There are no coincidences. Whether you believe in God, the Universe, goddess, energy, Buddha, Allah, the grand poobah in the sky— whatever your deal is, there is something greater than you that has a hand in your life. Stick with me a min and let me explain.
It was the 4th of July and me and the hubby got to spend some time together…but of course not until he did some work on the house cause God forbid he doesn’t do some work of some kind every day, bless him. We load up our kayaks, which we’ve never used, and head to the river close to our house. Exhibit A & B, me and said hubby on kayaks.
It was awesome….until it wasn’t.
So we’re paddling along, talking to other folks out on the river fishing, swimming and generally enjoying their day. We took a few pictures, mainly to prove to my kids that I actually did it, and continued along down the river. I’m all in my feels, being blessed and grateful and then something caught my eye on the bank. A young girl and guy. She had on a lovely bright yellow bathing suit which is probably what caught my eye first but then it was the punching that kept my attention. At first it seemed to be a shot for shot type thing and I wasn’t sure if I was looking at a brother and sister situation. It quickly became clear to me that this was her boyfriend. I’ll just say I’ve had the misfortune of seeing too many of these bullies in action. As I watched, this turned into some kind of lesson he was teaching her about how strong he was. *Input foul language here*
I couldn’t hear what she said but she pointed to the other arm where there was a bruise and she swatted at him. He then punched her with enough force that she fell back a step and he motioned for her to take her next shot. At this point my hubby called out to me to ask what was wrong. Excuse my language here people:
“This asshole is punching his girlfriend.” I yelled back.
I hoped that alerting this jerk to the fact that he had an audience would stop what he was doing but when I turned back around he hit her so hard I felt it in my kayak. She fell back several steps grabbing for her injured arm. I guess I wasn’t close enough to shore because when I yelled “WTF is wrong with you!” they didn’t acknowledge me. I watched this beautiful girl shrink back from him. He said something to her with his hands on his hips and I wanted to, equal parts, hit him in the head with my oar and throw up.
She seemed to be out of danger for the moment as he bored of the game and left her sitting alone to feel the physical pain as well as the weight of the shame he had hefted on her. We paddled past but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. My husband was in mid sentence when I blurted out, “I have to go back. I have to say something. Do something.”
He nodded his understanding and said, “I’ll wait here for you. Shout if you need me.”
It wasn’t that he didn’t want to help but he could see in my expression I needed to do this. I paddled back in a hurry and got good and close this time. As I approached I heard him say she was overreacting.
“Are you okay?” I shouted out.
“Yeah, we’re fine.” He answered with his back to me.
“I wasn’t speaking to you.” I snapped.
“Oh shoot.” He said, looking at me now.
“Are you okay?” I repeated to her.
“Ya.” She nodded, looking both scared and embarrassed.
“Is this your brother?” I asked her with a nod in his direction.
“No.” She shook her head.
“Then don’t ever let him, or anyone else, hit you, ever again.”
She and I locked eyes for a brief moment.
“Be safe.” I said to her and paddled away.
Let me say it loud and clear for all the young fellas out there… IT’S NOT OKAY TO HIT WOMEN! EVER!
I don’t know who told you it was okay or where you got the notion that putting your hands on someone else violently, or in any manner that she doesn’t approve of is okey dokey, but I’m here to tell you, NOT. UP. IN. HERE.
Ladies: Your body. Your rules. PERIOD. And your body includes your brain. Do not take mental, verbal or physical abuse from anyone. You are priceless. Treat yourself as such and the young men you date will follow suit. If he makes you feel bad about yourself he’s NOT treating you right. If he hits you, pushes you, slaps you, he’s NOT treating you right. If you tell yourself, “well, this is better than being alone on Friday nights”, you’re lying to yourself. Get some help: Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233. The www.nationalsafeplace.org is for youth…someplace to go. Someone to Help. www.loveisrespect.org provides answers to your questions you may have about the relationship your in. Or you can call them at 1-866-331-9474. Some other resources to check out are www.breakthecycle.org/learn-about-dating-abuse. www.thatsnotcool.com. www.thehotline.org. Go to your guidance counselor, your mom, your dad, your priest, a teacher. Tell someone. Do not stay silent. Believe me, they want you to stay silent.
Parents: Talk to your sons. Let me say this loud and clear too… REAL MEN DON’T HIT WOMEN. If you have it going on in your house…fix it.
This happens to be about a heterosexual relationship but this goes for ALL relationships. Violence and abuse are NOT cool on any level. Don’t do it. Don’t take it.
Now here is why I say there are NO coincidences. We bought these kayaks two years ago and this was the first time we ever used them. I was meant to be on that river that day. I was meant to see and talk to that young lady in the yellow bathing suit.
This is the first picture I took this day. I didn’t see it until we got home later that night. That stream of light is not a cloud nor is it in any other pictures. It’s a live picture and when I hold my finger on it it ends right where I saw this girl. Freaky? You betcha. Just a beam of sunlight? Yeah, maybe. Maybe not.
I truly believe in kindness and that we, each one of us, can make a difference if we try. Be kind to one another and the world becomes a better place. Not so difficult to understand.
Peace and Love friends.