Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Life Wasted

It's hard to believe that it's been a year. Granted last year wasn't all that super fantastic, but it's still hard to believe that my ex-brother in law has spent the last year in jail awaiting trial for sexually abusing my niece.

Last week he was found guilty and sentenced to 55 years in prison and a $7000 fine.

Instead of the relief that I thought I would feel, I find myself sad. Granted, I'm thankful that he isn't going to get away with the abuse to my niece and nephew, but I'm sad nonetheless.

Scott was a smart guy. And when he wasn't trying to prove how much better he was than anyone else, he was actually a nice guy. Once he and my sister split up, they both had a huge personality change and I wasn't complaining about either change. He opened up and he felt less compelled to make everything a "I know more than you do" conversation. I had a few decent conversations with him that didn't end with me wanting to beat him with whatever object was nearby and easily assessable.

I don't like being told that I don't know what I'm talking about when I do. If I don't know that's one thing, but when I actually grew up on a farm and raised cows, don't tell me that city boy knows more than I do. Not if you value your life.

Anyway. When we found out that Scott had been arrested and that there was proof he was sexually abusing my niece, I was just so....shocked. I trusted that man. I agreed that he should have custody of the kids the bulk of the time. I felt like I had let my niece and nephew down, by supporting him in his endeavor to get the majority of custody with the kids. I was disappointed that he had fooled us all so, so well. I couldn't believe that we didn't see him for the person that he truly was.

Yet, after a year of waiting, hoping, and praying that he wouldn't get away with the abuse. After a year of conversations with my niece, after a year of conversations with my nephew and knowing that he sent that innocent little boy to bed hungry, simply because he didn't want to give him more than 5 minutes to eat, I'm still sad.

The anger quickly wore off, and the only question I wanted answered was "What were you thinking?"

While I am relieved that the trial is over, and that maybe now, knowing that Scott was going to federal prison and wouldn't be able to "find her" that my niece might have a night where she didn't wake up in fear if she heard a car door outside her window. No child should have to live in fear of a parent. Ever.

 I'm sad at a life that was wasted. Scott had the opportunity to be so much more, to do so much more. Yet, he'll be 93 when he gets out of prison (assuming he serves all 55 years). He will have spent more of his life behind bars than he would a free man. If he manages to get out before then, he'll have to register as a sex offender. He won't be able to go back to his job as a certified nurse's aid. He will have wasted his life over one bad decision. One bad choice. One mistake, that the moment he made it, there was no turning back. I wonder if he knew that. I wonder if he realized what his life would become when he was caught.

Every choice that you make has some type of consequence. Good or bad. Talk about a wake up call.

I went to the gym this morning. The brownie I ate this afternoon pretty much undid all the sweating I did this morning. Sure, the brownie saved me from killing a co-worker, but it had consequences to my overall goal of losing some weight. I guess the one thing I can say about this whole ordeal has been that I've thought more about the choices that I've made. Every bite of that brownie just reminded me of all that sweating I was deleting. I've thought more about how that decision, how that choice will change my life. Sure, in the grand scheme of things that brownie won't make much difference. Unless I have one every single day, and then it will have a greater impact.

My point with all of this, his life could have been so different. All it took was one choice, that shouldn't have ever been an option, to change his life forever.

So, what are you going to do now?

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