Mickey Rooney is many things to many people. The 90-year-old has enjoyed success and longevity as an actor like few others thanks to a career that has spanned over 8 decades. He’s received an honorary Academy Award for that brilliant career. He’s also an Emmy winner as well as a Golden Globe winner.
Yet today, he’s seen as something else: the brave and dignified face behind elder abuse. And after reading about what Rooney has been through, I’ve somehow been filled with even more gratitude that Caroline is expecting our unexpected fifth child.
Multiple sources, including CBS, are reporting that Rooney is claiming his stepson, Chris Alber, has been withholding food from him. He also claims that Alber has interfered with his finances. There must be something to the allegations, or so I would assumed based on the fact that a judge awarded Rooney a temporary restraining order against Abler.
According to court papers: “Chris is verbally abusive toward Mickey. He yells and screams at Mickey. He threatens, intimidates, bullies, and harasses Mickey. Mickey is effectively a prisoner in his own home.”
It’s impossible for me to read this story and not think immediately about my own stepdaughter. There’s no way that our relationship could ever deteriorate to the point where I was a victim of elder abuse at her hands, right?
Who knows. I mean, I’d think that if Alber is, indeed, victimizing Rooney then there is something profoundly wrong with him that not even a loving, lifelong relationship could have helped. But still, my stepdaughter would never turn out like that for two reasons: the first is that loving, lifelong relationship which I just said probably wouldn’t make a difference to someone sick enough to dole out abuse. Emotionally, I just can’t help but to believe in the love that my logic is quick to deem ineffective. But second, my stepdaughter simply isn’t that person.
Nor are either of my triplets. Nor isl my unborn fifth child.
Recently, I bellyached a bit about how hard this pregnancy has been. And I stand by every word I wrote. It has been hard. And one of the reason is because of all the kids we currently have. And it’s a bit overwhelming to think that very soon, we’ll be adding yet another.
But whenever things are tough thanks to the mayhem that inevitably accompanies toddler triplets and a 9-year-old, and whenever I catch myself wondering how we’ll manage with one more to the mix, I’m quick to remember one thing:
Life goes by so quickly. And in the blink of the eye, Caroline and I won’t be battling temper tantrums anymore. We’ll be dealing with adolescents. Then teenagers. Then college kids. And then young adults. God willing, of course.
And should we be lucky enough for such a progression, our children will ultimately morph into our friends, and then, ultimately, our caretakers.
And in my heart of hearts, I simply know that neither Caroline nor I will ever become the victims of elder abuse. Especially with five kids. Because even if the unthinkable happens with one, it’d never happen with all five. The other four would have our back.
Love is good like that.