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Failing To Show Up in Paris

I have been divorced twice. The first time was after an 11 month marriage at age 23. The second was after a 17 year marriage that began at age 42. After the first divorce, which was the icing on the cake of a very unhappy childhood, I tried to commit suicide. When I was being resuscitated in the emergency room someone called my estranged husband to tell him what had happened. Not knowing what he should do, he called his lawyer. The lawyer advised him that if he intended to reconcile then he should go to the hospital; if not, then don’t bother going. He didn’t show up.

showupWhile separated from my 2nd husband my mother died. We have a daughter from that marriage and at the time she was 17 years old. My estranged husband did not come to my mother’s (his daughter’s grandmother) funeral.

At the time, and in hindsight, I think the absence of both of those men at critical times was a statement loud and clear…whether or not I agree with how they chose to make their statements.

While countless world leaders, friend and foe alike, flock to Paris today to take a public stance against radical Islam and show solidarity with the civilized world, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden chose not to show up.

There are critical moments in life when showing up defines who you are. As Kevin Costner’s character, Roy Mcelroy, says in the movie Tin Cup, “When a defining moment comes you define the moment… or the moment defines you.”

I could close this blog with the obvious conclusory sentence about our current Administration, but if you don’t already know what it is you’re part of the problem.

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