May 12, 2007
Motherhood and the Lessons We Teach our Children
An Essay to Denise McCreary
From one Mother to Another.
It has been a considerable time since you have heard from me. Where have I been? In pain, coiled up in a ball – wanting to erase all of what happened. In the stress of that house – that lawsuit; the constant battling, the fighting, the quest for what was rightfully ours – a well built house, our son’s illness, my mother-in-law’s cancer and death, my brother-in-law’s injury and 6 month recovery – I lost my way, lost my mind. I found out I have a breaking point. I found out that despite my making horrible mistakes; I still have children and a husband who love me. I found out that I couldn’t do it all alone.
I am recovering from what you did. Slowly making my way out of the darkness you plunged us into. I suck it up and move forward. And I try to pretend that it will be okay. But deep down I know it won’t ever be the same. How could it ever be? I have learned horrible lessons at your hand. But, I have also learned that from frailty comes strength. Just because I was weak once; you should not assume that I have gone away or that I would not fight harder given the opportunity. My husband has never stopped speaking up for justice. You should not assume he stands alone.
So, on this Mother’s Day Denise, I wonder what lessons our children have learned from us the last five years. Have they learned to be honorable, to do the right thing? Have they grown into adults who will contribute to our communities – have they learned that when they cause others pain – they should make it right? What Denise have your children learned?
That it’s ok to try and make a profit off of shoddy workmanship. That when you try and you fail – you should sue and push people over the edge rather than fix your mistakes. And when faced with the awful evidence of what you have done – you should instruct your attorneys to continue fighting rather than do the right thing.
So Denise – will you be surprised when one of your children cheats someone else? Will you still hold your head up high at church every Sunday? Have you asked God to forgive you – to forgive LJ for what you have done to our family? We know and God knows that you have never asked us for forgiveness. You have never tried to do the right thing by us. You and your husband stole our home – stole our future – shattered our dreams and destroyed a marriage. How do you sleep at night? Does it ever occur to you what you taught your children?
My children have learned that sometimes life isn’t fair or right. That when it comes to money; never, ever, trust that people are honorable. They have learned that justice is elusive (although one would think that religious people [as you and LJ profess to be] would worry about the ultimate judgment day) and that in the end the person with the most resources wins.
Although my husband and I don’t always see issues the same way – I respect his unending quest for retribution and justice. He will never quit and you will always be held accountable for what you and LJ have done to him. He is not the same man and I hold you responsible. You well know what your family did to ours. The fraud you both committed. It was never disputed that our house was defective. When you decided to sue – rather than fix the house - you acted dishonorably. And in the end – the lessons you have taught both your children and mine, changed their lives.
I vividly recall the way you and your lovely daughter shouted obscenities at us during the first SAHBA protest. The family that swears together – stays together? Oh no wait – that’s supposed to be the family that prays together - they do go hand in hand – don’t they? When your children read our website; saw the pictures; how did you explain it to them? Were you honest – or did you blame the victim? Did you teach them that when you act with dishonor there are consequences? I know your daughter sent us threatening notes and on one occasion a disturbingly crass instant message. She obviously wants us to stop telling people what you have done. How does she explain McCreary Homes’ actions to her friends? How does she hold her head up?
My children have learned that their parents aren’t perfect. That we stand up for justice. That we fight so others don’t have to face the same fate. You should have done the right thing. Your husband should have done the honorable thing and stood behind his work. Are you proud of your husband? I am immensely proud of mine. Even though there is a part of me that wants to put you and what you did behind me and try to build a life – there is not a single morning that I don’t wake up and think about what happened to us. I hope there is not a single day that you forget. We will remind you – every day – for as long as you all live. We will not forget. I hope to not become bitter. I will not let you take my marriage or my future. As we struggle to move forward – never think that our leaving Arizona means it’s over. What it means is that we are trying to heal – to find a future. But in the end – you still owe us 5 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars. You stole from us what we had worked for 20 years to have. But more than the house what you stole was our faith in our fellow man and our hope for the future. Shame on you both!
So on this Mother’s Day Sunday Denise ; reflect on what you teach. Pray for God’s forgiveness. In his ultimate wisdom he might forgive you – I never will.