Betty Duffy

(Amateur)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's all on loan...

I love spending time with my parents, but even better is spending time at their house when they are not at home. My husband was burning the midnight oil on our bathroom project, which began many months ago, so I brought the Littles out to the Lodge so we could exhale a little, and not worry so much about people tracking grout and paint all over the floors. The tracking is probably going to happen in my absence, but I enjoy not knowing about it.

My parents went to my brother’s this weekend, so here I am again, feeding cows, wiping manure off my heels at first light. Cock crowed at five am this morning, and I had a thought that I might be able to feed the creatures in my sleep, throw a gigantic coat over my jammies, inform the rooster that daylight savings time entitles everyone to an extra hour of sleep, satisfy the dogs who were airborne with hunger and anticipation, and then stagger back to bed.

I had only just crawled back into the four poster when a jammy-clad two year old crawled in behind me saying, “I want NUR!” which means “feed me.” So I rolled over, and gave up the ghost. This day was going to happen, and I needed to just make the coffee and admit it.

Last night, after the Vigil Mass, I went to get a movie, which I thought I might watch on Mom and Dad’s big screen TV. Couldn’t find a decent chick flick, so with some mixture of civic duty and morbid curiosity, I picked out a documentary on human trafficking. The critics said that this particular movie was “worth every sobering minute.”

Then I drove the narrow country roads in the dark and rain to this isolated cabin in the woods, where my children and I would sleep alone on opening night of the deer-hunting season. By the time I pointed my headlights at the front porch of my parents’ house so I could see to unlock the door, I’d decided there would be no human trafficking for me tonight. I rolled the kids into bed, and lay down with a big stack of catalogs that I paged through, numbing night terrors with consumer hopefulness, until I fell asleep too.

In the headlines recently, an eighteen-year-old boy from an affluent area of Indianapolis, met a strange man on the internet for a tryst. At some point in their activities, the boy died, and the man dumped his body in the dumpster. Authorities have the man in custody, and are combing a landfill for the boy’s remains. I can’t get the story out of my mind—as a friend of mine said, “That really is too much information for any parent to have about their child.”

I keep thinking about how a mother can give up her life to cajole the souls of her children into a safe and respectable adulthood, only to have someone out there use and dispose of her babies like garbage. And of course, the worst of the story is that the child, in full faculties of his will, put himself in the position that would take his life. The demands of the flesh can so easily usurp every other area of promise in a person’s life.

This morning, coffee made, baby and animals fed, I pulled some dark chocolate out of my purse, broke off two squares and ate them in bed, trying to pray, but mostly looking out the window. The sun is out, and each gorgeous day in November feels like another day borrowed from winter. The readings for this week have been about the tribulation, how we will face persecution, we will give testimony and Christ will come again. And I sat there, pillows piled up behind my back, chocolate on my tongue, wondering how persecution at the end times could be any worse than what some people are experiencing this very minute.

And good grief, how lucky am I?

8 comments:

Betty Beguiles said...

Oh, how I love a good Betty Duffy essay on a lazy Sunday. They go perfectly with my chenille throw, cup of coffee and piece of dark chocolate. Utterly satisfying. Thank you. :)

So...when can I buy the book?

Lana said...

i like the tag on this one.

dylan said...

I, too, like the first label to this post!

but I really wanted to comment on that unfortunate lad, and am almost deprived of the power to do so. So unspeakably grim and sad.

Misha Leigh. said...

Yes, great tag and ... the subject.... so heartbreaking. Can I also say I just loved this line so much: "satisfy the dogs who were airborne with hunger and anticipation"

If that isn't the best visual...

Kate Wicker @ Momopoly said...

I echo Betty's sentiments, although I sat down to read your essay with a 19-month-old digging through my desk drawers, so it wasn't quite as relaxing. But good grief, how lucky am I? Amen.

Ashley said...

I absolutely love your writing style. It is so genuine.

mrsdarwin said...

Betty, I had to look up the trailer on the human trafficking movie after we talked about it, and I sat obsessing about the dangers of the world until I almost ruined my Sunday evening with my husband. Today I drilled the kids (in what I hope was an unscary fashion): Would you ever get in a car with a stranger? Would you ever take any food from a stranger? What if he said he knew Mommy or Daddy? They answered satisfactorily, but the fear of something evil happening to my children can become paralyzing if I let it. In the end I have to remember what Jesus himself said: "Fear is useless; what is needed is trust."

BettyDuffy said...

Mrs. D, It's so easy to let a thing like a movie or a TV show throw off your mood, becoming suspicious of the world and everyone in it. After we went through our VIRTUS training at Church (to recognize and prevent sexual abuse) it seemed like everyone was a villain. I don't want to live that way.