A few weeks ago, I began reading Protecting the Gift by Gavin de Becker, with a small group of moms on Ambleside Online’s forums.
After reading the first chapter, I instinctively went to the department of corrections website for the state Dr Horrible last lived in, as he had been on parole, and I wanted to see if he had moved near us again. I was astonished to find that after over a decade of violating his parole at various times and in various ways, his new parole officer had *finally* been someone who did their job of “protecting the public,” and had put a warrant out for Dr Horrible’s arrest, for a violation. I didn’t know what it was for, only that he evaded it for about 4 months, then was caught.
Melody didn’t know what I was looking at on my tablet when she saw my jaw dropped, but she asked, “what is it, is it ‘Dr Horrible?'” My sweet girl is so intuitive. I shared with her what I’d found out and we wept together. She said, “I feel safe for the first time in my life.”
That day, I could not get the image of his mother holding him as a newborn. I’m certain that she did not gaze into his eyes and think, “one day, this boy will grow into a man who molests children, be a drug addict, and doesn’t work.”
I’m sure she loved him and looked at him, full of potential and possibility. I began to pray for him like this.
A few weeks have gone by and I suddenly felt compelled to do an internet search for Dr Horrible’s mother. When they spoke against their 8 year old grandchild at the criminal trial to blindly defend a man who had already murdered one of their grandchildren, I made a very difficult choice to protect Melody from their denial.
I found that several months after Dr Horrible’s warrant was issued, before he was caught, his mother died.
Too many emotions to process through, days later… despite her defense of a man constantly caught and proven as willing to break the law, she was a kind woman to my face even when she had problems with me, while I was married to her son. Which is far more than I have received from Daryl’s mother at any point in my knowing her.
I lay in bed last night thinking how sad it must have been for her. Dr Horrible caused the death of her first birth grandchild, and then through his molestation and her denial he robbed her of her second (and hopefully last) grandchild. She must have seen this in a small way, especially after he violated his parole and she was faced with his problems yet again. I felt sad for her… loving this little boy, grown to be a man, who would throw his life away, break so many people down, and rob her of her chance to be with her grandchildren… and then to leave this earth, not seeing his repentance and redemption.
I lay in bed and prayed God would show me two things. One, if I should contact Dr Horrible and tell him that regardless of whether he admits his wrong that I forgive him so that *I* can be free and that I hope he can be free in Christ someday, too. I also prayed that a way would be shown to me to speak to the parole board and basically say that I don’t agree with breaking people down in a prison and I want restoration for Dr Horrible, I also don’t want him near children until he is willing to admit his actions and seek help.
This morning, I received what seemed like a serendipitous call from the state’s victim services, for victims of people who are incarcerated or on parole.
Rather than be shaken, I was calm and focused and accepting, when I was told he was at that moment being released and they wanted me to know.
It was during this conversation that I learned why he violated parole. He admitted to assaulting a co-worker. For that, he received 6 months. Then released. With a remainder of 10 years on his original sentence to serve parole for.
It was told to me that he hasn’t actually been charged with the crime *yet,* but it is in the works… which means that he may go back to prison for this very act that violated his parole.
Had this been told to me a year or so ago, I would have been terrified that he was out again. But, God is bigger than this. I can see Him working, and I have only seen His goodness in the midst of humanity’s evil.
This day, I was released from that fear. Recognizing that I was not leaning on my own understanding/terror, but entrusting our path to God, felt like…. a very brief glimpse beyond the mystical veil… it felt comforting and awakening all at once.
I can only pray that Dr Horrible will soon find glimpses like these, too.