My son called today from Colorado. His father, my ex, has prostate cancer. It hit me like a ton of bricks, as the saying goes, because he is only 48 years-old; prostate cancer is "an old man's disease." This is further complicated by the fact that he is an alcoholic. He enters rehab in Denver in a few weeks with the intention of stopping drinking. The doctors want to remove the prostate gland, but they won't as long as he drinks.
Seven or eight years ago I would have said, "Good for ya! You deserve it! You reap what you sow." He never paid child support save one six month period in 2012 when it was garnished. He is nearly $30,000 behind and the reason I always worked two jobs while Matthew was growing up. He ignored Matthew's birthdays and Christmases. So, he deserves this, right?
That was seven or eight years ago. Now, I feel nothing but pity for him. He has had a hard life since our divorce and his return to Colorado in 2002. I don't know about his life prior to last Father's Day when our son arrived in Colorado to live with him awhile. But, within one week of Matthew's arrival, they were homeless, living in a motel. It would be about a month before they borrowed a camper and parked it in the in-laws' yard. They lived in that camper through the rough Colorado winter until about a month ago when they finally moved into town and a house.
He is no longer able to work construction due to his back, shoulder, and knees; twenty-five years of construction takes its toll. He has been turned down for disability because "he's not 50." Now he has cancer. Now he has to enter rehab.
I don't know what the future holds for Donald, but I know I feel no animus toward him. I will pray for him; whatever hostility I held for him died years ago. In the midst of this, God will use this to teach my son a valuable lesson--of that I *know.*