I'd forgot the date because we were driving through Atlanta on the way home to Ozark and didn't hear the news until the next day-just as we were passing through the city, a bomb exploded at one of the Olympics sites, and a woman was dead.
Someone's daughter, sister, wife, mother, neighbour. And she was dead in a senseless, random act of hatred; stolen from her family.
I cried. I hurt for the family, knowing the horrible grief they would suffer for years. My soon to be ex-husband chided me for my response-"You didn't know them"
Later, after the divorce, I would meet the husband, he would become one of my tenants at the storage facility.
Crusty told me I was being stupid-"She was probably a real bitch; maybe the family is better off."
What made the biggest impression on me after meeting and getting to know Mr. Hawthorne was how very free of bitter anger he was; when his daughter forgave Eric Rudolph on the day of his sentencing, I was floored-truly humbled by her spirit. Mrs. Hawthorne had left a tremendous legacy of love, one that continued to be spread after her murder.
My former husband, the man I came to believe was more captor than partner, is a man who will leave nothing of value behind. His legacy of hate, bitterness, and utter negativity, is a vampiric drain on the world that will leave most who know him with relief at the passing of such a view of the world and it's citizens.
Crusty believes-has to believe-that everyone in the world is a fraud, a liar, and a cheat; he believes the world is out to get him, and that he has no responsibility to hope in his fellow man.
When Princess Diana was killed in Paris less than a year before Crusty and I separated, of course I wept at the thought of this brilliant light being extinguished and I was heartbroken for her sons. Naturally Crusty made fun of me, asking why I was so upset since as a non-English Brit I should have been glad that the English were stricken with the loss of HRH.
I looked at him standing in the doorway of our bedroom. I told him that while yes, I was not particularly fond of the English, Princess Diana had transcended that; the English, I told him, are our cousins. We may not like them especially, but as family, when they hurt, we hurt. Especially when the Nazis declared war on the civilized world, and when a mother was torn from her family.
He didn't get it.
So, last night I thought about the Hawthorne and Windsor families, families in general, and Crusty, as I fell into sleep. I don't know if I dreamt-I was REALLY wiped out after a long, long business day and a personal evening that included last minute planning for the move tomorrow.
But I know that as I woke this morning, I was glad that Mrs. Hawthorne and HRH had been such inspirations of hope. I was grateful to God that he had sent these two lovely women into the world to act as counterweights to people like Crusty.
I refuse to believe the world is an evil, rotton place, filled with monsters in Man clothes. I understand there live here men and women that need it to be ugly so as to cover their willingness to wallow in such negativity, and that butterflies must take care to keep such as them from ripping off wings mid-flight. But I refuse to walk around 24/7 believing the negativity will prevail.
You lose, Crusty, and I'm sorry for that, and for you. I wish you'd chosen life...
God gives us life. Even better, He gives us our freedom and with that freedom we are abled to choose the pattern of our hearts; we are free to choose what sort of ripple we will cast upon the waters of life.
If, when ladies like Mrs. Hawthorne and HRH pass from out of this world leaving behind the miracle of hope, we know they have lived righteous lives, and though our hearts break at the loss of them, we choose to hold fast to the miracle-we then honour their lives for the heroic acts of love that those lives are.
Thank-you Father, for women like that. They truly are the glue that holds the world together, despite people like Crusty. They are the love that makes us willing to hope for people like Crusty. They lived the lives that inspire us to care about all peoples, and to pray when we hear of the violence against those You sent to be daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, and neighbours, escalating in Guatemala and Peru and Somalia.
I know in my heart that you wish Crusty and his kind had chosen to open their hearts to that miracle. I believe as they draw breath Your hope for them goes on.
Lord, make of me a blessing to someone today...