There are always a ton of people who are scrambling to keep their lives from falling apart, and there are the people whose lives have already fallen, scrambling in an attempt to put it back together. Then, there are those who never had one to begin with. However, we must be careful to remember that in the midst of all this despair, there are always those lucky few that were born happy and manage to remain so.
Although everyone has a breaking point, some are able to put it off longer than others, but this story isn’t about those people, it’s about a person born happy who reached that point all too soon.
Picture this, a cobblestone walkway winding through an elaborate garden, ten different types of rose bushes, petunias, marigolds, chrysanthemums, and irises, all different colors arranged in such a way that you can’t look away. But, when you finally do, you find yourself glued once again because past the garden, the vegetable patches, past the orchard that lies in a straight line in front of a row of oak trees, is the gorgeous house you’ve ever seen. A 17th century Victorian, 3 stories high, painted a lilac with maroon trim. Hanging on the window sills are flower pots overflowing with vines, giving the house an air of ancient beauty and intrigues in such a way that only beauty can. You find yourself drawn to it, you need to look closer, go inside, appreciate the house in all its worth both interior and exterior. And, inside this is the perfect family of four, two parents, and an older boy and younger girl. They own a husky, a Persian cat, and the girl owns a parrot. A beautiful family, with beautiful pets, inside of a beautiful house, everything is perfect. Little do they know it won’t stay that way for long, all caused by one word: Divorce.
It all starts on August 12th, 2011, the dog days of summer. The blistering heat is so intense no one in the house wants to do anything, all they can manage was arguing. The siblings are having meaningless squabbles about which colors are better than others.
While the sibling's argument was meaningless, the same could not be said for their parents.
“I thought I told you to order new clothes for Sara and Michal!” the mother screams.
“I never heard you, or perhaps you forgot to tell me.” the father replies, struggling to keep his temper under control.
“Of course I told you, you imbecile!”
“Sam, calm down.”
“You calm down Daniel!”
“What is wrong with you? It’s just a few clothes! I can’t stand you anymore!” Daniel screams, pointing an accusing finger at Sam, “You’re insane! I’m done with you!” he says, spins on his heel, then storms out of the house.
Later that night Daniel returns, but he’s brought something with him, the divorce papers.
The process of divorce itself is simple and easy, it’s the result that leaves an impression. Sam got custody since the house belonged to her and she was the only one between the two of them with a job. Daniel got visitation rights every weekend, though it was never carried out, for he ran off the next day.
Sam rebounded quickly, getting on Match the following week and started seeing someone two days later. The kids, however, were hit differently. Michal, at 16, started working later hours and staying over with friends more and more often. Sara, at that tender of age of 7, didn’t fully understand what was going on, she only knew that her brother wasn’t around much, and her mom was hanging out with someone she had never seen before. At the time, she was a little confused, but otherwise still perfectly happy, little did she know what was coming for her only a few years later.
It’s now 2018, Sara is 14 years old, having to carry the burden of her family on her back, her mom is never home, and Sara is left to clean, do laundry, wash dishes, and cook dinner for her older brother and new baby sister.
Sara now understands what happened back in 2011; the divorce, her father leaving, her brother draining into a hollow shell, the body still there but the spirit is gone. Sara now understands that it was depression which ate away at her brother, and now that depression had eaten her brother, it was after her.
Everyday Sara stares at herself in the mirror, every time she asks herself the same questions, “Who am I? Why am I here? What’s the point of living?”
Every day, the same questions, every day, no answer.
Sam was always too “busy” notice how everyday Sara’s face was turning more and paler, she never noticed how a smile no longer made it onto Sara’s face. She didn’t notice her daughter slowly fading away. She wasn’t there when Sara ended her life.
Depression is much like a rose that’s lost its core, its center, petal by petal it tears at your soul until there is only one left, just barely holding on. Then, it takes only one mean look, one insult, to blow it away. When that happens, not only has that person lost their spirit but their desire to live.
Too often is the case when someone unintentionally plucks that last petal. Too often is the case that what were meant to be jokes stabs someone’s heart. Too often is the case that people insult, glare, joke, ignore and hurt one another without even considering that the victim might be nearing that last petal.
Too often is the case that we unintentionally hurt the ones we love most.