The Grave Site

Today was a day that I didn’t expect to come so soon. With all that is going on, I realized that my son may soon start hearing things from others about my past. It’s a shame but it is bound to happen as people are bad at keeping secrets and also there are those who may not realize that my son doesn’t know every detail and they may accidentally say something. My wife and I realize this possibility. While on a recent trip to speak in Arkansas and visit family and friends throughout Arkansas and Oklahoma, my son asked where my family was buried. WOW! I didn’t think this was going to happen at 6yrs old. I took a second and then explained that they were at a cemetery by my grandparent’s house and if he really wanted to, we could go see them before we leave. He said he wanted to and my wife and I decided that we would take him by as we were leaving town to head back to Texas. My son doesn’t know the details about my past. He only knows that my mom, dad, and brother passed away. Somehow, he also found out that my brother had some head trauma. (Can’t remember how he found that out) I realized very quickly that my son was very inquisitive when he asked why my dad was buried separate from my mom and brother. I dodged that by changing the subject because he doesn’t need to know all of that right now. We drove to the cemetery and got out of the car. We grabbed the flowers that we brought for the shared grave site. My wife and I explained some things to my son as we all stared at the grave site and watched for his reaction. As I expected, not much of an initial reaction. But I didn’t expect what was to come up in a little bit. After a while we all got back in the car and started to drive back over to my grandparent’s house before leaving. I sensed something was wrong when I realized that my normally very talkative boy wasn’t moving or talking from the backseat. I looked in the mirror and saw that he was just staring into space. I asked him what was wrong and he said, “Nothing”. I knew better than to let it go because I always try to hide things inside and don’t want my son to end up like that. I pulled over before even leaving the cemetery and told him that it was ok to talk to us. I realized that he was searching for words and so I helped him by asking him questions that I thought he may be thinking. He said he wished that he could’ve met my brother and mom (his uncle and grandma).  We talked for a few more minutes about life, etc. He looked like he was getting ready to say something, then he just started crying. My wife was already in the backseat consoling Dylan closely as I was talking to him from the front seat. We chatted with him for awhile until I could see in his eyes that he was starting to cope. This is a healing process that my son has to go through. I just thought it would be a little later but I’m glad he experienced that and is starting to understand a few things.  It’s tough to see my son (and my wife, as well) have to deal with never being able to meet family members because of something selfish that my dad did. As we left the cemetery that day, I realized that this was not over and there will be more times in the future where this subject comes up. It’s not going away. I dread the day that I have to look my son in the eyes and tell him what my dad did to us. Now, I realize that day is coming sooner than later. I thank God for my family and will always let them know that they are safe and that I am nothing like my dad. This was a special day, yet I’m glad it’s over.

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  1. #1 by Richard Moore on September 26, 2010 - 5:23 am

    Chris, I can remember that day, from your aunt calling, going to the house, seeing you at the hospital, seeing and hearing about you as you grew-up and matured. Life seems to cheat us so unfairly to where we cry out to God, WHY?. He also gives us the strength to continue, learn, and encourage with their struggles. It has been amazing to how you have taken these struggles to help others along with yourself and now your son and family. Thank you for sharing your time with us all. Take care

  2. #2 by Carly to Chris-I have a story too! on September 26, 2010 - 5:35 pm

    My goodness, Chris, to hear that yourself and wife had to go through that w/ your son, is quite emotional. I could only try to understand what u (overall) have experienced in your life. Look at it this way though, look at how it is now, w/ your wife, gorgeous son, and the rest of your life ahead of you. Meaning, yes of course I ( as well as many many other thousands of people) feel very VERY sorry for all of that that you’ve been through. Life is certainly a BLESSING though, isn’t it? AMEN! God Bless you all also! Carly Draudt

  3. #3 by Linda Boerm on September 26, 2010 - 8:26 pm

    I pray for God’s wisdom for you and your family and for God to be with you to speak for you if necessary when you have to answer difficult questions.

    I had a somewhat similar situation with my grand-daughter this year. Although it was not as deadly as the violence you incurred, it was devastating to her. She and her brother had been abandoned by their mom, (my step-daughter). Her mother gave up her rights to my grand-daughter but not my grandson. However she abandoned them both and they were being raised by my son-in-law with my husband and my help. I knew the day would come when she would ask questions. Sure enough it did and although I had tried prepare for it, it was still heartbreaking for me when she ran into my kitchen crying and asked me whether her mother gave her up.
    I hugged her and carried her to the couch while I was praying that God speak through me to answer her questions as you probably did.

    I needed God so much then and he was there. I only answered her questions, no more, no less. I figured that too much information before she was ready to understand the complexities of her mom leaving her would be as harmful and ignoring her pleas.

    Sometimes the answers we have to give are not happy answers, but, God will use each event an opportunity to draw us closer to Him. From reading your blogs in the past, I know you have asked for God’s strength and lean on Him. I just wanted to let you know that.
    I will continue to pray for you and for God to bring blessings and happiness out of this tragedy. Linda

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