Great weekend for me.
I don't know if I ever told you but every Saturday morning me and the kids go out to breakfast with Grampi.
My father and I really love doing this with the kids. We have really good discussions and the kids look forward to it. And they are creating a bond that we hope they will continue to desire as they get older.
But I have to tell you about what my four year old did. We are driving home from grampi's. And we are sitting at a light. And a FedEx truck drives up next to us. So Noah rolls his window down and says, "Hi". The driver says, "Hi" and thinks its done.
But Noah continues with, "My name is Noah. What is your name?" The driver replies with "My name is Cecil."
Then out of nowhere Noah says, "I am a big fan of FedEx."
Four years old. A big fan of FedEx. Hilarious.
I flipping lose it. The driver was loosing it. I was laughing so hard and I laughed all weekend. I am continuing to laugh as I am writing this.
I tell you, those kids of mine make me laugh all the time.
Billy is in juvi in New York. We and our friends are in Orlando. I never told you how he got to New York.
Just a quick aside, when Billy's left our friends house to go with his mother, the only place they could go was New York. Her mother and grandmother were now living in New York. So Billy and his mother pan handled (with a dude they met at a homeless shelter) to New York, where they are now.
So he is in juvi. Our friends hear from him or about him about 3 times a year. Our friends continued to try and stay in touch with him. His aunt (our friend) tried to be a rock in Billy's life. When things are bad, remember you have an aunt and uncle in Florida that love you.
When things are bad, maybe you will remember what it feels like to be loved by your family.
Thinking maybe when things hit the fan you may think to rely on this family for some sound advice.
Now Billy, kept being moved from facility to facility. It was more of the same. Mom getting involved and things not getting any better for anyone. But this also made it very difficult for his aunt and uncle to keep in touch with him.
Now I told you that we prayed for a someone, anyone who was solid, to get involved in Billy's life.
It didn't matter if it was a correctional officer, the jail minister, a distant family member, just someone.
Well the answer to prayer came in a distant cousin.
This woman, to this day I don't think my friends know how she got involved, began to take an interest in Billy.
She was in her early 40's, married with 4 kids of her own. But she began to visit Billy.
She began to see the dysfunction is the relationship he had with his mother and grandmother. She wanted to help Billy.
He was coming up to a hearing where he might get out. I think he served 2 and half years.
His cousin asked Billy if he thought he might want to move in with them.
He realized that the situation with the mother and grandmother was a road he didn't want to go down again. So they agreed to give it a go.
He got out. My friends began to have a relationship with Billy again. They spoke to him about once a week and just told him they loved him, they wanted him to know his family was pulling for his success.
After a honeymoon period, they cousins expected Billy to do something.
The dad of the family owned a bakery and went to work at 4am. Well apparently this didn't fit into Billy's schedule.
I mean me and you would jump at the opportunity to do something with our day. We would jump at the opportunity to be productive...regardless of the time.
So when Billy woke up the adults were gone and I think the kids were at school.
Idle time for a 17 (yes, he was 17 now) year old is not good.
He slowly started to be a latchkey kid. He would just start to hang out with some of his old friends. NOT GOOD.
He got a job at a Taco Bell and that lasted about two weeks.
He worked at a nursing home for about two weeks.
I don't suppose he is much different than any other 17 year old. Lazy and bored. Problem was he has a history of making very bad decisions.
Then he started coming home late and not being very productive in a household that was "trying" to show him by example.
They would take him to church and he hated it. They had the youth leader call Billy to see if he wanted to do anything and he said, "NO."
What were they to do?
So they sat him down and asked some things of him.
If you want to stay here you have to do A, B, C and D.
Billy chose to not live there.
So he was then put back in the hands of the state and they put him in a boys home.
It wasn't long before he was living with a girl that had a kid who's baby's daddy was in jail.
Okay lets take a step back.
When does it become Billy's problem. Up until now we have been blaming Billy's shitty family.
But now Billy is 17 and old enough to know that this decision is going to lead to destruction and this decision, even though might be harder, could lead to something other than destruction.
My wife and I were arguing about this. Billy is now making his own bed.
His aunt is crying herself to sleep. Feeling like he needs one more chance he will snap out of it.
Well, in the last couple of week, we heard Billy was running from a gang. He called his aunt scared out of his mind. He messed with some dudes on such and such street and they own this street and I can't go out of the house because they own this street. I can only go to this street but I have to walk on their street to get to the safe street. The girl I am living with, her baby's daddy is getting out of jail on Friday and I have to leave here house.
Are you kidding me? This is real. I am not making this stuff up.
So he asked his aunt and uncle for some money so he could get on a bus and leave the state and go to Miami. His other grandmother lives there with his half brother and sister. Did I mention his other grandmother has been incarcerated for check fraud?
But this is where he thinks he should be?
My friends told him NO on the money thing. They will get him food, a place to stay, a job... but they will not give him money.
Also lets not forget that if he leaves the state this is a federal offense. He is still on probation.
He somehow found the money and left for Miami last week. This is where he is at to begin the next chapter in his life.
This is where the story ends. There is no happy ending. There is no redemption.
I would be a terrible screen writer.
I know this was long but I wanted us to step out of our comfort zone a little and know there is pain out there.
Some of it is self inflicted, okay, most of it is self inflicted.
There are Billy's all over. Families are being ruined because they want to give the Billy's of this world one more chance.
And maybe that is all he needs is one more chance.
I just pray for all those kids that God will work a miracle in their lives, in their family's lives.
I specifically pray that God will work in, my nephew's, Billy's life. I pray for miracle because that is what is going to take.
Pray that that counselor back when Billy was a kid and gave him a 2% chance was wrong.
I will see you Wednesday.