It is so easy to take life for granted. That we are breathing is itself a miracle. To enjoy the spectacular vastness of the turquoise oceans, the warm golden sunset, the green rolling hills, …, the birds and the bees – that’s another endless list of the wonders of creation. It takes a Creator with incredible creativity to cause all these to exist. They are given to us to enjoy free of charge. Along the life’s journey, we forgot these God-given beauty and splendour. We let them slip by the wayside as life slips away. We forget how to live!
Many people lament the loss of a wonderful childhood. Those short years vanished quickly. Those were the times when the cares of the world do not make a dent in young innocent lives. Laughter is pure and genuine. The giggles of children at play make adults look so foolish trying to attain joy through material pursuits and envy. We may strive to be like little children again to re-capture those wonderful moments. Somehow, it is not quite possible. The ugly caterpillar has to morph into a cocoon before it metamorphises into a beautiful butterfly. In the same way, childhood has to give way to adulthood.
For some, childhood never exists. They are unfortunate children born into an unforgiving world. These are children born into a world of make-beliefs. Their parents are rich and famous. In the surrounds of a celebrity life, normalcy no longer exists. They are owned by others. Their lives are on public display the moment they gasp the first breath into this world. To this children without a childhood, life is often miserable.
The children of the cursed tell it best in their own words.
The den mother of the Celebrity Child Support Group (it doesn’t exist but probably should) is Carrie Fisher, daughter of Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher – a couple as famous in the 1950s as Brangelina today. (Eddie compounded the pain by running off with the Queen of the Curse, Elizabeth Taylor). His daughter grew up knowing drugs, booze, depression and then the ultimate whammy – outlandish world fame of her own as Princess Leia in Star Wars.
Little wonder Fisher’s memoir is called Wishful Drinking. Unlike most, she has grown up to make gags about her condition. “This was the main competition I had for my parents’ attention: an audience.” Of her family: “Designed more for public than for private.” Of Dad: “A terrible father.” She ended up in electric shock therapy: “I was as close to being suicidal as you can be without being suicidal.”
The only thing that makes Fisher different from others in her tiny group of peers is that she writes and talks about it – even on stage. Others endure the depths of despair and the humiliations visited on them by the media from a distance, drawn on the curse only when the worst is over. Lisa Marie Presley, Exhibit A in the literature as daughter of the most famous rock star of all, only confirmed the worst of her torment in her 30s; she was nine when she saw her father’s drug-addled body whisked out of Graceland.
On her childhood: “I was a very forlorn child. I don’t know why. I know that I was deep and kind of heavy and people thought I was really sad.” On adolescence: “I did drugs for four years of my life, from 13 to 17. I was just on self-destructo mode.” On her debut album: “This is how either f—ed up I am, or crazy or deranged or stupid or whatever you want to call it. This is me, and it’s from me, and that’s the only reason I did it.”
Bobbi Kristina, in an Instagram post last year that she later denied writing, put it this way.
“Do you know what I feel? I feel strange that I can’t feel any pain anymore. I don’t take any drugs as of recently. Things just happened. But then there is some situation that force me to do things and the impact I’ll feel pain. I did and I do. I was hurt. People kinda expect more from me. But I can’t. I have lost my sense. It just happened. Then here we go again I’m in the same pain. I’m hurt. I’m trying to. I really do. But I know that I’m hurt and in pain but I can feel it but I don’t know what it is. What do I really do? God, Help me ignore and rebuke what these demons are saying, in Jesus Name. Amen.”
But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.