Those Who Live In Glass Houses Shouldnt Throw Stones Essay
Anna had the feeling of anger inside of her, boiling up like a soup sitting on a stove. She felt alone and she was desperate for love. As she lay on the sand in front of her house, she couldn’t help but look back on all the times she and Sam had. Was it all her fault? She started to realize that maybe it wasn’t just Sam who
had done this to her, but maybe she was part of the problem that lies vacant in their minds as they both lay alone, thinking. Sam was feeling the same way as Anna: hurt, angry, desperate for love. But he was not going to go back to that house no matter what. He could not go back on his decision now, because there would be no way she would ever forgive him. He lay in the middle of the field miles from the city, staring up at the stars. How could he let the girl of his dreams just slip out from his hand like grains of sand? It all got taken from him as fast as he could blink, and he was not even sure what happened. He decided to look back on his mistakes, to see if there was any way to somehow get her back.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The happy couple gets home from their honeymoon with enormous smiles on their faces. They had been with just each other for a whole two weeks, so they still did not want to converse with anyone except each other. At this very moment, no one else existed. They were captivated by each other, still ecstatic from two weeks in heaven. It truly was a love like you see in the movies; absolutely perfect. Sam had quite a bit of money saved up, so therefore he bought a house made completely of glass. The house was on the beach, but was separated from other houses. The reason for this separation was because this huge house was made out of glass, and if it were not separated from other people, Sam and Anna would have no privacy. They enjoyed their private beach together, and lived a wonderful, perfect life. Sam would go out of town quite a bit for work-related reasons, but Anna would feel moderately lonely when he was gone. This is when the erroneous mixture of feelings in Sam and Anna’s heads started to get out of control. Sam realized that because of his out of town meetings, Anna and he were not spending much time together anymore. This thought mixed with the fact that he met this beautiful young lady in New York, where he spends so much time for work, did not go together well. Sam and this lady, Emily, got close.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Too close. They started a long distance relationship, totally leaving Anna out of the picture. Every time Sam would meet with Emily in New York, or at their half-way point in Virginia, he would remember the promise he made Anna: “I will never touch a woman in the way I touch you; I will not even think about another woman like I do you.” Even if this promise ran through his mind every time he saw Emily, he pushed it right back out. The promise got so distant from his thoughts that he couldn’t even remember it anymore. It was nothing to him. Anna started leaving the house more when Sam was gone cheating on her. She eventually found a man named Scott that she eventually became best friends with. She told Sam and he was fine with it, so she started seeing Scott more and more when Sam was away. Scott was not aware that Anna was married, so he decided to go for what he wanted, which was her. He made his move one night when they were laying on the beach side by side, talking about life and the mysteries of life. He took her hand and slowly moved in to kiss her. She noticed what he was doing and did not think twice about what she should do; she just leaned in and passionately kissed him.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">From then on, there was a spark every time they were together. They started to do everything Sam and she would do, because Sam was gone for longer periods of time. It was like she was in love all over again, and it felt wonderful. Meanwhile, Emily found out Sam had a wife, and was not happy at all. Sam thought that it would be a good time to tell her, and thought her reaction would be much better than it actually was. But instead, she screamed and destroyed the apartment they bought in New York just for their affair. Lamps flew by his head and smashed against the wall into a thousand different pieces. Bed covers were ripped off the bed. All of this occurred while he just stood in the middle of the apartment, gawking at his own stupidity. He only partially realized what he had done. So he took the next flight back to Georgia, where Anna and his home was. When he got back, Anna was waiting for him in the kitchen with his phone in his hand. She held it up and said “What is this?” He immediately knew what she meant.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">He had left his cell phone at home while he was away, and forgot to delete his texts, which had him talking to Emily on it. Shock and anxiety hit his body like a hammer as he tried to speak to his wife. No words came out. He opened his mouth and tried to say something. Anything. But there was nothing. She took a rock from her back pocket and threw it at the ceiling right above Sam. When the rock hit the glass, it shattered all over the floor. As the shattered glass fell onto Sam, he looked past his wife to see Scott climbing out of the master bedroom window, while buttoning up his pants. Suddenly, everything hit him. He looked at Anna’s face, and he could tell what she was feeling: pure anger. The disappointment slowly ran through his body as Anna threw more rocks at everything she could see.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Finally, the glass floor broke from beneath them and they fell to the ground below. Blurry vision filled their eyes, and Anna yelled “Just leave!” with tears running down her face. Sam had never felt so empty in his life as he drove for miles and miles with nowhere to go or no one to see. Nobody was waiting for him, and nobody really cared. Now as they lie by themselves, their bodies cut and broken from the glass the hypocrisy and lies that were shown earlier that day, they have nothing. What were they going to do now? Sit alone in the silence of their regretful thoughts. It felt good in the moment, but in the long run, it ruined their lives. “Nothing” is the answer to their all of Sam and Anna’s questions. Nothing is what they get.</p>
As the mother of an 11-year old boy, the news of Jerry Sandusky’s alleged child abuse and the questionable diligence of now-deceased Joe Paterno exercised in reporting the incident hit close to home.
