depressing it is. But… it’s what I was thinking about a lot this weekend.

Kristina – I know how you feel, especially given what your husband does for a living I’m sure. If it makes you feel any better, I think we all worry about out spouses and children, no matter what their profession.

I was particularly worried this weekend as the CPA took Henry to Richmond (two hours away) to visit his older boys. It was the first time he’d taken him for the day without me and while I was glad that they were able to have a boys day together (and I was able to get a lot of stuff done in my free time) I sure missed them and man, I worried like crazy! :)

Nezzy - January 30, 2012 - 8:42 am

Well girl, this Ozark Farm Chick just popped over from Ree’s place to say Howdy and found this most powerful post!

Yep, I know first had ya can do all the right things and sometimes life just turns on ya. Our little daughter who was born with major heart defects bet the odds and lived but as a teen used alcohol and drugs. It breaks a Mama’s heart.

She has turned her life around and is 33, married, step-mom to three, mother of a beautiful two year old. She hasn’t returned to church yet, but I’m mighty hangin’ on the the scripture, “train up a child”!!!

God bless ya sweetie, from the very thankful hills and hollers of the Missouri Ponderosa!!!

Ya just never know what another person has gone through and life has no guarantees for sure.

Lisa @ Floating Along... - January 30, 2012 - 8:48 am

Wow…this definitely hits home with me today. Just yesterday, I found out that my 18 year old cousin and his 16 year old girlfriend are very unexpectedly expecting a baby. I am sure that many people think it is a poor reflection of his parents. But at the same time, his parents also raised two other very successful, wonderful children – the exact same way they raised him. This child unfortunately has made (several) bad decisions in his life and it is so hard to watch his parents suffer for it.
Lisa @ Floating Along…´s last [type] ..Recent Reads

carolina - January 31, 2012 - 3:16 am

I like this post. And sometimes its important to post about things that we think about to get them off our minds :o ) I recently read this and I think you will enjoy it as well: http://littlelondonobservationist.wordpress.com/2012/01/28/stories-and-photographs-homeless-london/. Makes you realize that your life is made up of small moments and making small differences over big moments and differences. In moving to London, I’ve realized that as well. That the weather and the distance are surmountable, but that taking the moment to smile at strangers and make connections with every day people are what I initially missed most from New York. My Italian Baristas are now warming up to me and it makes all the difference. Also, taking the time out of my day to connect with my family back home is so important. :o )
carolina´s last [type] ..I made it through Monday

Mindee@ourfrontdoor - January 31, 2012 - 10:00 am

I think this is one of the hardest truths to come to grips with. Well said Tabitha.

Sandra - January 31, 2012 - 9:44 pm

I agree with you, we parent can provide the best environment and situations for our children yet they might end up far from what we envisioned them to be. Then again, the kids have their choices and us parents should be there to guide them in making good ones.
Sandra´s last [type] ..photography lessons

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