Monday, October 19, 2009

Cleave

Jangling cow bells, jeers and cheers erupt, fists raise in the air, one finger extended...some for victory, other for shame. End over end, the brown leather ball streaks through the night, crashing into the arms of adolescent warriors, battling their lions on the coliseum floor. Crimson streaks join earth tone swaths, on the stretched white canvas of their padded uniforms.

Ave imperator, morituri te salutant...Hail emperor, those who are about to die salute you!

Jubilant cacophony overwhelms all, leaving only a quivering of attention against my thigh. Highlighted in blue, the numbers on my phone ring heavy with ominous portent.

Hello.

It is done.

Simple words, steeped with emotion, cut like a sword pulled slowly across my supplicant back, again and again.

What would it take for you to give up your child? To know that their life would be better with someone else?

You may imagine this in an impoverished country, where leaving will provide them with more resources, but not here. Not in your back yard.

This happens. And what hurts more is this feeling that it should, that I helped find the new home, picked out just for them, wondering how it ever got to the point I believe this is best. But right now, there is you and me...

How are you?

Crowds and conquest slip silently in the background, only our voices echo across the space between us, consoling and assuaging as we breathe hope for the moment. Clap, the sound of my cell phone closing, a resounding gong of finality, in the afterglow of sacrifice.

Little armored bodies run up and down the field of grass, victory ringing hollow, waiting on tomorrow.

40 comments:

Hit 40 said...

Oh my heavens!! I would never "give away" my child. No way!!

I would move away to another place. And start over with them!!

Brian Miller said...

its a sad tale Hit 40...we are helping some friends manage as they walk this road...when i got the call at the game the other night...its just hard to know what to say...

♥ Braja said...

There's no comment to make without knowing all the details....anything said is speculation and emotion....

kys said...

Sounds like a terrible situation any way you look at it. But as Braja said, hard to say too much without knowing the specifics.

otin said...

I can see giving up a child if it means that the child is getting out of a situation that is detrimental to the child's well being. If it is just a matter of giving the child more, then I would not be able to do it.

Daniel said...

Need to think about your words some more before I can fully understand the different points of view. I guess that I would agree with some of the other folks here.

Wings said...

Different, indeed.

Ocean Girl said...

I remember some years ago, I don't remember the details of the case but the court returned a child to a new family, she was about 3 or 4 years old.

It broke my heart so when I saw the scenes on tv of the child crying.

To me, even if I am the real mother, and want the child to be with me, I would not take her like that. I would ease into her life and make her come to me.

The circumstances of this one does not matter, if the child cries when he or she is taken away, then it may be out of best intentions but the way it is done, is wrong.

blueviolet said...

I guess all you can do is be a friend. It sounds like you're doing just that.

Green-Eyed Momster said...

Personally, I couldn't do it. Never in a million years.
I guess there are circumstances where it's better for the child.
You are a good friend. I just saw your comment to Hig 40. Hoping for the best for everyone involved.

darsden said...

hummm pondering

Cabo said...

There is no win and there is no lose in your profession these days, Brother. There is only what you are capable of tolerating. And what those around you are capable of living through.

Brian Miller said...

a couple years ago i went on a trip to an impoverished part of our country. during our training the question came up...why dont they just leave....it was thrown back at us...if this was all you ever knew, and all your family was there, and had always been there...would you stay and try to make it as a family or walk out....i was the lone jerk to say walk out...sure id get help and return (my attempt to save face)...going there taught me a lot and gave me a bit of perspective...we can say never, until it stares us in the face...there are some questions/decisions i pray i never have to face. the one in my story tonight is one of those.

California Girl said...

Your writing is evolving so beautifully.

My MIL was given up as a child. Her parents couldn't afford to feed all the kids so the middle ones, there were five, were put into an orphanage. She was 12. She eventually went home but it scarred her for life.

...mmm... said...

I know of a couple who prayed and prayed and felt called to adopt two abused kids from Soviet Georgia. hey had not been picked up and held for the first two years of their lives and the scars remained. One had to be given up again for adoption after all the travail they went into to get the children in the first place. Very sad. The other kid, the brother, is not doing so well either, 5 years on. Very hard.

