2017-01-25 / Editorial

EVER HOPEFUL

Don Lively

I don’t know if my friend was being intentionally ironic, or whether her Facebook post was coincidental.

I was aware from her previous comments that she was staunchly opposed to the man who recently became the leader of the free world. She, like many others, was somehow unable to accept his deep flaws while, apparently, overlooking those of his main opponent. I understand. I had to hold my nose to vote too.

My friend seemed to fear that the world would change overnight on inauguration day and that America would suddenly be under siege from its own government.

It didn’t happen.

The day after the president was officially sworn in, my friend posted a beautiful picture of the sun rising over the water near her home.

It was stunning.

The sun did indeed appear the day after the peaceful transfer of power took place.

Having voted on the wrong side of history in presidential elections exactly 41.67% of the time, I can identify with my friend’s belief that dire consequences await our nation because her candidate lost.

Been there, done that.

But, I can assure her, and anyone else, that it’s never as bad as the losing side predicts, for one major reason.

Before any one political party, or any president can screw things up beyond repair, the American people will step in and see that a change takes place.

It’s why we have elections in America instead of coronations.

Of course, the "screwing up" part is relative, and depends on an individual’s point of view.

The jury will be out for a while on the newest administration.

I say, to the fearful, angry ones among us, and they are legion, take a deep breath, dig in your heels, and see what happens.

I’ve had plenty of other, nonpolitical, times when I believed, with all my heart, that my world was about to end.

The first time I can remember such doom and gloom was when Mama had gone into the hospital and Daddy was left with the cooking chores. He took the occasion of her absence to fix pork brains and scrambled eggs. I was sure my world was ending because I was convinced, if I ate the nasty stuff, I’d instantly die, but, if I didn’t eat it, or, if I upchucked, Daddy would kill me.

Nope.

I ate it, sans vomit, and survived.

Another time was when my very first serious girlfriend dumped me. I was heartbroken. I couldn’t concentrate on school. Or football. Or breathing. But, then, something happened.

That “something” was much cuter than my first girlfriend and she openly flirted with me.

Heartache over.

Heartache over.

I was nearly finished with college after packing my four year degree into five and a half years when I found out that I had failed a really hard class, Geology 101. It meant I’d have to return to Athens for one more quarter in the fall, after thinking that I’d finally found a way to actually graduate, me, the world’s worst student. I was sure my world, once again, would end.

Not so much.

That last four month stretch on campus was one of the best ever. I could concentrate on one class, work a few hours at my part time job and chase girls the rest of the time.

There was definitely a hidden lining in the red and black cloud.

Then there was the shootout.

I was working plainclothes one night when a call of a domestic dispute with shots fired came over the radio. My partner and I were nearby so we were first on scene. We snuck in and concealed ourselves close to the house while several other officers arrived. After a failed negotiation, the suspect, on his front porch, started shooting. Being the closest, I jumped up and fired two rounds. Then, all Hades broke loose. Seven other officers opened fire, not realizing, due to darkness, that I was between them and the bad guy. When I felt a load of buckshot fly just inches over my head, I knew I was going to die, so, I did the most prudent thing I could think of. I literally dived into a fitzer hedge and stayed there till the gunfire ceased.

Came out of it with only a few shrubbery scratches.

The sun rose the next day, and it never looked better.

I have no idea what the next four years holds, and neither do you, but, what I do know is that the sun rises on us all equally.

Could it, again, be morning in America?

We shall see.

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