Monday, August 20, 2007

Pain is Pain is Pain

I haven’t written in a while, because I’ve been working on never-ending deadlines and re-writes.

For all of my writing efforts alone, I feel I should get an honorary Pulitzer, but writing about government mandates for convenience stores, and/or new guidelines for credit card processors isn’t exciting stuff. However, it does pay the bills.

Recently, I posted about my best friend in high school and her first boyfriend. Her first boyfriend was in a terrible car accident and lost two of his children in the wreck.

As well, the other driver lost children in their car, too. You can read my post about it down below.

Well, after I posted, I received quite a few responses, all sending out good vibes and prayers for Joe, and all involved.

And then I received a very different comment, for my approval.

I wasn’t really prepared for it, I guess, but in retrospect, I’m glad I received it, as it made me think about pain, true pain, and the ramifications and facets of that state of being that most of us spend our lives running from.

It was from the ex-brother-in-law of Joe, who happens to be named Joe. I couldn’t have asked for a more Bergman-esque scenario, right?

He was very upset with me, because he felt I white washed the actual situation, got my facts wrong (which I did) concerning the accident, but more than anything else he wanted to let me know that the “Joe” that I knew so many years ago, was not the angelic, grieving father that he feels that I portrayed him with my post.

Honestly, I didn’t think I did that at all. I haven’t see Joe G in over 25 + years, to be quite honest, but the wreck was horrible for all involved, period, so I wanted to get the word out for prayer.

But I didn’t see it from the other Joe’s standpoint. From where he sits, the pain and anger is overwhelming, and, to him, the anger is for good reason.

At first, I emailed and told him that I wasn’t going to post his angry words about Joe G., because I didn’t think this blog was the place to do so. I don’t really know any of the folks involved; period, and I couldn’t understand his anger at someone who was simply posting what she was told by someone else. No matter what, Joe G is the father of those children that died, and he was injured himself.

I corresponded with the other Joe via email and tried to explain that to him, while respecting his own anger and pain—both are so valid, period.

But I just received another email from him, the other day, and as I read his words, I realized that, in many ways, so many people seem to be rallying around Joe G., and some have forgotten that a mother lost her two children, too.

And here was her brother gallantly stepping up for her, and letting me know that she exists and she hurts, too, on so many levels. I can only tell you that I wish I had a brother like him, as my two brothers wouldn’t know if I left the face of the earth, nor would they care too much, I think.

With that said, I’m still not going to post the exact words here—for legal liability reasons—but I do believe in writing something. I hold no bias in this situation, but this stands to remind me how much pain can be inflicted by one human to another, and how many layers there are to pain and suffering.

So, I am going to ask that all those who came here and posted for Joe, also remember the children’s mother, Carolyn, in a big way, along with Joe M’s family. It’s seems their journey with pain started way before the accident.

Joe M.? I hope you are reading this, and thank you for teaching me about listening and hearing someone else.

First of all, I got my facts wrong.

The other driver was a 21 year-old-male, who was not related to the woman and children killed in their car.

Apparently, from what Joe M said, Joe G was not returning from Disney World, as I had been told by my old friend, but he had sent the kids over to his sister’s home, so he could work that day.

He was late meeting his ex-wife to drop off the kids, and thus how the timing happened for the accident.

Joe M wrote and told me that the divorce happened over two years ago, and, let’s just say it has not been a pleasant experience for both sides, but from Joe M’s experience, his sister has been through a living hell before the accident and after. I believe him.

Joe M wanted me to know that. I do know that now, but what I really got from his words was that this terrible accident has added yet another layer of pain for Carolyn, Joe M., and the rest of their family.

It also reminds me that divorce is such an ugly thing, period. My parents divorced, rather acrimoniously as well, when I was 30. I can tell you that it hurt me just as much as it would have hurt me if I had been a kid when it happened.

I’m reminded of two verses from the Bible, which really rang out to me as I contemplated this post. Trust me, this usually does not happen with me. I am not one to quote Bible scripture, because I grew up in the Southern Baptist church, where the bible was used as a ramrod, but since I’ve heard from Joe M., I have felt very compelled to ask God what can I do about this situation. It’s really horrible from every angle, period.

As I meditated on it, these two verses came to mind and would not leave my mind, until I wrote them down. So, for what it is worth, here they are.

Matthew 5:45: (Amplified Bible) To show that you are the children of your Father Who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the wicked and on the good, and makes the rain fall upon the upright and the wrongdoers [alike].

The other is:

Luke 12: 52-53:For from now on in one house there will be five divided [among themselves], three against two and two against three.

They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.

I will leave it to those who read this post, to interpret the verses as they see fit. Right now, pain is palpable and real on both sides of this terrible accident, period. The way pain manifests itself, whether in messy child custody visit issues, or insensitive and petty actions at the funeral of innocent children, nobody is immune to grief, anger and pain.

It’s what we do with those emotions that truly matter, for we will not understand things like the painful divorce, the accident and it’s aftermath, until we can ask God, face-to-face.

Joe M did say that Joe and Carolyn's surviving son, David, is back in school and healing. I thought I would pass that on.

Peace be with you, Carolyn and Joe M. and your family as you begin to heal and move on. Thank you to everyone who posted prayers and good wishes, previously.

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