Who is to blame?


Santo Langson is 80 and a senior citizen. He has two wives and nine children; none of whom lives with him. He would have been living well; but he is not. It’s many years since his children and wives abandoned him to himself. He is the loneliest person in the world.

You must be wondering why two wives and their children would abandon their husband and father.

It’s a long story.

He has six children with his first wife and three with the second. All the six with the first wife are working and earning very good salaries. They are all prosperous and would have been taking very good care of their father. Unfortunately, they have decided not to do anything for him. They no longer have his time.

They all loved him when they were much younger. At that time, theirs was a happy family; made up of father, mother and four children.

Then one day, trouble started like unexpected rain in the dry season. Their father and mother began to quarrel and fight every day. A day came and he brought home a young girl.  They learned she would live with them and be his second wife.

That was the beginning of darkness in their home. Their father no longer had time for them and their mother. All he had time for was his second wife. He showered her with love; but beat up their mother every day. He also stopped paying their school fees. He did not buy their clothes, buy their school needs or provide food money to their mother as he used to do.

He danced to the tune of his darling second wife.  After four years, their mother was chased out of the home completely and their step-mother treated them worse than dogs and their father said nothing.

Although their mother was away from home, it was thanks to her efforts that they went through school. As luck would have it, they all managed to find their way out of the country where they got good jobs.

When their father went on retirement and was no longer having money, his darling second wife turned her back on him and began to do as she liked. Her own children, their step-brothers and sisters were not yet working and showed no prospects of success.

Although, they were all well-to-do, they never had time for their father. The wounds he had inflicted on them when they were young were too deep to forget. That was why, at his advanced age of eighty, he lived alone, having finally been abandoned by his second wife. There was no one to love and care for him. You need to see how he suffers. It’s a pity.

Who is to blame? What advice do you have on this so that we may all learn?

Some people blame the children and say no matter what, they should not have abandoned their father. Some people say their mother would have advised her children not to abandon their father. Some people say it serves the father right.

What do you say?

33 thoughts on “Who is to blame?

  1. Forgiveness would only be the beginning. The father needs to seek the forgiveness for the things he has done wrong – not because he wants someone to take care of him – but because he now has the concept he was wrong and seeking forgiveness is right. Without this first step nothing else can take place. Maybe he should start with his first wife, without expecting anything in return.

  2. “I know this sounds heartless but this is almost the same as the parents who give their children up for adoption then when they turn old expect to find these kids and have them take care of them (is this realistic?)”

    Let me elaborate on this sentence. By this sentence I mean just because he gave birth to these kids does not me that these kids are forever in his debt. I noticed above that someone posted that if it weren’t for their father and mother these people would not be here, but if you are going to go that route it would be the same as assuming any child you give birth too regardless if you raised them is indebted to you forever. It just doesn’t work like that.

  3. My life story is very similar to this situation, sometimes I wish I could write a book on it just to share the chaos of were I was and who I am today. I feel for these children I really do. As someone who has been thrown away by parents myself I believe these children should be freed from the burden of their father. It was his responsibility to show them love and compassion but instead he showed them it was ok to turn your back on your family. It is his fault for lack of character and love that his kids will not waste their time taking care of him. I know this sounds heartless but this is almost the same as the parents who give their children up for adoption then when they turn old expect to find these kids and have them take care of them (is this realistic?). It doesn’t matter if he was physically there, he was not emotionally there and showed no love or respect for these kids or their mother. Why would he expect them to be there for him now in his time of need?

  4. While what the father did was hurtful, what is gained in hurting someone in return? Do the children not realize that were it not for their mother and their father, they would not be? Is that not enough reason to do what is right by their father?

    Since his children are, according to this blog entry, financially self-sufficient — working and earning very good salaries, and prosperous — they would suffer no financial hardship in providing a small stipend with which to cover their father’s living expenses.

    The question is asked: Who is to blame?

    Do we know the circumstances under which the father was raised? Do we know what happened to him as a child, as a teen, as a young adult, as a married man? Do we know whether he has learned from his mistakes?

