So… this is hard to write, and I express honest, and possibly less than truly spiritual sentiments. And it has caused me to walk alone more than once over the last 30 years. I am not a good example, not a great spiritual man. I struggle, I lose my temper. And salty words often pass the lips meant to bless and invoke His Name. I am a puzzle to myself.
But the Lord has given me a sense of intuition that I have not always given free reign, not always heeded. I have come to realize that I am a sheepdog of sorts.
34 years ago, a baby boy was born to my sister. He was a cute little thing, and looked a lot like my brother-in-law. Imagine that 🙂
It quickly became apparent that this was no ordinary child, and not in a good sense. As an infant, he screamed and clenched his fists, holding his breath until he turned purple. Not normal behavior for a 9 month old. Who knows what causes these things.
As he grew older, he came to visit with my parents. We were living on the Georgia coast, and I took him seashell hunting on the beach, we caught blue crab in tidal pools, and fished for Sheepshead. And he was the bossiest, most manipulative 10 year old I’d ever known. He began talking to my father in ways that I would never have thought about when I was 10. After several very insulting barrages from him toward my father, I’d had it. I clipped his butt right there before my Dad could even say or do one thing about it. He straightened up and behaved the rest of the trip.
Later, he got into trouble in Junior High. He was caught making very inappropriate comments to several neighbor ladies by anonymous cell phone. And later was kicked out for calling in a fake bomb threat. And in recent years I learned he had molested a friends very young daughter when he was about 10.
The remainder of his High School years were spent in a high security “children’s village” type place. He went to counseling every day, and later my sister told me that the counselor had said that “nephew” was a sociopath. All I know is that I had a very unsettled feeling when talking with him, something about his eyes, lack of genuine emotion.
My Dad passed away 11 years ago next month. I spent the last two weeks of his life caring for him, talking with him, comforting him, by his side round the clock. The last week of his life was difficult, and he spent most of it in hospice. I was there with him thru it all. The last day of his life, a Friday, my mother, sister, brother-in-law, and nephew came in to say good by to Dad.
We all went on a quick lunch, and came back to spend the rest of the day there as he transitioned. I had stepped down the hall to the mens room or something, and my nephew came up to me and told me that he had something very important to tell me. But he walked down a long hall way, motioning to me as he went. I followed, curious as to what he was about to tell me. After we had walked a long way, he turned and told me my father was about to breath his last, and that he “nephew” could say that he was the last one to see him alive.
I turned and sprinted down the long hallway just in time to find the nurses around his bed, my mom still asleep in a recliner. He had just passed. There were several other sick instances surrounding the funeral, his threatening language and behavior to my mother, sister and brother-in-law. But when the Pastor arrived to go over funeral plans with the family, he presented the most beautiful eulogy that he intended to read at the graveside service. I told the Pastor not only no, but hell no. I would not allow it, and would interrupt it if he attempted it. His behavior was disturbing, and I’d not allow the last memory of my father to be tainted by this sick individuals self-aggrandizing eulogy.
The Pastor delivered her standard funeral service, but took some time to directly address me regarding forgiveness, and “allowing family members to grieve in their own way”. My Aunt came up to me after the service and said “that was directed at you, you know”. Yeah, I knew but didn’t care because there was something terribly wrong here, but I just didn’t have all of the facts at that time.
A year or two later we visited my Mom, and spent about a week there. “Nephew” arrived uninvited, and hung around too closely. He was especially weird, trying to hug us all, and seemed too interested in my daughter. My daughter was sleeping on an air mattress in the living room, and nephew decided to sleep on the sofa since there was no room. My mother thought it was a great idea. Something didn’t feel right, and I just packed my kids up and we spent the night at a friends, and left a day early. My mother verbally raged at me for “hurting his feelings”. I told her that they were all blind, she was nuts, and that he was a danger to everyone around him. I would not expose my kids to him.
There were many dead end jobs, a marriage, baby lost because he kicked his wife in the stomach, stealing thousands from my mom, and unavoidably divorce.
Years later I discovered that he had done something to my daughter when she was about 5 years old. She hasn’t completely faced it yet, but I know that he “hurt her bad”. I sobbed, I hadn’t protected her well enough. My intuitions were right all along.
Three years ago he was caught by Police as he was attempting to set up a meeting with a man so he could have sex with his very underage daughter. He’s been in prison most of the past three years, and only got out last week.
And the insanity has begun all over again. My mother has been in assisted living. “N” showed up there last weekend, trying to get money off of her, food, and then I found out spent two nights sleeping on her sofa. So I have intervened, called the Retirement Home and brought them up to speed, called the State Police, State Sex Offenders Registry, local Police, and even tried to find a shelter for him. He called the number I gave him, they tried to help, but he had excuses for why they just didn’t “fit him”, and why staying with my mom for a few days “was better”.
I was shopping for a few grocery items tonight when I received a call from my mom. I answered, only to be talking with “N” instead. He asked me to pray for him, he was “reading his bible”, told me he didn’t have much money, needed to move to a warmer climate, etc. I told him I did love him, but that he needed to take advantage of local resources, changed the subject and ended the call. I am not having him anywhere within 500 miles.
Immediately upon hanging up I exercised POA, called and demanded the Retirement Home kick him out for the safety of their residents. And that if he returns, they call the Police and have him picked up. No one is safe when he is around, especially a defenseless old person. Yeah, it’s cold up North, but he had a chance to go to a shelter, do the right thing, make a fresh start. Stalking Senior Citizens is not the way to go about it.
It’s taken a long time to fully trust my instincts, to learn to read between the lines. To not make excuses for someone, and to realize that sometimes you must get comfortable with being an a-hole to some for the safety of those around you.
The story is not over. I’ll do whatever I have to in order to prevent him from hurting another soul. In this case, blood is not thicker than water.