Anyway, I see this all over where impoverished parents give up their children for the chance to live another day. Hunger and fear does heart breaking things. that is why I am so impassioned about this on my side bar blobs, highlighting the travails of human trafficking, etc.

Anyway, I did want to end on a brighter not to you recent comment on my blog: It's so good to see a man who is not intimidated by such things, but perfectly content in his refined masculinity!!

P.S. I wonder whatever happend to that kid Ocean girl mentioned. I remember that well too.

MW said...

There was a point during my first pregnancy that I considered giving my son up for adoption. I was in a very bad place and thought perhaps someone else could provide a better life for him. Ultimately, I chose to be a single parent, and I am glad that I did.

My ex took me to court to fight for custody this past year , and I once again had to face the possibility of giving up my children. I went through a series of highs and lows and everything in between. Fortunately, the courts ruled in my favor, but it could have just as easily gone the other way.

My thoughts and prayers are with your friends.

Kathleen said...

I was on the receiving end. Two sisters--3 years apart. Don't know how their moms were able to do it. But I'm grateful they did.

Alan Burnett said...

Gosh! Emotional stuff Brian. A good read, as always.

only a movie said...

This hit close to home. In my line of work, I have spent a lot of time with displaced kids. Or in-limbo kids. Or wishing-they-had-a-different-family kids.
Great post, hope all is well.

Valerie said...

Well written post, Brian. There are always two sides to a coin and it's so easy to give an opinion without knowing both sides. In my less than illustrious career I have had to deal with such situations, as well as the heartbreak or relief or thankfulness that went with each one. We cannot generalise, we can only do our best at the time of need. God bless you in your endeavours.

Protege said...

As I do not have children of my own, my answer is not based on reality and might be flawed. But I can not imagine giving up my child ever.
Never Ever.

Vodka Mom said...

putting a child ahead of yourself is a brave and selfless thing to do.

Whatever the details, the child comes first.



lovely writing.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Something I couldn't even contemplate. A very desperate situation indeed.

CJ xx

Betsy said...

God bless that child. Hope the future is bright.

Travel & Dive Girl said...

Very interesting and thought provoking. Thanks again.

Alix said...

Wow.

Meeko Fabulous said...

It took me a read or two (and a third very slow read) before completely understanding what was going on. At first it was a football game, then giving kids away, then it all snapped together in my head. Beautifully written, as always.

TechnoBabe said...

I know a couple who were put in the position of raising their grand children and have recently found a family to adopt the grand children. You are a good friend.

The Retired One said...

Thank you Brian, on behalf of these parents who are probably on the brink about this awful, gut wrenching decision....for being there to listen, if nothing else.
I can't even imagine their pain.

g-man said...

Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori..!

Baino said...

It shows how desperate some people become. Giving up a child is incredibly sad. I agree with Braja though, too little information to have a full understanding. I just hope the reasons were not economic.

staceyjwarner said...

beautiful writing...every circumstance is different. I'm always shocked when I hear of children dying from abuse when Social Services had been in the home numerous times.

If I worked in social services, no child would be allowed to stay in their homes (probably)...I'd become the crazy "kid" lady instead of "cat" and save every one of them...

otin said...

Vodka mom had the best comment!

Kulio said...

Heartwrenching. It sounds like you are helping without judging. Glad they have you.

Ekanthapadhikan said...

Me-self commenting on this one must be funny 'coz I can't relate to a parent leaving a child 'coz I'm no dad of a cute little thing yet. But I can tell you what would go through a child's mind. Let the Queen of England adopt him/her, the kid'd still very much miss the parents and those who they grew up with and in some cases, even if you did it for their best, they'd never forgive you for forsaking them.

Candie Bracci said...

I just hope too that I would never face a situation like that.It's terribly sad.

Goofball said...

This story chokes my throat....We live in a harsh world and sometimes we are oblivious to it

Bachelor said...

Brian,
Great creative discriptive writing. Very thought provoking. I have two adopted Asian children, now grown. They were absolute joys to raise. They have done me proud. Hope your day is filled with sunshine and hope.
The Bach

Lorraine said...

Soul Love is more important than biological love, children should be loved by as many souls as possible, you did good Brian :)

Nessa said...

Such a very hard situation.