Understanding: Hard But Necessary


As many of you know, I love prompts. I just happened to notice today’s word prompt is understanding. How very appropriate in so many levels. Of only more people could learn to be understanding of others there would be less violence, intolerance and bullying in this world. Imagine, if you will, a world where others could understand or at least accept the differences that are present between different cultures. Of this was true, there would be so much less violence. It wouldn’t fix everything, of course, because you will forever have the outliers who like to prove everyone wrong, those extremists in every culture, but there would be so many fewer of them. They wouldn’t be taught intolerance and hate, instead, they would be taught love, acceptance and understanding of differences. I have tried to raise my children with this outlook and they are different. They do not hate.

Think of the most recent tragedy in Orlando, Florida. 50 innocent lives. Now there are mothers grieving the losses of their children. Brothers, sisters and fathers all crying over their son or their daughter who just happened to be born gay and decided to go out for a night out. Not everyone in that club was gay, I can almost guarantee it. But the shooter hated gay people so much, he didn’t see these  people as human beings with lives and families. He saw them only as gay. So, will they shoot me because I’m a woman with blonde hair and blue eyes and I am Catholic? No, I would be shot because I “sympathize” with the “gays”. I sympathize with humanity and I weep for the future. If there is no understanding in this world and no tolerance then I weep for the future of this world. What a horrible place I have left to my children. All I can do is pray and that info every day. For my family,  for the victims of these tragedies, and for those who hate.

Kevin and Dianna – A Fictional Short Story

This is a fictional piece I wrote for a prompt that I had a great time working on.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I had writing it.

He hid behind the chair hoping that she wouldn’t hear him.  Granted, he’d been drinking whiskey all evening.  It was hard for him to be quiet.  He thought, just for that moment that if he could just sit there, behind the large, overstuffed lounge chair she wouldn’t find him and she would just simply wander up the stairs off to bed.  It was very late.  He was wrong, of course.  But that was the drink thinking.  He was never rational when he was drinking.  He was drinking a lot more often these days. He just didn’t have the courage to tell her the truth.  What would she say if she knew?

“I know you’re in here.  I can smell the whiskey from here,” Dianna called out.  She didn’t sound overly pissed off.  That was unusual.

“Come out from behind the chair, Kevin.  You aren’t a 6 year old for God’s sake.  You’re 42 years old.  It’s about time we talked about this like rational human beings.”

Reluctantly, he slunk out, grabbed the whiskey glass and slumped into the chair he was crouched behind without uttering a word.  He wouldn’t make eye contact with her.

“Seriously Kevin.  It’s got to stop.  You’ve spent all our money on booze.  You drank up all my money and I work so hard!.  What the hell is the matter with you? Don’t you realize you’re not in college anymore?”

“Dianna, I know I have been drinking more lately, but it’s not that bad!  It’s not like I have a problem or anything.  I just, well, I just…”

“You just what, Kevin? I’m not one of those girls who will just hang around and watch you drink your way into a stupor every single night and let you ruin your life.  I’m your wife!  I love you and you have become an alcoholic.  I like to have a good time too, but I have to babysit your sorry butt when you get so inebriated that you can’t stand up.  I’m the one who gets stuck cleaning up your messes when you don’t have any money left because you drank it all away.”

Image result for 40 yr old couple

He looked at her with tears in his large, hazel eyes.  He knew he had to tell her.  How could he keep pretending to go to work everyday when he had been let go 3 months ago.  He was so afraid that she would leave him, but he’d been trying to find work.  It was hard in a small town though.   And she loved it here. He had no choice.  This was it.  He knew if he didn’t tell her now, she was going to walk out the door and be out of his life forever.

When he finally told her, her reaction was kindness.  She broke down and held him.  She cried with him and stroked his hair, his back.  He felt the stress of the last 3 months leave.  All that tension was released at last.  When he was finally calm, she got up and walked to the stereo.  She turned on their favorite song which happened to be anyone else’s least romantic music, but to them, it was how they met and fell in love.  It was a Black Sabbath song.

Kevin looked deeply into Dianna’s eyes as she sat back down beside him.  They embraced for a long time.  She kissed him on the forehead gently and took his hand.

“Oh, Dianna, is this the CD I made for you all those years ago? You know the 25 best Heavy Metal bands one?”

“Yes, my love, it is.  I love heavy metal.  You’re the one who introduced me to it.  I thought it might help your state of mind.”

The next few weeks passed and the decision was made over heavy metal and coffee, served daily, that the couple would move to a new, bigger city with more opportunities for employment.  Kevin was, after all, an undertaker.  Work in the small town for 4 undertakers just hadn’t worked out.  Dianna, a nurse could find a job anywhere.  Life and opportunities would change for this couple in the next few years and all thanks to Black Sabbath and Metallica music.  How terribly romantic?