Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Tale of Two Hospital Rooms

I was really struck by two news stories I saw this morning – and the stark difference between them.
Here’s the first one – “Iowa Couple Married 72 Years Dies Holding Hands, an Hour Apart.” This couple loved and cherished one another all through their lives…and died holding hands in the hospital. I think their story is a beautiful testimony to love and respect throughout a lifetime.

Here is the other story – “Pekin man in custody after double stabbing Tuesday.” In this story, a man allegedly stabbed his estranged wife and their son (in violation of an order of protection)…he is in custody and his estranged wife and son are both in the hospital.

A tale of two hospital rooms.  A tale of two relationships.  Both started somewhere with people who had promised to love and cherish and honor and respect one another. 
One ended with love and respect.

One ended with violence.
What is the difference?  Why does one person determine to treat those he or she loves with respect and kindness throughout life…and why does another person choose to frighten, injure…and perhaps even kill those he or she once pledged to love?

I don’t know.
I mean I know all of the hypotheses – cultural, sociological, psychological…the latest research. I know all of that.

But at the end of the day I am just overwhelmed by the difference in these two pictures of lives of real people. 
And I think that while the life of Gordon and Norma Yeager is rare….it is closer to what I think we all want to see – a life where people feel safe and secure with those who love them.
And I want to see the day that the life of Shane Rhoades’ estranged wife and child is rarer and rarer…

If you ever wonder if your relationship is as safe as it could be, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline anytime at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or take a look at their website at

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