Invitations, and the lack thereof

Do you feel left out when you find out someone, people you consider friends, are having a party, a gathering, and you’re uninvited?  Don’t.  You don’t want to be there, if your name is left off the list, or changed at the last minute. 

Remember those times when you weren’t on the list of people who were invited, and something tragic happened?  Aren’t you glad?  Or, are you devastated that you weren’t there to help?  You could have been one of the victims, but you’re here reading…so you weren’t.   

We read about this stuff in newspapers all the time.  The what-if scenarios – the people left behind to hold the grief, the relief – where are you now?  Are you the people who meet me on the street, on the River Walk, at the pipebridge, and tell me about that night, boldly stating your impressions of the outcomes?  Are you the people who can only hint at the sequence of events?  Were you, also, uninvited?

Owen was uninvited to a gathering on the night he died.  According to people who were there (whether their stories are true or fabrications), the plan was, that Owen would go with a few friends to another friend’s house, after he left the movie theater.  Who knows for what reason(s), the plans changed.  At the last moment, Owen was uninvited.  Knowing Owen, I believe he was devastated. 

The word “friend” was so important to him, and not being included as a part of the people with whom he wanted to align himself, would have launched him into space.  Space, a time and place, that meant so much, and so little.  Being invited, then uninvited, was the same to him as that thing most abhorred – rejection.  He didn’t judge – why would they, why would you?

I believe someone or several someones, who were also uninvited that night, needed a target for their own rejections.  Owen was the perfect target.  He embodied that thing so many of them wanted, but feared.  He spoke his mind, he said what he needed to say (and thought they needed to hear), and he allowed them all into his life, into our lives – they spent nights in our house, ate our food, used our showers, and told us stories of their lives.  Their stories were often difficult and full of rejection – from their families, from the people they trusted.  Some of them…some of you, stood here in our kitchen, or on our deck in the morning sun, and told me about your lives.  Owen listened.  Lea listened.  I listened.  And, we offered you a place to find rest, while you figured out what to do next. 

If my name is left off your list of invitees, know this.  I don’t want to be there with you.  I’ve lived enough life, to know that your motives, your intentions, your social occasions, are unworthy of my time.  Owen was young enough, that he probably couldn’t make this distinction.  He trusted that your word meant something.  It didn’t.  Your words changed like the tides.  Owen would know.  His body floated upstream, with the incoming tide, four days after you uninvited him to your gathering, then changed your minds to satisfy your own, or someone else’s agenda.

Do I sound angry?  You have no idea.  Owen might think my meanderings into the events of that night, overly microscopic.  Is there such a thing?  I don’t know.  Ask some other parents of senseless child loss.  Then, ask yourselves…how did you feel when you were 20, and suddenly, without explanation, were uninvited.

Song for the night:  Uninvited, Alanis Morissette


~ by Linda on April 1, 2008.

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