Saturday, July 11, 2009

I said it...

It happened when we were watching the memorial for Steve McNair.

Anthony made the comment that he couldn't imagine how the family of the woman Steve was found dead with (who presumably shot him and then herself) feels. He said "how do you have a memorial service for someone who just committed a murder-suicide?"

And after a couple of minutes I made the statement: "One decision doesn't define a person's life."

I'm sure her family remembers the wonderful attributes she must have had, the little girl she once was. That's what I meant.

But that statement has been haunting me for days now. DOES one decision sometimes define a person's life?

For the last year or so I've certainly thought that my decision to leave the classroom defined life in the moment for what it was. But that has no bearing on how I actually define "me".

I certainly think and hope that my decision to accept Christ has defined my life.
But has it really?

So by making that statement was I actually saying that one bad decision doesn't define a person's life?

And if that's true, can I even accept it?

Because truth be told, I'll never know about the wonderful person I'm sure she was. And though I love who Steve McNair was, part of me will always remember how and why he died. It doesn't change that he was a wonderful person on and off the football field. But it does reshape my view of him somewhat.

The fact of it is...all of us make a bad decision here and there. And while I still maintain that those decisions don't define us...I do think they mold us differently than we once were. Just like the good decisions we make.

It's life, I suppose.



HappyascanB said...

One decision does and doesn't define someone's life. It's a complicated thing, really. But as someone who's laid a family member to rest after suicide, I have to say you're so right. You focus on who the person was during his / her entire life. It's not just the last moment of his / her life that defines her. Typically, when someone commits suicide, she's so overwhelmed with problems and issues she's facing that she isn't thinking straight. I, for one, am praying specifically for that girl's family.

CptnMayhem said...

To clarify:
I made that comment while I was watching the McNair memorial on Channel 5. It occurred to me how many people showed up at Mac's funeral... and how there would probably be a minute fraction of that at the girl's funeral.

How the family must feel, to know that so many people here in Nashville will always associate their loved one with the murder of the community's small hero. I can't help but wonder if they're able to focus on her whole life at her funeral, knowing how far-reaching the consequences of her actions were. I am confident that five years down the road, looking at her whole life will be much easier... but is it that easy, here in the moment, with the tragedy still so fresh?

This was the thought struck me, and filled me with sadness.