We seem to have survived to another Saturday. We survived, I haven't checked the local news to see if anyone I know was killed in a wreck or an alcohol-induced homicide, or was arrested for drunk driving or the like. We stayed in, and don't drink anyway (unless you can be intoxicated from drinking iced tea and orange juice), having seen at all-too-close range the too-frequent results of such behaviors.
Wife was up in the night, helped move her to recliner around 03:00 in hopes it would be more comfortable for her. It happens.
May update this later: some things running through my mind but nothing to write yet.
Wife came back to bed around 07:00. I'd slept in (that's OK on a Saturday, isn't it?). Had some bad news. Family stuff.
Background: I am the oldest of four, 3 boys and a girl. I was in my latter 30's when we were married, sister (next in line by birth) got married about a year later. Middle brother got married about 2 years later, a marriage that lasted until the day her last (they'd had none together) kid graduated high school, she filed divorce papers on him that day. Ugly. The youngest got married right out of high school, left the area immediately and was little heard from. Until .... they had three boys. When the youngest was less than a year old, she left them for her new "boyfriend". He moved back to area, in with her brother and his wife, and they raised them. The two youngest ones are active duty military. Middle one is on his second wife, first one left him and left the little girl behind. Lots more there, none good. The youngest one's first marriage collapsed, no kids. Remarried a few years ago, we've only met her once but I've only seen him a time or two, two of the last three at my mom's funeral and my dad's. He's in the Navy, stationed in Virginia, recently made Chief (E-7), which is quite an accomplishment, one worthy of respect. We'd established contact with both of them via social media, the only good way to do it with all of the far-flung friends and family we have.
About two weeks, she suddenly cut all contact. ALL, with anyone on my side of the family, including us. No idea why, but she'd been voicing vague complaints for a few weeks. She suffers from some of those "invisible illnesses", like rheumatoid diseases, ulcerative colitis, and autoimmune lung diseases, and others, that can be quite debilitating and sap all energy and enthusiasm for life, so being "down" isn't totally unexpected. So even breathing is difficult at times and she's lost 60 pounds ub the last year. Wife made contact with her during the night while on the recliner, and they exchanged messages for a couple of hours. Upshot of it is that they're splitting up. Big fights and lots of stuff, he accused of of claiming fake diseases, etc. I guess she'll keep their son which is probably the best option, I expect that, barring a change of heart on both their parts, she'll be moving back to western Ohio and he'll move into some sort of NCO quarters by the base.
My parents were wonderful, godly, honest people. Their sons, notably me, had to have been a grave disappointment to them for much of their lives. They tried to plant the seeds, and some of them eventually grew, and the end is not yet here, so another miracle or two may yet occur. But my youngest brother has made alcohol much of his life's focus, as has his current wife. So the boy's upbringing is a product of that. The oldest one is a good guy, he and his wife are in fact leaders in the church I grew up in, something I suspect has to do with his having been old enough to have been led by my dad, his grandfather, rather than simply his own father, when young, and when older both he and his wife were led and counseled by my dad, who brought them to faith. The other two grew up seeing their dad get drunk and beat them, so they believe that's the way to live. Sad and tragic and it will probably get worse.
As we go through life, we create eddies in the stream. We, being pretty much self-absorbed, often don't think about them or notice them, nor their effects on others. Most of us can probably look back on some moments when someone did or said something that has had a profound long-term effect on our lives or the lives of others. Often, without intending to, it was "just a coincidence", a chance encounter, a word fitly spoken. Or unfitly, as we see here. So my brother's poor behavior affected his son, his son's wife, and their son. Equally bad, is my own failure to have been there for those boys. Yes, in the days we lived far out of the area and social media didn't exist, probably not possible. In their earliest days, while they and their mother were far out of our area, also. But in those years that they were living with their uncle and his wife -- who ARE good people I think and we're in contact with them now -- I had zero contact with them. Not Christmas, not birthdays, not ever. Now, there are some excuses -- I was often (normally) working those holidays, for example. And I normally got the inferences that my presence was not welcome. But I should have tried harder. And didn't.
And now, yet another failed marriage in the family and sad empty faces. 20 years from now, what will that little boy be like??
Our Old Testament passage today is chapters 31 and 32 of Deuteronomy. We're in the last few passages of Deuteronomy, certainly into the last pronouncements of Moses, the completion of the Torah. The Jews regard this as very important. So did Jesus. That should matter.
Our New Testament reading begins the Gospel of Luke. The first few days of this will cover the Christmas story that many of us know quite well. But what went on leading up to that is important as well, and we frequently pass it by lightly.