First of all, I want to say thank you to my friends and family members who have been very sympathetic, encouraging and supportive over the past three days in the wake of the tragedy of Sunday. As upset and sad as I am about what happened between him and his father, my pain can only be a fraction of what his family is going through. The struggles that they have gone through were so much more monumental than anything I did.
The factor that is probably the most difficult to deal with is the feeling that no matter what, despite the best efforts of so many people, that we failed.
The night I found out what had happened, I went to my sister and her husband's house. There were a lot of tears cried, cigarettes smoked, and beers drank. I think there can be a very helpless feeling when you know that you tried to give your best effort to something to make it work and it just doesn't happen.
I was feeling pretty jaded on Sunday night. I wrote a post that night, sitting by my sister's pool, long after everyone in the house had gone to sleep. It was after God-knows-how-many beers, and I at least had the wherewithal not to post it in my condition at the time. I only shared that post with one person, and I won't be sharing it with anyone else.
But I kept it to go back and read.
I was feeling pretty damn beat to hell that night. The world, as a whole, just seemed like a very bad place and it was very easy to think about the futility of trying to make it better when the odds seem so very stacked against you. Especially when the results of the failure are so devastating.
When I woke up the next morning, next to my five-year-old, it was light again. Lo and behold the sun had risen. I got up to face the day.
At 7:30 that morning, I got a call from a police officer on a case where I'm trying to help another kid out of a bad situation. The officer was very kind on the phone when I told him why there wouldn't be anything I could do on the case that day.
Moments later, I heard a thud from upstairs in my sister's guest room. My boy had fallen out of bed and was crying. I went and picked him up and made it better in the way that only Daddy or Mommy can. I talked on the phone to people from my past and people from my present I went to lunch with my Dad and Sister before coming home to Houston.
After dropping my son off with his Mom, my friends were waiting for me in Houston to take me out and cheer me up. My group of friends here, and you know who you are, aren't really the type to get mushy and sentimental, but I hope they know how much that helped. It was the first time since learning about the tragedy that I at least cracked some semblance of a smile.
And yesterday, I was back at work. Hopefully trying to help somebody else.
The point of this rambling and probably overly-personal post is that in life, we all tend to pick each other up when the other falls down.
Or at least we try to.
It is just responding to the Better Angels of our Nature.
You can throw yourself headfirst into a situation that seems insurmountable, whether it be a case, a relationship, or just trying to help a friend who was long-since salvageable and still fail. There are no guarantees on what the outcome of any situation will be when human nature is a factor in it.
But, as cliched as it may sound, even when you do fail, you simply must not quit trying. You may lose your case. You may lose your relationship. You may lose your friend.
But the sun will still rise in the morning and there will be other cases, other relationships, and other friends that you can contribute to.
You only truly fail when you quit trying.