Last night I met a man whose wife walked out of his life three years ago…leaving him to raise their son and daughter on his own. As with my former spouse, this man’s ex-wife made a conscious choice to change the course of her life, therefore altering the lives of an entire family. Also similar to Crisco, she chose to set new priorities in her life….and those priorities don’t include a relationship with her children. When the man speaks of his destroyed family, pain is still evident in his voice. I tried to extend hope, I told him he’ll soon wake up on the other side of pain. I don’t think he believed me.

I’ll never understand the mindset of a man or woman who can carelessly hurt the people who love them. How does one casually walk out of a life, seemingly without second thought? Do they realize the sting of deception isn’t limited to their spouse and children?  Collateral damage is widespread: children, in-laws, cousins, siblings, parents, nephews…

My nephew Justin was in the mix of Crisco’s collateral damage. Justin is twenty-eight years old, a successful young man with a beautiful wife and son, and he has always loved his uncle. Justin doesn’t remember his life before Crisco, he was too young. From the time Justin was  fourteen-months old until age twenty-six, Crisco had been an integral part of his world. For many years, he even helped to fill a void caused by the absence of Justin’s dad, my brother. It’s safe to say there was a time that Justin adored Crisco. So when Crisco began to make offensive life choices, his behavior hurt and baffled my nephew in the same way that it hurt and confused my children.

A few weeks ago, on the night of the most recent court battle between Crisco and me, Justin emailed me a poem he had written…a poem he had composed after Crisco moved to Wyoming.  For me, the poem reveals the pain of betrayal….the heartache of a boy and a man…who just happen to be the same person.

 

An Ode to a Former Man

by: Justin Clark

Where you came from I do not know…

Your past is as mysterious as your present and your future…

I now find the exit of you from my life as much a blessing as you coming into it…

You held my heart, soul, and mind and gave me joy and wishes…

You left me with sadness and disappointment…

What lets me down more than anything, is seeing someone I love and care for letting themselves down even more…

I will hurt, but with MY family I will move on and be happy…

As for someone that I love, I can only hope that you can also move on beyond us, and hopefully be happy…

I can forgive you, but I will never forget…