Monday, March 22, 2010

Down the Rabbit Hole

If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense.  Nothing would be as it is, because everything would be as it isn't.  And contrary wise, what is wouldn't be.  And what it wouldn't be, it would.  You see?
-Alice, from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol

When you do the right thing and you stand strongly behind your own beliefs and convictions, it can oftentimes cause other people to do the very wrong thing.  I have always taught my angel daughters that doing the right thing does not always feel good.  As a matter of fact, there are times when just doing the wrong thing would be so much simpler.  But I cannot live my life doing the wrong thing.  I will and I must stand up for what is good and right and just.  So I will move forward and continue to take the occasional foot jutting out to try to trip me in my path.  And sometimes as I stumble, all of the breath from inside me is momentarily knocked out of my chest, and the endless chasm is filled with pain and deep sadness.  Then I recover.

This little note came tucked inside of a wedding invitation that was addressed to my four daughters by first names only.  Obviously, I was meant to open the invitation because the note is inscribed to Mark and myself.  The invitation was specifically sent with the intention of excluding Mark and myself.  Very clear.  The whole thing sent to cause pain?  Alleviate guilt?  The note was not signed, which I found oddly confusing, but I knew that it was from someone whom I once considered my step-nephew(whom I have known for twenty-four years) and his fiance(whom I have known for over seven years).  Somehow, they have become involved in something that they neither understand nor, do they have any business being a part of.  My battle to keep my nieces, my deceased brother's children, in my life.  These people love us and miss us, and hope that someday we will be able to forgive them, yet this is how they have supported us since my only brother died.  Why does this cause my Jewish soul to think back to the nazis and the Germans who did not agree with what was happening, but who turned their backs on individuals who they once lived so closely with that they might have considered one another family?  I used to wonder how people could blatantly turn their backs while pretending not to see evil,  but throughout my life, the idea has become clearer and clearer.  Bullies win if, and I am emphasizing a huge if here, nobody stands strong enough against them.  Core values and ethics cannot be held onto only when situations are easy or convenient.  They must be upheld when put to the task.  This is why I am suing for visitation with my nieces.  This is why I can take the hits and stand back up.  This is why I have subjected myself to legal harassment(bordering on illegal) and have continued on.  Nobody would have faulted me for fading slowly into the background of my niece's lives.  Nobody would have questioned it if I allowed myself to be bullied away from loving those children.  Nobody but myself, and in their hearts, my daughters, and eventually, my nieces.  Those are the eyes that I would have someday had to look into while explaining why it was just too difficult for me to stand strong.  And even they would have understood.  But, they really would not have.

The thing about doing what is right, is that you don't have to look back someday on what you should have done  And why you didn't do it.  And most times, from my own experience anyway, the individuals who faulted you for doing what was right, come back asking for forgiveness.  Because even they will eventually get it.  But sadly, it might just be too late.

*My daughters will not be attending the wedding.  Not because we asked them not to, because we would never have done that, but because at twenty-two, twenty, eighteen and sixteen, they do understand what it means to stand behind their own convictions.


Mumsy said...

Doing what is right is not always the easiest path to take as you mentioned in your blog but it is by far the best in the long run. You are doing right by standing by your convictions and being a good roll model for your daughters so they know the right thing to do is to stand by theirs. Hugs sweet Deb!

Anonymous said...

I’m glad I’m on your side because you don’t take prisoners.
Poor people don’t know you have access to eye of newt.
Sure hope the wedding is not outdoors.

jojo said...

Wow..that last comment was completely inappropriate. I am so sorry Deb, you and your family must be heartbroken..again. In your heart you know you are doing the right thing and in the end that is all that matters. love you sweet friend, Please take care..jj

Mickey (Michel) Johnson said...

...sweet one...i am stunned into silence and my fingers cannot type words that are racing through my mind. it is so hard to watch a family become divided when it is such the opposite of what a family should be. i cannot imagine what you must be feeling, but my heart truly aches for you. i wish i had the power that anonymous thinks you have so i could cast a spell and make everything all right. if only we could have so much power. perhaps it is best we don't, but that we know the One who does. i am praying for you and the family. i pray those girls will know you are trying to be there for them...that you love them and that they matter greatly to you...stay strong my friend and continue to fight the good fight. my love, mickey

Laura Hegfield said...

Oh Debbie, this is so sad...and of course the typical way people behave when they are uncomfortable with conflict. YOU and your family are filled with courage...the gifts that you and Mark are bestowing upon your daughters and your nieces (and your brother's loving memory) are immeasurable. True, deep, UNCONDITIONAL love is immeasurable. Reading your posts, your sorrow, longing and commitment to doing the right things by your family gives courage to all of us who follow your blog too.

As we draw nearer to Pesach, I cannot help but see you as Myriam...leading the way to freedom through the break in the high waters, timbrel in your hand.

Madison McGraw said...

I have no idea what has happened to cause the note, but I do understand standing behind convictions. Wishing you strength and peace:>)

Sunshine said...

Hi Deb

There are lot of people in this world that will try to cause you pain and suffering. You have to standby to your family and be there for each other and be the strength to each other and Try to ignore the poeple that casue such a pain in your life. As long as you have each other with you, that matters the most. You can't keep everyone happy in this world. Just be strong.

You are always in my prayers dear.

Love YOU

Maria-Thérèse said...

I don't know the whole story, obviously, but I'm sorry you're having to go through this battle and at the same time I admire you for standing up for what you believe in. The note seems incredibly rude; there has to be a certain amount of common sense and courtesy, and the ability to set aside anger, so that people can still cross paths even if they're on opposite "sides" in a situation.

Sunshine said...

Missing you Deb!


Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Reading this just makes my shoulders heavy. Life is too damn short for people to act this way.


chandelier magic said...

Wow. I could go on for days and am living a similar situation - so I completely understand. I have a backbone, I don't look the other way when someone is evil, and who needs people who send notes like that, or even think that way?

If you don't mind, I'm printing this post - you've said it all brilliantly.

Don't you wish all those people that you probably in some ways still love would read this post - I do.

Good for you and your husband and daughters for taking the high road - eventually the fence sitters get shot from both sides.

Love is IT.


Peggy Payne said...

Debbie, I'm sorry your family is going through such an awful thing. I do hope you get to see your nieces and soon. Your brother's death is already too much loss to cope with.

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