September 03, 2005

The things you learn about the people you thought you knew...

[The beauty of being an anonymous blogger is that you're free to air your family's dirty laundry. My problem is that I'm only a semi-anonymous blogger. There are at least two or three freinds and family members who might read this post, so I have to be careful about what I write. On the other hand, the two family members -- Sister the Elder and Sister the Younger -- know pretty much all of what I might write already. That being said, onto today's post......]

So anyway, I was standing outside the hall where my cousin's wedding reception was going along at full steam and talking to a few close (and not so close) relatives. We were discussing a certain "problem" that had arisen. But that's another story.

One gathered in the group was my cousin Lisa. I think this was only the second time since the mid-'70s that Lisa and I had been at the same gathering. (When I was in my early teens she was just a wee lass playing with the other wee lassies on my aunt Dorothy's backyard lawn.)

Later in the evening Lisa asked me in passing if I was ready for another cigarette. I said "sure" and outside we went. The more we talked the more I realized how pretty she was. Maybe it was because she was so fun to talk to. She mentioned listening to the Clash when she was a teenager. Hmmm. "We're not THAT closely related," I thought. I'm not even sure exactly how we're related, but her last name tells me that we are.

I wondered why each of the times we'd been at the same family reunion, she was alone. Such a pretty gal, so vivacious and witty. Why is she always alone?

Even later in the evening she passed me a note. It was her phone number. She asked me if I would pass it along to my younger sister. I said that, of course, I would. That was one week ago tonight.

This afternoon I finally phoned Sister the Younger to give her Lisa's number.

"Everytime, just after I talk to her," Sister the Younger said, "I remember why I didn't want to phone her."
"Oh? And why is that?" I inquired.

Whelp... It seems that dear Lisa spent five years in prison for killing her husband and/or boyfriend because of some "abuse" he'd meted out to Lisa's now 17-yr-old daughter.

Given what Sister the Younger told me this afternoon, it's likely that Lisa says, early on, to any potential boyfriends something along the lines of "Before we go any further there's something that you should know about me..." Yep. I can see how that might explain why she always shows up to these functions alone.

Part of me wants to say that Lisa did the right thing. The bastard deserved it.
But a bigger part of me says that there are better ways to handle an abusive situation. Friend and former co-worker Lawruh was in one and got out in the middle of the night with her two boys -- the younger being not much more than an infant at the time -- and went to a shelter. She had no contact with her husband for ten years.

Lisa chose her solution and paid for that choice. A small part of me wants to pat her on the back. The rest of me wants to remember that a rage that can allow what she did to happen is a rage not welcome to my world. There is a way to level-headedly plan a solution rather than to bull-headly, violently erase the problem.

Sister the Younger has a different perspective than cousin Lisa. But I wont get into that as I'm only a semi-anymous blogger and I think I'll need permission to get into this any further.

I'm not reading anything more about what's going on in the lost city of New Orleans. Humanity can't surprise me anymore. By choice.

I predict that there will be no comments to this post. Well understood.

Posted by Tuning Spork at September 3, 2005 07:33 PM | TrackBack

Well, I was going to comment, but I wouldn't want your prediction to be wrong...

Um, if I post this, then it's a done deal, so I may as well go ahead!

It seems to me that Lisa did her time, and it couldn't have been easy to be separated from her daughter while she was in prison. I think if you enjoy talking to her, you should stay in touch. But, I don't know all the details, so you may ignore my opinion if it's ill-founded.

Posted by: Susie at September 4, 2005 02:05 AM

No, Susie, you're opinion is well-founded and I think you're right. I'm going to invite her to see my friends' band the next time play at the home base. We'll have a good time in a neutral place and I'll get to know her better and see how it goes.

And thanks for ruining my prediction! :)

Posted by: Tuning Spork at September 4, 2005 01:26 PM

I think the key here is not knowing any more about the situation. Five years isn't very long considering the crime in question, so there must have been some corroboration or mitigating circumstances. One that comes immediately to mind is that when it happened it was a "now or never" moment, where it was necessary to do it right then or her child might be permanently injured or killed.

Just my .02, since Susie already... ;)

Posted by: Ted at September 5, 2005 08:44 AM
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