I was returning home from the office on Lee Highway in Arlington at around noon today and as I approached the lengthy light at Washington Boulevard, I cut down a side street to avoid the light and take a shortcut to Lincoln Avenue which takes me into my home town. I drove by a large group of people walking a big German Shepherd on the sidewalk. One person looked familiar and as I passed the group I saw that it was my ex-wife Sharon Rogers Lightbourne, the mother of my three children.
None of my children has spoken to me in over seven years and I don't even know where they live or if they are well. The divorce, you know.
I have asked Sharon by mail about how the children are but she doesn't answer my questions or tell me anything at all about them. I haven't actually spoken with her in at least seven years, although she lives and works a mere two miles from where I live.
Well, I'd like to know about my children, to find out if they're even alive. If you have children, wouldn't you want to know?
There was no parking on that street in my direction so I went down the first side street to park. As I walked back on the sidewalk towards the party I saw that the group contained two adult men, an older boy, Sharon, another adult woman and the large dog, at least. There might have been one or two more persons.
As the group came up on me I spoke to Sharon saying, "Sharon, regarding our youngest child Danny, is he alive?" Sharon looked at me and said as she fell in alongside her husband James Horn Lightbourne, "Peter."
That was no answer to my question and the large party kept walking so I turned and started walking back towards my car, a few feet to the side and slightly behind the large group. I asked Sharon a second pithy question, "Is he well?"
Sharon ignored me and stonily refused to answer. I asked, "Is he married?"
Again no answer. I asked, "Does he have any children?"
Those would be my grandchildren, you see. No answer.
I asked my final brief question about Danny, "Where does he live?" Stony silence was my only answer.
I asked the same five brief questions about our middle child, Johnny, then the same narrow, pointed questions about our oldest child, Jimmy, except whether he is alive or not because I have independently come across some recent news about him. There was nary an answer to a single simple query of a father trying to find out about his three boys by asking their mother, at his first chance encounter of her in public in more than seven years.
By the conclusion of my short questions inquiring about our children, we had reached the side street where my vehicle was parked. Her husband hadn't spoken a word, certainly he hadn't said--you might imagine that he would know--whether my children are alive, well, married, have children, or where they live.
Maybe he's the same type of person as she is, heartless at best, or maybe he's under her thumb, as I ultimately refused to be. I said to Sharon, "Any parent would tell the other parent those things."
Stony silence ensued, her lined face set in gender hatred as I stopped and the large group walked away. Shrugging, I started down the side street to my car a few feet away and said to Sharon, "I'm sorry for you."
The large group disappeared down the street past the side street, and I got into my car and drove away, having walked less than one block down the public sidewalk alongside the large group of Lightbournes. In my years-long attempts to find out information about my children, I took the chance opportunity presented to ask the person who would best know, the mother of my children, but she refused to answer a single simple, pointed question regarding my 3 children.
I hope my children are alive and well, at least. But if anything happened to one of them, I suspect that Sharon, who filed a "harassment" petition during the pendency of the divorce proceedings that promoted my minor children as adversaries against me, and who was ordered to pay sanctions and costs totaling almost $50,000 for her "unconscionable" conduct, wouldn't tell me.
In a classic Parental Alienation Syndrome ("PAS") scenario, where minor children's wills are overborne (some term this child abuse) and turned against the other parent by their primary caregiver, no child of mine has communicated with, responded to or expressed any interest in a single Lamberton in over a decade, although upon reaching maturity the 3 lads happily accepted almost $100K each that my mother (a Lamberton) had set aside to be used for their benefit before she died. That's 30 or 40 or 50 Lambertons as "bad" as I am.
Sharon is an elementary school teacher in my home town. Would you want her imparting her values to your children in a public school classroom?