Dear Gabriel –
Adults can be very selfish and stupid. A friend in Croatia shared the latest in media over your saga, another Croatian friend shared your mother’s side of things, but I want you to know that my concern isn’t about the issues they have with each other, my heart is just sending you protective white light energy and love. Right now I just want to step in and be Mary Poppins for you Gabriel and, I can’t, I am so sorry for that!
In 15 years I am sure you will be a wonderful young man. I hope that the scars of this period of your life are long healed because everything is impermanence and you possess a resilience you can’t even imagine in this moment. All of this ‘will pass’ – I promise! I hope that you remember just enough to ensure that when you make love to a woman you understand there is always the possibility of a child – be very certain you love her with your whole head and heart and are able to provide the stability you are being denied because for history to repeat itself would be an even greater tragedy.
In the meantime, while your parents are dealing with their own demons, I wrote to enlist some help for you. Please let my small effort be a guiding principle in your life, that even when so much is wrong about our world that it swamps us, leaves us numb and emasculated, one tiny action on our part can foster change for the better for someone – even the intention of ‘good’ can cleanse the negative!
Dear European Fathers and Udruga Dijete Razvod:
I am not personally invested in the ongoing tragedy captured in the story above, but I am pained to the point of outrage and thus, am writing to beg your organisations to intervene.
I don’t profess to know the back-story for Gabriel (age 3) and his dad. What I can see is that Gabriel clearly loves his father beyond reason, and the grandparents and brother appear to be providing an extraordinary stable environment for this boy. From what I am able to cobble together (from a bad online translation) the mother continues to punish her son for any reference to the father and, as a result, her resentment is only exacerbating an already horrible circumstance – my heart bleeds for this child caught in his parents’ divorce and ‘adult’ pettiness. There are good (and great) and bad parents in both genders, but to be angry and vindictive over a broken relationship and hold a child as the tool for revenge is unconscionable!
As to the traditional assignment of mothers’ gaining custody – how can one woman, operating from a place of anger, provide a better environment then the nest of love created by Gabriel’s dad, his parents, and brother? I appreciate that Croatia’s society is heavily influenced in being predominately Roman Catholic and there is likely to be this (erroneous) assumption that a mother is a better parent. It strikes me that psychiatric evaluation should be done on both parents, preferably by professionals outside of the agency currently screwing this circumstance up so badly, and all those coming in contact with Gabriel, and a comprehensive environmental survey conducted to ensure that this boy has the stability and love that every child deserves to know.
In the name of God and all that is right and good, please, help!
A representative of Udruga Dijete Razvod wrote back to me this morning –
Dear Ms Fritschi,
We are all appalled by what is happening to that little boy and have talked to the father several times, in order to be there for him in the face of so much animosity from the system. Thank you very much for seeing the problem, for being compassionate and for sharing it in your e-mail. As you can see, I am also forwarding your e-mail to our Ministry of Social Policy and Youth, to our Ministry of Justice and to our Ministry of Internal Affairs hoping that something can be done to stop the whole terror over the young boy. Sorry to say, the Court in Karlovac does not have an e-mail address available. I also hope that at least somebody will feel some shame because people from far away places feel for our children what, it seems, we do not.
The boy has the stability and love he deserves, he is in no way endangered by living where he does, nobody really understands why bureaucracy insists despite the child’s will, which was not taken seriously into consideration in the process, despite the fact that Croatia is a member state to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention of the Execution of Children’s Rights.
I cannot tell you how sorry we all in the Association are for what is happening.
Thank you for your support
Asenka Kramer, prof.
and forwarded my communication above to the Ministry of Social Policy and Youth, the Ministry of Justice and to the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Croatia –
Molimo da učinite sve što je u vašoj moći kako se ne bismo sramotili pred svijetom na način da primjenjujemo silu prema tri godine starom djetetu, iz bilo kojih razloga osim ako bi dijete bilo ugroženo, a svima je jasno da nije. Prosljeđujem Vam dopis iz daleke Škotske u kojem užasnuta gospođa Fritschi moli da se nešto učini. Mene je sram kad dobijem ovakve mailove.
Asenka Kramer, prof.
You can’t know this yet but bureaucrats are unlikely (in any culture) to do anything except protect their jobs, but I have hope. I want you to know that my effort isn’t about shaming anyone, casting blame, or countering the public relations efforts of either of your parents. This isn’t about which of your parents is right or wrong, who did what to whom, or why, this only about YOU. I have hope that someone brave and wise and in a position of power will sit down with you in a nice smelling, non-threatening room and calmly ask you gentle questions to establish what you want and then, without prejudice, will make recommendations on your behalf – because that is what should have already happened and I don’t believe it is too late for things to be made right for you.
I am sending you a Teddy Bear for Christmas. I have asked Asenka Kramer to gift wrap it and get it to you so whenever you are scared, overwhelmed and need a friend to talk to he will be there for you. Maybe you will name him for my friend, Marijan, who shared your story on Facebook (that social media platform ‘may not’ even exist when you are old enough to read this letter on your own) which prompted me to “get involved” – it doesn’t matter what you call him as long as you know your bear comes with unconditional love. I hope you don’t mind, I am heading to church this afternoon to light a candle and to pray for you – rich blessings and God’s intervention to protect you and keep you safe dearest.
Yours, hugs and kisses –