As I writer I love a good quote, the one that has been on my screen saver the past 6 months or so, written by Ernest Hemingway reads: “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”
My true sentence will come a little latter.
Have you ever randomly read or seen something that is just what you needed to see or read at that moment yet you didn’t know it yet? Have you ever read something that compelled you to take immediate actions you were so enlightened ? Well I just did. I was taking some down time tonight, I was in bed with my favorite pillows and decided to watch some Ted.com. This is an amazing site that offers informative ideas and talks. Like normal I began to randomly view the videos listed from top to bottom on my tablet. The first one was about how the world is over mediated and over diagnosed, I agree with that one but that is another discussion. It was the second talk that inspired me to get out of my comfy bed, right in the middle of a Rays game and post, almost as if I had no choice in the matter. Trust me, once in bed it takes a fire to get me out of it so I knew this was important to write while the topic was fresh in my mind.
The speech/discussion was by a lawyer named David Dow, he spoke about learning about life from a death row inmate. It blew me out the water and bed! I agreed with what was said and had thought of this many years before of the lives many must have had prior to getting to where they were now, on death row. What was said makes sense and really hits home, for every death row inmate there was once a young child, either lived in abuse, witnessed it, was abandoned or lived on streets. I was blown away when I heard that 80% of death row inmates had been in the juvenile system, I believe the numbers were for Texas but don’t quote me. The children, mostly boys, still had a chance to be helped, before they turned to murder and forever sealed their fate and that of someone else. Once the murder was committed, it then became too late to help, after all, a murder was committed, an innocent life taken. Now, it is to late to turn back, but not too late for us to change it for the other children destined to have their last bed be on death row.
I encourage all of you that play that old record in your mind, “I stay with the abuser so the kids have a mother, father.” You are not doing them any favors. The boy that is discussed in this speech didn’t know his father and lived with his mother who tried to kill him with a butcher knife when he was just 5 years old. What brought me to tears and made me take action was the following truest statement I have ever heard when hearing about abuse as an adult remembering abuse when he was 5.
The night before the young man was about to be executed his lawyer asked him, “do you really remember your mom trying to kill you when you were 5 or do you just remember others saying that she did?” The young man said, “no disrespect, but when you are five years old and your mother is chasing you around the house with a butcher knife that is bigger than you are, when you have to hide and lock yourself away in the bathroom until the police come, you don’t forget what happened, ever.” That is not word for word but you get the idea.
My true sentence, if you remain living with a violent person, your child has a greater chance they too will be violent, struggle with violence or in many cases, try to take their life, or they may become passive and will be abused by their girlfriend or husband, boyfriend or others in their life. This is from my own experience as a child and then from watching as my son struggled with how to handle remembering his father trying to kill me in front of him with that switch blade to mommy’s throat as his father told him, he was around 3-4 year old, to say goodbye to mommy. My son smiled and said goodbye mommy. Neither one of us will ever forget that, but I know the memory is so different for my now 22 year old son. It is a burnt in memory he can’t erase.
I encourage you to watch the video, then decide, is it really worth ruining the rest of your child’s life to stay where you are staying? I can’t take care of telling you all the details of how to leave here, what to do, my heart right now is with the child that will never be the same. I hope this made sense, it just rolled off my fingers tonight as it came into my head.
Please pass on this video, I greatly feel this is a step in the right direction to help stop the cycle of violence. The story isn’t just heartbreaking but the speaker actually gives hope that we can stop violence and children ending up on death row. Comment with your experience and thoughts after viewing this video.
When something really moves a person and they share it with others, one by one, the world changes.
Love & Peace,