Friday, August 10, 2007

'Let Us Say A Prayer For Every Living Thing Walking Toward A Light'

I don't know what it's like to be a man who claims a son who isn't his.

I don't know what it's like to be a man wielding a machete and slicing through thick kudzu taller than he is, hoping to find alive a son who isn't his but a son he claims.

I don't know what it's like to be that man, laboring beneath the unforgiving sun, only a few feet away from the body of a son he claims but a son who isn't his.

I don't know what it's like to be that man.

Nor do I know what it's like to be the men who had to actually see a 4-year-old boy lying dead.

Nor do I know what it's like to be the actual father who is responsible for his death.

The only thing I know, for absolute surety, is the crushing despair inside of hearing someone yell, "Found a body!" mere feet away from you.

As life is being lived. As weed eaters and chainsaws buzz. Knowing that we all know we're not going to find anything in that forest that's anything good in this world.

Except something that used to be but is no more.

It's a reality.

One that refuses to leave you, whether in your dreams or listening to gospel music in your truck or with your head in your hands while you take a break from playing sports or as you close yourself in a room with your own 4-year-old son, wrapping your arms around him as tears stream down your face.

I don't know what it's like to be that man who claims a son who isn't his.

But I do know, breathing in this stagnant air of humanity out of balance with its world, what it's like to be a man who claims a son.

And that, if only that, makes a man, and helps make a human being mean something in this world.

5 comments:

Rusty said...

True.

captain corky said...

Heartbreaking.

Tink said...

A sad truth.

Melissa said...

Oh no. I can't even imagine how you felt holding your own son.

Anonymous said...

man, that's heavy. i don't know what that father went through, or those men, but i know what it's like to have someone taken from you suddenly. it's been six weeks or so and it's still somehow not real.

dan.
ntns