"…we grew up in spite of it…"

I have two young cousins whom I love a great deal. Of course, I love all my cousins a great deal, but these two often evoke my deepest concern, for their lives are rife with discord and a bitter chaos borne out of the tragedy of chemical dependence.

These little cousins are not much older than my own children are, yet their tired eyes betray an age far beyond their years… an innocence lost, and a childhood of abandonment and criminal bedlam. Days spent ferried along the various highways and backstreets throughout the East and South.

My mother has done almost everything she can for them and, even now, wars with her youngest sister over their well-being… as she has all but given my Aunt over to her debasements, she yet endeavors to spare the children of the trappings of this madness.

Almost every time I hear the song Romulus by Sufjan Stevens, I think of them and come very close to tears.

May they, by GOD`s Grace, grow up “in spite of it” rather than succumbing to an inherited snare.

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