    Do we know the circumstances of each of his children from his first wife? Do we know what happened to them as young adults? Do we know whether they have learned from the mistakes they have made (since we all make mistakes)?

    And even if we knew the answers to all those questions, is it our place to lay blame at anyone’s feet?

    One can say that what has happened are natural consequences for the father’s choices, and that is correct. They are indeed that. However, what are natural consequences is not the same thing as placing blame. Sometimes bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people — and blame and natural consequences are nowhere in the equation.

    But compassion — no matter what has happened in the past and no matter what is happening in the present — should exist in all of our decisions.

  5. Sometimes we turn our back on those that love us whether knowingly or unknowingly and for whatever reasons we think justify it at the time. Is it right? Is it wrong? It is life and the choices we make. I can see both sides. I agree forgiveness is the only thing that will heal. Does forgiving mean taking care of the father now? No not necessarily. That is for his family to determine in their own hearts. I try to live by my mother’s words to me so often growing up, “rise above.” However, I have not been through these peoples experiences. I cannot answer for them. I would hope of course they come together once more as a family.
    Thank you for sharing their story and allowing for comment.

  6. I wouldn’t put this matter as in find the guilty one and trial him. I don’t think it is a matter of blame, as it is a matter of emotions and decisions.
    For his children, the greatest challenge was to forgive him and move on with their lives; you cannot blame or accuse them of abandoning their parent, it’s their decision to make, based on what they’re feeling now. Whether they keep in touch or not, or if they will help him or not, it’s more of a process to go through.
    For the father, the greatest challenge is to accept his mistakes and decisions, together with the consequences of his past behavior. It’s his decision whether to try to reach out to his children and try to make things right or make up for the past.
    Both parties have to forgive someone and something. It’s a difficult journey, but if they don’t go through that, they will not be able to fully enjoy the present.

  7. Ah…sad, but such is life we make decisions and we live with the consequences. Forgiveness is necessary for all involved but still offer of help is a second step that doesn’t need to be taken-it’s up to his children. This story is very close to my Father’s story, his Mum and Dad got to the point where they quarrelled a lot and his Dad would beat his Mum up. As a young boy he was helpless, then his Mum got very sick and his Dad found himself a lover. When Grandma died, my Granddad left four of his little children and practically moved in with his lover. Abandoned them and didn’t want anything to do with them. In my entire life I only ever saw him 4-5 times. Tragically, we reap what we sow and at the age of 70/80 something he found himself in a hospital all alone with no money and no-one to care… My Dad had already forgiven him but also decided to be there by his side facing the abuse from his dying mouth. A man who deserved it the least and who caused a lot of damage died surrounded by his children. It’s hard and heart breaking and his actions had consequences in my life and I’m fighting hard to stop it here and not to pass it on. Thank you for sharing this story:)

  8. Of course God would like us to forgive.. we are in fact told that we need to forgive in order that we may forgive. I believe that sometimes though the heart and mind has been so traumatized and hurt by physical and mental abuse that it damages the individual so that forgiveness does not come easily…. I also believe that the Lord understands … perhaps that they have become someone who cannot comprehend anymore the concept of forgiveness… I’m not sure if I’ve said it right… but those are my thoughts.

  9. It truly is complicated. No one likes to be ignored or mistreated.
    The question could be what does the elder man think he deserves? Can he does he want to make restitution?

    Should children pay for the sins of their parents? In ancient times some children were saddled with the debts of their parents. Some believe even if we were not present when a fault was committed we by association (even generations later) are to be blamed. How can such reasoning be overcome?

    • I agree, forgiveness is always in order for all, but does forgiveness include now caring for the father?
      My heart tells me YES because I cannot bear to see people suffering, but my head is asking whether I am then not setting a precedent for future parents and children.
      If parents and spouses can do as they please, knowing that they will be forgiven and cared for because that is the right thing to do, will this behaviour ever end? Is this truly the right thing to do? I honestly do not know the answer.

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