Should I even be surprised: Front page story on teen heroin addict pretends fathers don’t exist

The big story on the Sunday front page of a suburban newspaper: Former teen heroin addict celebrates one year sober.

Reporter Melissa Silverberg pens a respectable feel-good story about a typical suburban teen with an unpronounceable Polish last name. We read about how mom and little sister are also still recovering from the roller coaster that now-20-year-old Chris Pzybylo took them on. There’s video where Chris describes how he started heroin and what withdrawal is like.

Towards the end of the story, we’re told,

Chris’s brother, Sebastian, now 18, declined to be interviewed, but family members said they have spent the year rebuilding their relationship.

But we never hear about dad.

The words ‘father’ and ‘dad’ never appear in this story.

What IS buried 10 paragraphs in? The reason for Chris’ addiction and all the pain in his life, and his family’s:

But by middle school things were changing. His parents had divorced. He became less interested in school. He started smoking marijuana and drinking a little. Genevieve chalked it up to normal rebellious teen behavior.

Divorce. Dad is gone. Father out of the picture. Son falls apart and turns to heroin for false happiness.

Why is this ignored? Did Silverberg and her editors deem it irrelevant? Was there any attempt to reach the father? Why did the parents separate? Was there abuse, neglect, adultery? We don’t know. Silverberg buried the lede, and her head in the sand.

I supposed we shouldn’t be surprised, given this age of “I can marry whomever I want and marriage is whatever I want it to be.” Divorce was once a scandal. Satan knows to destroy the family to steal souls, and he nearly stole Chris Przybylo’s.

Today’s epistle (Jas. 1:22-27) reminds us,

Religion clean and undefiled before God and the Father is this: To visit the fatherless and widows in their tribulation, and to keep one’s self unspotted from this world.

Pray for this young man and his family. Pray that his parents may be reconciled. Pray for marriage, and pray for the family.

Holy family, pray for us!

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