Monday, October 22, 2012

Decisions Faced! Decisions Made!

Here he found himself with a decision that might have a profound effect upon the rest of his life. The day started out as any other. His wife wanted him to take something to her mother. She also wanted him to take the kids with him so they could get out of the house for a drive but really so she could see what it felt like being alone in the house without five little boys yelling and fighting. So he figured what the hell if I give her this maybe I'll get that after with a smile. So he loaded the kids into the back seat, no seat belts back in the day, and he took off. It was always an adventure trying to find a parking space where his in-laws lived. A couple of guys actually beat him out of really good spots and he was fuming as he parked ten blocks away. Then he had to unload the kids who were already jumping out of their skins because they had sat in one place for a half hour or so. The ten block walk to where he had to go was an adventure and he was already hating the walk back after he had to be nice to his in-laws who never really liked him and whom he thought were a little, maybe a lot, nutty.  He got to his in-laws and the kids always liked the ride up the elevator but today they were fighting over who would press the buttons until they pressed every button so it was a local up nine floors. He finally reached the apartment and entered with the kids, the grandparents were never too happy to see the kids all at one time so he figured they'd get the bums rush out of there after he delivered the parcel, which by the way he was very happy with.

The exchange of pleasantries with all the kisses went well and after fifteen minutes they were on their way down in the same elevator with the same childish nonsense going on and stopping at every floor. The walk back to his parked car was as exasperating as the walk to it and he had to hold himself back from whacking his little darlings. Happily they got into the car and they were on the way. His mood however turned much darker than when he left his wife a short time ago. He was behind a car at a light that turned green but the car wasn't moving. He blew his horn and the car stood still. He drove around the car and flipped the driver. He was driving for a few blocks and when he glanced into his rear view mirror he noticed the car following was the same guy he just flipped and he was gesticulating  furiously. "Goddamn", he thought that guy is trying to catch up to me. He tried to ditch him by turning up some back streets but the guy was still coming. He was in a foul mood already but suddenly he was furious and he thought about the lug wrench he kept under his drivers seat for such a moment. Forgetting everything, he let the guy cut him off and when he got out of his car he was humongous. However with all that was happening he thought, "I'll wait til he gets near the door I'll open it in his face jump out and crush his skull with the lug wrench. I don't give a damn if I kill him!" From the other car he could hear the wife calling him back as she held her infant in her arms. As he was approaching the thoughts raced through the mind of the father with his five sons in the back seat. He saw himself slamming the car door in the intruder's face. He saw himself jumping out of the car and crushing his skull until the blood covered the road. Then the thoughts came flooding into his mind, that now the wife with the infant in the other car would be without a husband and a father. That the police would come and there would be a trial and he could spend a lot of time in prison. That his wife and sons would have a miserable life without a husband and father. That if he let go with all his anger he could ruin ten lives which were before him and who knew how many to follow, as well as all others who were peripherally tied to them.

The big guy reached the door and called him all the names he could think of, challenging him to step outside and settle this. He was tempted, as he felt he looked cowardly to his kids, but his mind kept going back to destroying lives that needed a chance to live, to make mistakes, to experiencing joy. He was faced with a choice that would change the world for all concerned. So he ate his pride and even though his manhood felt crushed he said he was sorry and told the guy to go back and comfort his wife and kid. The guy left and laughed as he said "You are not a man!".

He remembers the incident clearly even though it took place some fifty years ago. Few times in one's life is a decision made that can have such a profound effect on the rest of a family's life. He was always afraid his sons would think of him as a coward but they barely remember the incident. He and his wife had two more children after that incident. Those children would never had been born if he opted to crush, "Jerry", was the name being called to from his wife. And if those two children were never born the world would have missed great joy. His five sons grew and lived well and enjoyed life. He and his wife lived and loved a long, long time after this incident. After the incident he put the lug wrench in his trunk to use only to take flat tires off the car. There are only a few decisions of the many we make in a lifetime that profoundly affect the rest of our lives and touch other lives as well. He thought we should remember all that we can of these decisions so we can appreciate just how lucky we are that we did make the correct decisions, hopefully.
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