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Duct Tape

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Some people say that Duct Tape can fix everything. To a certain extent, I suppose it can -- as long as it's material. Duct Tape can't fix a fractured family or a fractured bone like it could fix a fractured piece of plastic. A lot of things are much more fragile than plastic, and Duct Tape can't fix those things. It can't fix a broken heart, or a broken spirit, or hope, or faith, or insert-other-inspirational-keyword-here. Duct Tape could fix a broken heart about as well as a broken leg (although, I'm sure Jeff Foxworthy probably has a redneck joke that says otherwise). Duct tape can't fix everything. It just can't...

So, as I hold a roll of the shiny silver "miracle worker" in my hand, I wonder if it could have fixed it. If it could have fixed my mother's broken collarbone when my father pushed her into a wall, or fixed the betrayal to him that I felt as my mother and I shuffled my brothers and sisters out the front door. Maybe it could fix this emptiness I feel inside, knowing that my baby brother won't even remember his father. That he's going to grow up playing catch with his older brothers, but not his good-ol'-dad. Knowing that my sisters and I won't have a father-daughter dance at our weddings (no matter how cliche that sounds). It doesn't fix the fact that we've just become another statistic; another broken home.

Ironically enough, I'm using the Duct Tape to fix the rear-view mirror in our car. A couple bits of tape to reattach it to its rightful place. My mother smashed it from the passenger's seat with her good arm (the one not in a sling) after I pulled out of the driveway and I drove her and a minivan full of crying children to my grandparents house. She decapitated the mirror because as we started off, she could still see my father standing on the porch -- bottle in hand -- shaking his fist and screaming for our return.

On one hand, it made it extraordinarily difficult to drive, because I had to rely solely on my side mirrors. On the other hand, I found it surprisingly comforting not to be able to look back and feel the guilt of leaving him behind.

Duct Tape may be able to fix the mirror, but it could never fix our family...





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