Monday, January 09, 2012

Perspective, and then some

I just read an Op-Ed piece in the N.Y. Times written by a Nigerian man, Lakhdar Boumediene,  who was detained in military custody, without explanation,  at Guantanamo Bay for SEVEN, yes 7, years.

His children grew up while he was inside being tortured, interrogated and treated like a terrorist despite the lack of any evidence against him.

Seven years.

They were not allowed to talk to him.

Seven years.

Letters they wrote to him were sent back.

When he was finally released, the only explanation was that the government had made a mistake.  Oops.

It breaks my heart. Incenses my every fiber. Shocks my soul. Seven years. You can not give a man the experience of being with his wife and watching his children grow back to him once you have stolen it. It's gone, forever.

And it makes me feel just a wee bit guilty about my ongoing pity party regarding not being able to get my husband, father of my children, back home where he belongs after just five months of trying. I'm still angry, more so than ever, but I'm also humbled somehow, in the face of just how bad it could be.

The world is filled with broken families. To see families broken up unnecessarily, and children losing their fathers for no good reason other than the heartless churning wheels of bureaucracy, is painful.


Anca said...

Now I'm ashamed about my constant whining regarding the repetitiveness of child caring....

Betsy said...

Oh yes, that too. Right there with you, Anca.

MT said...

Everything is relative, isn't it?
It is tough. While I survived our first three months back in Canada as the single parent for our 3 boys, it took me a long while to recover from it once my husband came back. Kinda like that return culture shock part deux. Keep leaning on your friends and family. And internet followers ;)

mooserbeans said...

Everything is relative. The trick is to feel compassion for others, while being thankful for what you have, while allowing yourself the very human emotion of feeling frustrated by your situation (which is difficult in it's own right).

Kip said...

You go right ahead with your pity party whenever you need it. While its true that there is always someone who has it worse, it totally stinks that Ian can't be with you guys now. When the party is over you can remember to count your many blessings.

Robin said...

I agree with all of these other friends, and I think Mooserbeans said it particularly well! I had to work my way through the same thing on a much smaller scale the other day. My 3-year-old fell and busted up his face, including moving one of his front teeth a bit. I freaked a bit, imagined ongoing dental work and/or the loss of a front tooth, and succombed to a bit of unnecessary worry (meanwhile, he was forgetting the whole thing). I had to remind myself that a lost front baby tooth was not really a big deal, and then when the dentist said the next day that the tooth would probably be OK, I felt even sillier for worrying. But we do hate to see our kids suffer at all, and that's so natural.