Hurting Hearts

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Hurting Hearts
By Bernadette A. Moyer

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Our hearts are broken after witnessing mass murders in Las Vegas, Nevada. Who does this? What kind of a person kills 58 people and wounds over 500 more and why? We want to know why? While we still demand an answer to what kind of “why” response will it ever be good enough. It won’t!

What causes such hatred and anger in a human being that they would go on a killing mission? Prepare for it, plan on it and then carry it out? Thank God most of us will never understand that mindset and those horrific actions.

This story this event is so hard to process and I knew it would be even more difficult when the faces and the ages and the professions of those murdered would be published. These are people who should have had years and years of living life ahead of them. People that have families and friends who are left to grieve their loss and all the while trying to understand why one human being would do this to any other human being. People that should never have died so young were killed as though they didn’t matter by someone who didn’t even know their name.

Most of us will never understand this and that is a good thing, to identify with this crazed mass murdered isn’t normal for anyone that values human life.

Today I cried, it was tears of anger and shock and grief and loss. As if these murders and gunshots of hatred in Las Vegas wasn’t enough we lost an icon rock and roll star who also died unexpectedly and too young. In a recent interview Tom Petty talked about his desire to travel less and do less shows so he could be there for his grandchildren. It was as if he knew how much he missed out on with his own children and acknowledged that this time things would be different, he wanted to be there.

What can we take away from death? What should the lessons be and what should we do next? We can’t control what other people do, we can’t control many things in life except for what we do and how we handle what comes next.

Grief and loss are tremendous teachers and if nothing else they are supposed to drive home that all we really have is the here and now. The way that we treat people says so much about us. Kindness counts. Every single day we are afforded opportunities to respond with love or with hate. It is a choice.

Whatever was motivating and disturbing the Vegas killer he chose to respond with hatred. There is a lesson here. Hate and anger and killing never ever look good on anyone, not ever. There is no justifiable reason for the killing of innocent people. And the cowardly way in which he chose to murder from a distance and to their backs and then take his own life.

Everything in this event is difficult to process …

What should we come away with? How about what can any one of us do? There are two parts here for me; first and foremost we must live all of life to the fullest. Our days here are numbered and we should live like the Tim McGraw song, “Live like you are dying” do the things that matter to you, spend the time with the people that you love, live life without regrets so when the end does arrive, you know that you did live fully.

And the second thing is to check your anger and hate, let it go, use if for the fuel to do good. Hate and anger although normal emotions in humans can be controlled and redirected into something positive. Always try to lead with kindness and with love. Sometimes it is difficult to do but always, always worth it. Something good can always come from something so horrific … if we seek it, we will find it!

“And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter and I gave forgiveness I’d been denying” Country Music Artist Tim McGraw and song written by Tim Nichols and Craig Wiseman

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer
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The Estranged Dad

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IMAG2534The Estranged Dad
By Bernadette A. Moyer

Dads hurt too! Barely a day goes by when I don’t hear from an estranged mother who is grieving over an adult child that decided to dismiss mom and dad from their life. Rarely but very rarely do I hear from the dad’s. But when I do the pain shared is no different than what the women have shared. Men seem to keep it in, are more cut and dry about it and seldom do they show their grief outwardly.

When I asked my own husband “what single thing in your life has hurt you the most?’” I was surprised by his response.

This is a man who grew up in “The Projects” and who became a widower at age 32 just after his wife delivered twins pre-maturely. He had a younger brother that he loved commit suicide; he is a man that held his mother’s hand as she died and has a father suffering from severe dementia. (Since this article was written his father has died)

His response; “our girls” and “It didn’t have to be this way.” He was talking about their estrangement. They chose to turn away from their family under the guise of “abuse.” Both times it was over a teen boyfriend that they were determined to have and neither one ended up with.

My husband was a huge support to my daughter. One year he wrote the entire check for her Catholic prep school tuition. During high school he drove her to school every day before going to work. He was invested in her success even though she was not his biological daughter. He attended every single father-daughter dinner throughout high school and he wasn’t just happy to do it but he was proud.

His twin daughter is his namesake that he took up for the entire time she lived at home. Always doing battle with anyone that came to tell him that she was failing, he didn’t want to hear it or believe it. Whether it was a teacher or an employer he only wanted to hear the best about his daughter.

Many times it would be her own twin brother reporting to dad about her latest scheme and how awful she made him feel. He dismissed his only son to support his daughter. To him, she walked on water. Until … right up until he could no longer look the other way. Until she would not only estrange but declare that she was “abandoned.” After all she needed to have a story to support her decisions to disrespect the house rules. And at the age of 18 she certainly had every right to live her life, her way. But we all know that when we live with our parents and in our parent’s house, it is by our parents rules.

Fathers take it differently from what mothers do and looking back I would be willing to bet that my husband stayed strong so that I could be the one that fell apart.

My son describes his twin and her departure as a “low blow” and a “sucker punch” to their father. I believe she acted in haste as many teens do and at the time truly did not comprehend the magnitude of the decisions that she was making. Friends will come and friends will go, but family is forever, or it is supposed to be. He was also the one that didn’t want us to go after. He stated, “She will just do it again” and “I know her better than anyone” and “we are better off without her.”

This is not what any parent wants to hear. We raised our twins to have their own interests and seldom did their interests intersect. He was an Eagle Scout involved in the theater and drama; she played the flute, went to band camps and played soccer. Although we always hoped they would be close and we tried to instill in them the importance of looking out for one another. We thought it was a blessing that they had each other. Little did we know that our desire to keep them together and close was often at our son’s expense and well-being.

My husband isn’t the kind of guy that has regrets. He lives and he learns and he has accepted that the daughter he loved and adored didn’t or doesn’t hold him in the same esteem. His immediate response when she left wasn’t one of hurt or of anger, his response was “I am so disappointed.”

We find it amusing that you can raise kids in the same home, at the same time with the same parents and schools and everything and how one child can be so appreciative and happy and constantly reflects on all the good things he had in his childhood. He states; “I had a great childhood” and another child who was probably given even more states that they weren’t happy and estrange.

From all the parents I have talked with over the 16 years since estrangement entered my life I hear many common threads. Parents that feel betrayed by their children. And their kids lied to them and lied about them. Kids that grow up and decide to estrange from their parents while making the choice to play the victim rather than to succeed in life.

The parents in my support group are the ones that are just like my husband. They are really great dads who gave it their all and never dreamt that all the efforts he put forth would be minimalized and unappreciated. My husband is a strong man, a Christian that prays every single day for the daughter that he thought he raised.

We have great memories of all our kids and all the years that we were raising them. We are so happy that we survived those years with our marriage intact and even stronger. It easily could have gone another way.

Like all the moms and dads who have done the work and raised their children; we want for our children what we have always wanted for them. We want them to be happy, to have peace and good health and a good long life filled with as much love as possible.

Thinking of every dad out there on this Father’s Day and every single day …

Bernadette on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bernadetteamoyer

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