Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bad Decisions Can Have Tragic Results

Tragedy is something most, if not all, parents would love to protect their children from.

Not gonna happen.

My almost-14-yo has met tragedy.

I'm not talking death, because death is but one form of tragedy, and not all death is tragic. Plus, we've never shielded our children from death because it's a natural part of life.

But I would give anything to shield him from tragedy, from unexpected, calamitous happenings drenched in unhappiness, even if there's a lesson to be learned.

Both have involved schoolmates of his.

First, a senior, just days from Senior Day and weeks from graduation, dies from an accidental gunshot wound. The exact events are unknown, but the young man was at the home of a friend.

All I could think was how that young man's parents must feel. I whispered a prayer for their peace. How does one make peace with believing that you've ushered your child to that first major milestone, the high school graduation, only to have your beliefs, hopes, and dreams cut short so abruptly just yards from the finish line?

Second, a former classmate and teammate was expelled from my son's former school allegedly for selling and building a network of others to sell drugs within the school. This same young man, only 14 himself, recently lost his father suddenly, after which his mother took seriously ill, and he found himself missing school to care for younger siblings.

I whispered a prayer for his strength, his judgment, and his future. This one is burning within me because I grew up in a similar urban, blue-collar neighborhood back in NY, with little or no commerce, loaded with misguided youth and lots of misspent potential.

Both situations are tragic because they stem from poor decisions. One resulted in death, the other possibly heading down a wrong path due to bad circumstances.

We talked about the situations, about how each might have been avoided, and about how quickly life can turn on a dime. We talk about being grateful for God's grace and mercy, and for our family.

I saw a sadness in my son's eyes, and heard a catch in his throat as we talked about this most recent event. I turned away so he could have his moment of emotion without Mommy intrusion.

I want to protect him, to shield him, but the Word doesn't tell us, as Christians, that we will be spared tragedy. All we can do is trust in God's guidance to make good decisions, and to help us through whatever situations we find ourselves in.

It's tough to watch the scales of innocence fall from my baby's eyes, even though I know it's part of his maturation.

Just the thoughts on my heart today...

Peace & Blessings,

1 comment:

Chicki said...

Both situations are so sad. It's so hard sometimes to come to grips with tragedy as a Christian, but as you said, we must trust that God has everything under control.

Thankfully, your son has parents who talk and explain things to him. He's blessed.