Et Tu Brute :: By Candy Austin

Excerpt from Et Tu Brute? 

“Et Tu Brute?” is a Latin phrase meaning “And you, Brutus?” or “You too, Brutus?,” purportedly as the last words of the Roman dictator Julius Caesar to his friend Marcus Brutus at the moment of his assassination. The quotation is widely used in the English-speaking world to signify the utmost unexpected betrayal by a person, such as a friend. Source

Never thought I would have this to write about my Booga Boogas, my Baby, my Sunshine but here goes. I have loved her from the moment she was brought to me in the hospital all wrapped up like a burrito with her big chubby cheeks and flat little nose. I could not stop kissing the bridge of her nose even though I had a massive headache from all the pushing during labor. The nurses thought she was absolutely beautiful and would say so every time they brought her to me.

Fast forward to her childhood years. My Baby was the sweetest, kindest, most thoughtful little girl that I adored with that cotton-topper head of hers. She was unique in many ways and had a love for vintage toys. I will never forget the time she jumped up and down with glee when we found several vintage 1980’s Strawberry Shortcake dolls at the Antique store. It always brought me joy to see her so thrilled about things like that. Those dolls are still here to remind me.

Growing up, she was not in the ‘spotlight’ as much because most of our attention, whether negative or positive, was mainly focused on our oldest. Needless to say, our oldest was and still is ‘a force to be reckoned with’ and required a lot of attention. Oftentimes our youngest’s statements would be ridiculed, downplayed, and overlooked by our oldest, and I would always chime in to defend her by saying, “Let her put her 2 cents in!” Many mornings before school, I would hear bickering and fighting in the bathroom, which always led me to ‘referee’ the situation to break things up. It was usually because our oldest was bullying her 5-year-younger sister.

When our oldest left home, our youngest finally got the ‘spotlight’ onto her, and she relished it for the better part of 6 years. During those years when more family trauma ensued, my youngest was there for me like no one else. All the times I stood up for her was now a stance returned. We became mother and daughter best friends. I was beyond grateful for her comfort and solace during some of the worst times in our lives such as in the tragedy of finding out our oldest got married without us.

Our youngest always said she never wanted to be anything like our oldest. She did not even like to see me put up pictures of our oldest around the house during this time because it was too painful for all of us. Even still, I never stopped ‘checking in’ on our oldest through social media; but our youngest did not want to hear about any of it because the things our oldest said and did were too upsetting.

Fast forward even more to when our youngest fell in love with an atheist at work, started drinking heavily, coming home drunk all hours of the night, and sleeping most of the day. Every time we had a family ‘pow wow’ about what she was doing, she would promise that it would not happen again. As grieved as I was about her downward spiral, I did not want her to leave home; but it was clear that coming in all hours of the night was not acceptable. The ultimatum was that she either start coming home in a timely manner (midnight or 1 am) from closing at work or she would need to move out and do this nonsense at her own place. Normally, she would have complied and chosen the right course of action, but this time she said moving out was something ‘she felt she needed to do.’

I had hopes that all the blood, sweat, and tears that I poured into my girls, and more importantly, the raising them in the Lord was instilled enough for her to make the right decisions. For a while it seemed like she would hold true to her claims. She continued meeting us at church on Sundays, and we would have lunch with her and her friends afterwards. During this time though, she decided to reach out to our oldest (even though our oldest was still not in a good place spiritually). Sure enough, once they hooked up, things started to drastically change in her behavior and in how she treated us. All of a sudden, our asking questions was considered ‘harassment.’ Her texts went from close, humorous, personal, and warm to cold, bland, strange, and generic like, “I love you, I’m busy, I love you, I’m busy, I love you, I’m busy” and nothing else.

Definition of Hypocrisy: the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense. Source

My heart sank to see on social media such hypocrisy in her succumbing to the ‘dark side.’ Christian friends, God, us, and church were no longer an option. It was like she was one way in front of our face while she lived here but, not long after she moved out, she became a totally different person, especially upon reuniting with our oldest. Everything she said she never wanted to do, she ended up doing. It is still hard to wrap my mind around the blatant lies, hypocrisy, and ultimate betrayal from someone whom I thought would never let me down like that, especially after seeing how much we have been hurt by everyone else.  No…not from my Baby; no… not the one person who stood by me when no one else did; no… not my very best friend?!

All I have to do is go down the ‘family line’ and yep… back stab, back stab, back stab… they have all ultimately stabbed me in the back. The mental, emotional, and spiritual scars run deep, but the living nightmare is in realizing that there is another knife sticking out the left side of my back, piercing all the way to my heart. Looking over my shoulder, I find that the fingerprints belong to my Booga Boogas, my Baby, my Sunshine. With shocked, stunned, and baited breath, all I can say with tears welling up in my eyes is “Et Tu Brute?” “You too, my Baby?”

Matthew 10:34-37 “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

Matthew 24:12 “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”

***To end on a hopeful note… my friend, who also has a prodigal daughter, gave me this verse in recent weeks to encourage my heart… she said we need to memorize and pray this verse:

Jeremiah 31:16-17 “Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.”

If only all Prodigals would come again from the land of the enemy before the very soon Rapture of the church and the 7-year Tribulation begins… in Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen!***

Until next time… Maranatha! Jesus = Way, Truth, Life

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