Friday, March 22, 2013

Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Douchebags

Okay, I took one for Florence Nightengale from way back, and sat through the endless lectures on cross-cultural nursing, and I really do get it. I expect certain things from certain groups, because they covered it in school ages ago, and frequently it helps me do my job and better care for my patients, and their families.

So I know that the 29-year-old, 6'4", 275 pound scary prison/gang-tatted 2-time felon sitting on the gurney in the back row with you, cold, lifeless, and fenestrated in the X-ring by 3 well-placed .40 slugs will, to you, always be your "sweet baby".

And I get that to you, his mother, he was a poor, misunderstood sweet little child who could never do any wrong, and all those other people just made everything up for 20 years.

But seriously woman, if I can step beyond my culture, maybe you can inch away from yours too, if only long enough to grab some air.

Because when you're so ostentatiously bewailing the cosmic cruelty of the universe that robbed you of your sweet little snookiewookums, it's not a human being mourning the loss of a loved one, so much as it's a delusional enabler bitch-slapped by reality, and still not recognizing the handprint on your face.

Especially when the nice little 5' 5" grocery clerk your sweet baby was repeatedly punching in the face and stabbing in the chest across the checkout counter is sitting, very much alive, in the trauma room just a dozen feet away, battered, bruised, punctured, bleeding, but very much still with us, and now assaulted again by listening to your hissy fits.

So all you're accomplishing is to get the cops, the doctors, the nurses, and literally busloads of humanity you'll never know, to disregard you and dozens like you in days beyond your reckoning, while those of us right there right now are most inclined to compliment our live patient on his excellent marksmanship, and steely determination to stop a thug from killing him, or anyone else.

While as a human being, I'm sorry you or anyone should ever have to suffer the death of their child, at any age, as a citizen of the same city they both live in, I'm thinking that for the day so far, we've all come out ahead.

So why don't you STFU, let one of the 27 relatives take you home, and cry by yourself for all the times you pretended everything was all right when sweetums was out with the gang, covered for him with the school, the teachers, the cops, friends and family, and beat yourself up as hard for covering for him all those years as he beat up on so many other innocent people, mainly just because he could.

My patient didn't know your son, and he had less than 30 seconds to decide to live, and make a terrible choice, and he'll carry that emotional burden with him, and the nightmare of your son's last seconds, for the rest of his life.

Hopefully, so will you. Because you had a lot longer than 30 seconds, even if not a full 18 years, to turn things around so this day wouldn't come. If only you were weeping that you were sorry, instead of questioning why this happened, maybe I could see it.

And it's frankly self-indulgent childishness to weep and moan with such histrionics, when all that happened was that in the vast restaurant of life, you just got the check. Your son already paid his share. And I suspect like the thief on the cross next to Christ, right at the end he knew too, however fleetingly, that he had it coming.

And when someone gets what they certainly had coming in this instance, it's callously offensive to pretend that it's otherwise.

So under the heading of tough love, c'mon back to reality, and see what you can do for the rest of your life to start making up for what you failed to do. It may be hard, but not nearly as hard as listening to you pretend, with every sob and shudder, as if your son died throwing himself on a grenade to save a busload of schoolkids, or testing a cancer vaccine, or somesuch worthy sacrifice. Not to mention how hard it is for your audience to tolerate another moment of the Raspberry Award-winning performance you're giving in tonight's episode of "Why, O Why, Is The Universe So Unfair, And Fate So Cruel?".

The universe has a quota for b.s., and you've exceeded your limit. Stop cheapening every honest tear that's ever shed in this place.

Besides, like Sean Connery said, he shouldn't have brought a knife to a gunfight.

1 comment:


    A little personal responsibility really can go a long way in terms of parenting. As sad as the story is, especially for the shooter, you brought a smile to my face in being able to put to paper the feelings I have had at work so many times. Thank you