Saturday, September 27, 2014

Another Quiet Story of Triumph

A repeat from three years ago:

Yes, I'm stealing again. Quiet is from Joe Zentis, who writes Lives of Quiet Inspiration for the Sharon Herald and has published a book with these local stories of people who have overcome obstacles.
I love meeting people, but I love more getting to know them. This man lives in middle class neighborhood, classically dressed and talks of his son owning a steel mill company, near where I live. He worked there after retiring. At first glance, peace, comfort and privilege rule in his home. I find he nursed his wife from C.O.P.D. (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) until she died four years ago, a largeness of  loss in his voice. He possesses  pride of his two children and the grandchildren, successful in  their lives, one has recorded a CD already at age nineteen.
A few days later we talk again. I discover more. His father drank and ran around. Probably one of those men with another family or two somewhere.  The man was beaten as child and witnessed a lot of violence. When he was four, he and his mother had to move South for safety and security, leaving the other children in the North. Even at such a young age, he felt uprooted.
He made a vow as a young man that when he married, he would not be that kind of husband or father. He and his wife kept a quiet home, with regular meals, praying and going to church, getting their two children through college. He didn't succumb to the injustice of his life. He determined to make life better for his children.
How often we think that back in the last century the times were easier, people were better and abuse didn't happen. But as always, I think we have those rose colored glasses that color our perception. My mom felt the belt. A teacher ripped the shirt of my uncle trying to discipline him in school. Their mother left the family in 1936.
My friend Ginny's father and aunt were abandoned by their father when just very small children. Their stories could overwhelm us, death a constant companion, mothers and fathers dying young, infant siblings buried in far away cemeteries. Hunger gnawing at many.
The ones I know overcame these obstacles.  Sometimes demons followed them, but they fought them. Others gave in to the demons, I'm sure, just like today. Paul in the New Testament states we are over-comers, more than conquerors in Jesus. Let us be inspired, first by Jesus and then by the triumph of the human spirit that comes from above.
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