Needing an outlet for my feelings, I posted the following on my Facebook page immediately after I heard the news:
“I don’t care about winning streaks, national titles, or hollow sound bites. That members of the Penn State administration barely raised their hands when faced with eye-witness actions of a pedophile who was one of their own shows that those individuals have no heart. That Joe Paterno didn’t act to better protect and defend an innocent child who was raped in his ‘house’ proves that he has no soul.”
I was mad.
But now that time has passed and I’ve reflected on the matter, I feel something much more complex.
In that moment, my sentiment was genuine, fueled by real indignation coming straight from the heart. Any parent knows that the passion nourished by this organ is three-dimensional, and beats more ferociously than anything else.
But in pointing my finger at Joe Paterno, I could have just as easily been looking in the mirror at myself.
About two years ago, I was at the grocery store rushing to pick something up that my daughter, Grace, needed the next day at school. It was late, and I was both preoccupied and annoyed. Like most moms, I was running behind a never-ending to-do list that seemed to square itself and multiply whenever I wasn’t looking. Snow swirled outside, it was an unusually frigid Colorado night, and a humid chill was biting, snapping, and pushing people indoors. All I wanted to do was get what I needed, check out, and go home.
Turning down the frozen food aisle, I came upon a young boy, about my son’s age, and an old man. The man was huge, well over six feet tall, unshaven, wearing dirty old jeans, suspenders, and an untucked, long-sleeved shirt.
The boy? Small. Cowering. A little disheveled as he gazed up at the old man while simultaneously trying to avert his eyes.
He reached for a frozen pizza, and the old man smacked it out of his hand, mocked his sagging posture, and demanded, “What do you think I am, an ATM?”
The boy looked down at his feet and didn’t say a word.
In that moment, I knew something was wrong.
I slowed down and watched them, easing up close and trying to make myself known. The old man realized I was there, looked at me, made eye contact, and didn’t smile. I didn’t smile back.
And then he grabbed the boy by the shoulder, threw me a backwards glare, and dragged him toward the door.
I felt a mixture of emotions then…anger, confusion, pain, sadness…but the one that overwhelmed me at the time and now makes me feel ashamed?
That old man scared me, and in a split second I used fear to assess and rationalize what I was about to not do…my husband, Scot, was out of town, the kids were home alone, and the storm outside was getting worse. The old man was probably the little boy’s grandfather, unemployed, and having a bad day.
Except my gut told me that wasn’t the case.
While I tried to convince myself I was overreacting so I could get on with my life, my conscience argued the other side. Strenuously.
But I didn’t listen.
In an instant, I made a decision that will haunt me for the rest of my life.
I turned my head. I closed my eyes. I walked away.
That little boy needed help, and I didn’t extend my hand.
For the last two years, my dreams have been filled with that child’s face. He’s calling out to me, screaming my name, and I’m searching frantically, straining to see through the dark and place the location of his voice so that I can pull him toward me and wrap him in my arms.
But I’m never able to find him, and when I wake up and can’t get back to sleep, I see him hovering two inches above me, eyes wide and afraid. And then he’s gone.
After the Sandusky allegations came to light, the dreams got worse, and the little boy’s face became fused with my son’s: at a football camp, trapped in a bathroom, confused and alone, running down a grocery aisle from someone who’s supposed to be a hero but is instead inflicting cruel and unimaginable pain.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but when I wrote the Facebook post about Joe Paterno, I was also writing about myself.
I’d give anything to have that moment in the grocery store back, to actually listen to my sixth sense instead of brushing it aside. To have made a different choice.
But it’s gone.
Mothers make mistakes. Famous coaches make mistakes. We all make mistakes. Unfortunately, we often have no idea in the moment how big those mistakes can become.
Everything matters. The little voice inside your head that won’t shut up? Listen to it. The guy sitting on your shoulder who you’d just as soon leave? Hear him out.
Joe Paterno’s problem wasn’t rooted in the actual commitment of a crime. His mistake was ignoring the voice that must have plagued him in his dreams, or two inches above his face when he couldn’t sleep at night.
Left alone, the voice of indecision becomes that of regret, and it doesn’t go away.
I will forever be haunted by that innocent child in the grocery store, wondering where he is, and at the same time, who I failed to be. I think, in the twilight of his life, that Joe Paterno must have been haunted too. What at first seemed like a glancing blow likely turned into a fatal wound.
Doctors can try to treat cancer, but they can’t diagnose a broken heart.
If you would like to give a voice to an innocent child, please go to Casa for Children or to the Tennyson Center for Children. Photo
Guest blogger Stacie is a married mother of three animated (as in cartoonish) children living in the sunny suburbs of Denver. When she’s not blogging at Gemini Girl in a Random World, she stalks people in her ginormous SUV who text while driving. So if you’re gonna be on I-25 anytime soon, look out.
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