What Ever Happened to ______?

Photo by Enrico Hu00e4nel on Pexels.com

People’s lives interest me. Being curious, I like to know what makes you tick and why were we thrown together? My past friends, acquaintances, employers, etc. randomly pop into my mind and Google/Facebook sure make it easy to see how life has treated them. What choices have they made throughout the years? Facebook has made it easy to connect with so many people that have touched my life. Thank you Facebook. For some of my people, it is enough to not reconnect and just know they are ok. But every now and then, I find something out that has made me so sad. Like one of my past managers, that I respected and admired, committed suicide because of her job stress.

And I just found out another very sad tale. This time, an old college boyfriend, Doug, from 40 years ago, popped into my mind. I’m not sure why, since we broke up after college and I’ve had no contact with him. He was majoring in Criminology and my husband and I have been watching “Murder She Wrote” so maybe that’s why? I’ve given up trying to understand myself and just go with it. Haha.

Anyway, Doug’s story of life turned tragic. He used his Criminology degree by working at United States Penitentiaries (USP), 20 years, as a “counselor” for the inmates. The one he worked at the longest is a high security prison and has “notable inmates” as Wikipedia calls them…heads of mobs, terrorists, a participant of the NYC Trade Center bombing, a Somali Pirate leader, mass shooting murderers, etc.

Doug’s high security prison was sent an additional 80 prisoners from another USP, because they were about to cause a riot. When they got to Doug’s prison facility, 3 tough ring leaders, band together, in hopes of creating a hostage situation of the prison “staff,” including Doug. Things escalated but help arrived eventually and the hostage situation subsided. The 5 staff members were debriefed by the psychologists and chaplains to assess their physical/emotional well being. A couple of them were transferred and Doug went to a low security prison eventually, then retired.

The story gets worse. The PTSD from all of this time spent in Doug’s career, created a heavy drinking problem, and he chose an early retirement. A reliable source said that after Doug retired, he stayed home and had little contact with anyone. It doesn’t sound like he ever married or had his own family.

Then the most horrible part is that he was found dead in his home, having died several days prior.

I feel so badly for Doug to have had to cope daily with that trauma. Enough to drive him to drink so heavily, it sounds like alcohol killed him. Or he may have committed suicide. There is no mention of Doug having a family so he suffered alone. It sounds infathomable that any human being could have remained sane, living the life Doug lived. My heart aches for him.

And that brings me to the blessing of God saving me from this. What if I had married Doug? Our relationship didn’t work out because I graduated ahead of him, my mom wouldn’t allow me to use her car to visit him after I moved back home and eventually, he moved onto someone else at college. At the time, I was mad at my mom for interfering with my life and so miserable for losing what I thought was a great relationship.

BUT…if I had married him, he may have shared with me, his counseling stories of trying to help these hard-core criminals. Doug had to hear the inner workings of a criminal mind, all day long, for 20 years! I don’t see how I could have dealt with his daily horror. My will of support may have been there but I highly doubt that my psyche could have remained intact, while listening. Or what if we married and he didn’t share and it ate him alive inside, and I lived with a skeleton of a internally reclusive, traumatized alcoholic husband. That couldn’t have lasted.

This real life story is such an example of not being given something your heart desires and not understanding at the time. Then learning the finished story of God working behind the scenes of your heartache. Learning the reason why you were not handed, what you thought was best for your life. We need only to trust Him. God has given me a husband that loves me and although we have our ups and downs, the drama I face nowadays is if my husband cleans up the kitchen. I can handle that.

Dear God, please help me to never question you when things don’t go my way. Help me to trust completely that you know and love every hair on my head and are taking good care of me. You know what I can handle. Help us to make the right choices, your choices, by asking and listening to your will, not ours. Please help all those in need like Doug to seek help. Rest in peace Doug.

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

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