Absence Of Embrace

A calloused heart is what I saw in him.

My father-in-law and I had a conversation about the man who murdered a family not far from our homes. We live in an area that is known for being neighborly, and the atmosphere surrounding our blocks seems to be picturesque, with a type of quietness that is inviting. Until, one night not long ago, a man decided to break into a home and take the lives of two beautiful people while they slept.

‘I feel sorry for the guy,’ my words to him. I said this to my father-in-law the other night, and he really couldn’t understand why or how I could say such a thing. He thought that I was talking about the elderly neighbor who’d been murdered at first, but I went on to tell him that it was the shooter in reference. He was kind of shocked by my statement. We went on and discussed how it was not acceptable, of course. We also talked about what I and my brother-in law, also present during the discussion, understood that he did not. He couldn’t understand how I could have any sort of sympathy for the shooter.

We talked about a few things that I really don’t know if he grasped like my brother-in-law had. Dad, how I’ll refer to my father-in-law, was raised in an environment that was bred of the typical Christian principle. Love was always there for him. His parents were always faithful to each other and there was very little within his home and upbringing that wasn’t wholesome. My brother-in-law and myself, not so much. We have a similar history. Perhaps mine may be just a bit more challenging in the developmental years of youth, but nonetheless, we understood the comment I had made to dad the other night.

After reading the affidavit and seeing pictures of the accused murderer, yeah, I did have sympathy for him. I saw the burned and hollow hole within his eyes, and a narrative was loosely formed as I thought about the life he may have had. I don’t know him, but my god, I’ve been him in ways and have known many like him. Dad and I talked about the emptiness within the kid, and I believe that is what he didn’t understand while we conversed. He didn’t know anything of the concept. A man pushing seventy years has no concept of the type of emptiness I was talking about. I suppose the Protestant shelter he was blessed to have never allowed him to see the truths I’ve known. My passionate words kind of frustrated his view of the whole situation, Afterall, he knew the couple murdered. He lives adjacent to where they had on the same street, and talked with them occasionally. It was very, very close to their home. A murder–not just a robbery or petty crime. His fear and anger became evident as he explained why he now sleeps with the pistol next to his bed. I understood, but he didn’t understand why my sympathetic attitude was so weightless. The contrasts of our upbringings and experiences were the difference, and it formulated our personal views.

A man took the wrong roads, and I cannot help but think that he probably came from a broken home that, most likely, didn’t have much to offer. A man chose to kill for little items of little value. There is definitely something missing in him, I can say with certainty. In my personal experience, the lack of nurturing in the early years of a life can encourage many complications. Is this why the man chose to kill? What a tangled web it must be for him, and probably unbeknownst. There are many whom will never have the capability of starting over, or have the opportunity to love themselves in a way that enables them to begin to think about their actions; the consequences of decisions made. Yes, I do feel for the guy, and I do believe that it may not be his fault entirely.

I went on and told my father-in-law about the A.A. and N.A. groups I used to sit in on, and the stories the people would tell. There was often a common fact involved: those individuals never had a love within or without. It is really unfortunate that so many parents never see how important it is to show their children love, and it is even more unfortunate when they don’t know how to.

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