Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Sad Story of a Mom Who Helped the Underprivileged...and The Kids Who Strayed To The Wrong Path

As usual, it's been a while since I've written.  i typically wait for a story that jumps out and makes me say, "Yep, that's it.  This is something I think others need to , but might not have, heard about."  Remember this name - Marion Hedges.  She's a 47-year old real estate agent in Manhattan.  Mrs Hedges came from a wealthy background and is married to, I believe, an investment banker.  She has two children, one of whom was with her on Sunday afternoon as she headed homw with bags of candy for the trick-or-treating children in their neighborhood.  Mrs Hedges, so the story is told, liked to volunteer and help the underprivileged children in this area of Harlem.  She was one of the few that actually "walked the walk."  She didn't just talk of the possibilities...she tried to make them a reality.  She volunteered at the local center that was designed to help the kids from this neighborhood.  Then, at 5:40 on Sunday afternoon, her life, and the lives of two of the very boys she was trying to help, changed forever.  As she left Target with her 13-year old son, two 12-year old boys were playing with a shopping cart on a walkway four stories above her.  They decided to throw the cart over the edge and, as misfortune would have it, it landed on Marion Hedges as her son watched in horror.  Let's face it - we wll know the kind of marks these carts can leave if they hit your car in a parking pot.  Imagine, if at all possible, standing four stories below and having it come crashing down on you.  She was rushed to the hospital, however she has what her husband describes as, "a thousand machines hooked up to her."  She is undersedation and is intubated.  In the best of cases, she will have a very long rehabilitation ahead of her with little hope of regaining the person she once was.  The boys are twelve years old.  Imagine.  Two "hoodlums," as they were once called.  I prefer stronger terms not fit to print.  The one boy has a mother that said years ago that he would be her "problem child," however many of us say that.  These mothers, though, tend to be extremely prophetic.  I'm sure it has little to do with the fact that the mother is never home because she has to work two jobs.  The step-father is a bicycle messenger that has been arrested multiple times for (here's a shocker) selling drugs to undercover police officers.  The other boy, whose mother would not speak to reporters, tends to be out roaming the streets at night, using profanity-laced language, and disrespecting adults. 

I know....I should not be surprised.  I am.  I am still surprised when I read these stories and wonder how things all went so wrong.  We aren't allowed to discipline our kids, yet we wonder why they act the way they do.  We wonder why they speak to adults, as well as their peers, with the language they use.  We can point to the music they listen to, we can point to television, we can point a million different directions.  Let's be perfectly clear, though - this is an issue that we, as parents, should have control over.  I have said it many times, as well as been a victim of it myself - parents cannot discipline their children for fear of two things: retribution and criminal charges.  We are now living in a society where the parents will go to jail for abuse while the child "acts a fool."  The children today, though we haven't had any situations like it lately (knock on wood), are killing themselves and others when they walk into a school loaded with automatic weapons.  They are defiant and feel entitled.  The culture has changed...and we have allowed it.  When these children are allowed to ruin other's lives with little or no regard for people or property, it's a problem.  This woman did absolutely nothing to hurt these children, did not ignore their "plight," nor did she wantonly disregard them.  She took the time to do what others will not.  She took her money and time and spent it, not only on her family, but the underprivileged.  For that, she will forever pay.  It is a sad and sorry commentary on our culture and society.  Please....I am begging the adults and lawmakers of this country - let us teach oru children right from wrong.  let us teach them that there ae consequences for their actions.  Let us disciplne them, somehow, when they do wrong.  For the sake of society as a whole....let us be the parents that we complained about as kids.

Until next time.............

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