Thursday, December 13, 2007

Mhister Man

Middle had a protracted crying, whining episode this morning.

It all began, at 5:43 am, with “Mammy. Mammy. Bodtle. Bodtle.” Baby was calling. I was cozy in our bed. King Daddy’s alarm had already gone off three times. I nudged him again to turn it off. “Mommy. Mommy. Blankie. Mommy. Blankie” I swung my legs out of bed and padded across the floor. I opened the door and there he was. He looked up at me and then down, pointing to his blankie and bodtle, both on the floor where he threw them before sleep overcame his sweet body. Oldest and Middle were still in their beds. Oldest’s eyes were open; “Did you bring my purple blanket in from the car?” “Of course I did.” Then I proceed to gently suggest that they both stay cozy in their beds.

And then it hit.

“I don’t want to stay cozy in my bed. I don’t want to stay cozy in my bed. I don’t WANT to stay cozy in my BED.”

Oldest made her way downstairs and settled in on the couch with her cup of cocoa. Middle came down as angry has he had been upstairs. He was no longer chanting. He was whining for cocoa. “You need to have juice.” “NNNnnnnnnnnnnnnnoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.” Then he threw himself on the floor, on top of his blankie, for thirty five minutes.

I showered, King Daddy showered and still he was yelling and crying.

He finally pulled himself together enough to come and sit with me on the couch. I held him. Slowly he began to relax and giggle a little at the kid show playing on the tv. I extracted myself from him to finish getting all of us ready.

We left the driveway with minimal whining and only one hug kiss today, not a 100. They are happy to back with our babysitter. Chattering and playing.

It is good to be a kid who is loved by so many.

There are many kids who are loved my many. But sometimes they are loved by people who don’t know what love is. They don’t understand or have the capacity to give love selflessly. I went to school with a kid who was loved. He was loved by a man who beat him and degraded him. He was loved by a sister who looked up to him. He was loved by a man who gave him a job and he was loved by his friends.

For some reason this kid, whose name was Bobby Ludwig, has been on my mind lately. He died in 1995 and I just pray that he knew, even if it was for just a few moments, what real love felt like. His story is the stuff that horror stories are made of, only it was not a story, it was real. He was real. His situation was real. I didn’t know Bobby all that well during high school, but I remember he was gentle and polite.

When I heard of his suicide years after the incident I was stricken with despair. This kid was tortured in life by a man that was supposed to love him. This man ultimately died a horrific death. It was the final act of retaliation for the years of unspeakable torture.

After the incident the town rallied around him. They raised money for his defense. His employer was the champion of the cause. In the end he didn’t go to jail. But he was never really free. He was never really free from the horror inflicted on him. I don’t know what he did after graduation, or where he went, or if he went to school. All I know is that on a day in 1995 he jumped off a bridge, ending his life.

I don’t know why he has been on my mind or my heart as of late, perhaps it is so no one forgets his story or perhaps it is to remind me that love is the most powerful thing in the world. And not one of us can survive without it.

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