Raymond Burnes, Allison’s son and the young man I have proudly claimed and loved as my own family for 9 years, has come to the decision that he’s going to live with his father in Nashville. He leaves tomorrow.
REVISION 18 July 2018:
On the day I wrote this, October 1, 2015, nearly three years ago and less than 24 hours after learning of Raymond’s decision, I was angry. My wife was in tears, I was heartbroken, and I didn’t even fully understand the events that led up to this jarring change in all our lives.
And although I didn’t remember doing it until I re-read this entry today, I really lit into Raymond. (For those who aren’t from the southern US, that means I figuratively jumped on him, took him to task.) I put all the blame and all the responsibility on him, and that was wrong.
I have a policy about my writing here. I’m usually loath to ever delete anything. I am not always proud of what I write. I make mistakes; sometimes I make really big ones. But I don’t erase them. For one thing, I don’t want to be seen as someone who hides his mistakes. I own them and hold myself responsible for them. For another, they are there to remind me to be careful of the prose that flows from my fingers, because I don’t really have much control over who reads it. When I’m gone, these writings will be all that’s left of me, and I want that to be a true and accurate history, not one that’s been edited to make me look better than I was.
I do not deny I blasted Raymond. I own the fact that I directed my ire at the wrong people, and that I let my anger get the better of me and spill out of my fingers onto this digital medium. I did it, and I’m sorry I did it.
But I’ve been told that the continued presence of that tirade was causing pain and unhappiness among our extended family. That its existence was an impediment to the closing of a wound that needs some time to heal. That it has, in fact, cost me a relationship with a family member I love very much and miss greatly.
That price is too high. It’s time to break that policy.
So the surgery is done. Only the first paragraph of what you now read was part of the original entry. The rest is gone; I’ve archived it offline, where no one but me can see it, as a reminder of my mistake. But it is now gone from the Internet. And it will be replaced by no commentary or opinion regarding Raymond’s decision to change his living situation. It is a fait accompli (French for “done deal”). We’ve all gone through a lot to bring ourselves to accept it and embrace the changes. I’m actually going to have a chance to visit with Raymond as soon as tomorrow night, and I’m looking forward to it.
And in case there’s any doubt, here’s the tl;dr version: I apologize for writing a completely unfair, angry tirade that caused anyone distress. Sincerely. And I’ve removed it.