Fight Hate With Love

Orlando.

Dallas.

Alton Sterling.

Philando Castile. 

So many others. 

So many lives. 

So much violence. So much racism. So much hate. 

Not enough listening. Not enough hearing. Not enough empathy. 

The words that follow here will not be 'political" in nature, though I will be sharing my political opinions a bit. 

Despite this, I choose to see my words that follow as human - a human being talking to other human beings. As part of my talking, or writing, I choose to mention things of a political nature, because that is what is in my heart right now. I don't much care if you agree or disagree with my opinions - which is what makes them what they are - opinions. 

I say this to warn people, because somehow, we have become a society of people who no longer listen to one another. We have become a people who react in rage and anger. We have become a people of tremendous violence and apathy. We have become lazy in our hearts. We have forgotten how to co-exist. We react to everything, to every opinion, on the defense. If I dare say in this blog piece which candidate I may be voting for in November, or how I feel about something politically, surely I will be met with several angry comments. Some people will call me an idiot, or call me stupid for the candidate I choose to support. Some will make assumptions about why I support them, instead of hearing me, or just trusting that I'm an intelligent person who knows what she is doing. I may absolutely despise the candidate you are choosing to vote for, but I would never dream of calling you a moron or telling you that you are a stupid person for supporting them. We have become a country of people who can no longer communicate with each other in a productive way. We delete, unfriend, and block people out of our lives, and out of our thoughts. We have become a people of little patience, and in times of horrific death and pointless murders, we are turning on each other. 

Stop for a moment, and think about that. 

For a moment, just stop talking. 

Stop talking and arguing and creating more noise. 

Just listen. 

Please. 

The traumas that come with life are so much harder for me to handle, without my husband here. All of these endless acts of violence, and people just constantly killing people - it is an awful lot for my heart and soul and brain to cope with.

My husband's very presence in my life was a forever blanket of safe. My husband was an Air Force veteran, a paramedic, and a man who spent his free time volunteering to help with pet adoptions. He was kind and patient and beautiful. He was, quite literally, the most decent human being I have ever met.

He was a Democrat who had a few opinions on the more Conservative side. He voted for George Bush Sr., but not George W. Bush. In 2008, we voted together for the first time ever, for Barack Obama. We stood in the lines together, we hoped for change together, we shared healthy discussions together. That was something I loved so much about our relationship - the variety of world events we could discuss together, and share similar viewpoints on. The few times that we did disagree politically, there was never anger - never a condescending tone. My husband was a Master at debating. He would talk and make his points patiently, and with equal parts emotion and fact. He debated calmly and passionately, somehow at the exact same time, with a lot of my very conservative Republican family members. Me being a Democrat, bordering on liberal - would sit back with a smile, just watching him and feeling proud of the genius way he would put words together. Often times, he would change my mind about something or get me to see it in a different way. He did not put up with racism or hatred or prejudice of any kind, and he would put people who demonstrated such things in their place, and always with a touch of class. He was sarcastic and witty and absolutely hilarious at times, but he didn't have a mean bone in his body. His heart was so filled with love, and with the hope that a world would exist with more love in it. 

Today, and lately, I often try to think to myself or ask myself what he would think of all the horrors going on in our current world. What would he say about all of it? There are some things I know for sure, because of past discussions or comments he made years ago. I know he would be a Hillary supporter, as I am, because somewhere around 2009, he predicted out loud to me that she would be the first female President, and he often spoke about how much he admired her and how incredibly smart she was. I also know that he would be shaking his head with utter confusion and disappointment, at the very idea that Donald Trump is even a candidate. He would be finding the whole thing hilarious and frightening at the same time, much as I do. I know that in this world of racism, hatred, and prejudice that seems to be getting worse by the hour - he would find a way to help, to take action, and to stand up for his brothers and sisters of color, and in the LGBT community. My husband's nephew is gay, and when Don found out, he told him he was and always will be proud of the man he is and has become. My husband would have also stood by and stood up for the GOOD cops out there, and most of them are very good - and he would not have put up with the few bad ones who have a God-complex or who are trigger-happy or who hate people because of the color of their skin. My husband, as always, would have taken combat to the hate - with love. That is who he was, and that is who he will always be. 

Again, I say these things not to get overly political, but to try and make you see, dear reader, how very difficult and heart-wrenching it feels, to have to live through these violent traumas and murders in today's world, without the loving and safe arms of my wonderful husband. When he was here, with me, I felt like no matter what happened in the world, everything would be okay. I would be okay. He made my world a safe place. Whether or not I was actually safer doesn't even matter. What matters is that I felt safe. I felt validated and whole and loved, knowing that my partner in life shared similar values and beliefs as me, and knowing that this person of tremendous character and love, would always have my back. 

Now, in this world where simple opinions cause tension and rage, I long for an intelligent dialogue with my partner in all things life. I crave the smart intellect of his thoughts, and the big-hearted ways in which all of his ideas came from. I wish for nothing more than to be in his comforting arms, and have him telling me over and over again: "You're safe, Boo. I got you. Everything is going to be okay." Because even if everything wasn't going to be okay, even if we were on the brink of World War 3 or impending disaster - in that moment, and all the moments I was with him, I had the illusion that all was well. 

These days, that is a greater comfort than anyone can ask for. 

Thanks for listening. 


Showing 7 reactions

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  • commented 2016-07-11 10:46:25 -0700
    Thank you Diane. I bet your son and my husband are somehow laughing about all of this, somewhere …….. but I know we both wish they were here on earth laughing with us.
  • commented 2016-07-11 03:57:25 -0700
    I admire you so much Kelley, thank you for putting this post together, I cannot imagine how hard this must be without Don. I too wonder what my son Jonathan would think about all this, if he were still here with me. He would absolutely laugh long and hard at even the prospect of a Trump being a presidential candidate. I pray for humanity, for all that we have lost, and for all that is to come.
  • commented 2016-07-09 17:44:46 -0700
    This was a great post. My husband would have agreed with Don a lot. we need less hatred in this world.
  • commented 2016-07-08 20:26:32 -0700
    I had my “safe” feeling for 48 1/2 years, Kelley…and I, like you, want it back… It doesn’t matter how long we had it, it wasn’t long enough for any of us…, I miss him and our life SO much! As usual, beautiful writing, Kelley, straight from your wounded but wonderful heart.
  • commented 2016-07-08 20:18:00 -0700
    Thank you for your thoughtful post. It sounds like Brian and Don were a lot alike. I’ve been thinking lately how much I miss Brian’s wisdom, political analysis and the sense of safety I had with him. Lately , at 25 months out, this grief journey has become more difficult.
  • commented 2016-07-08 14:40:47 -0700
    I listened. I love you. I love your words. My husband was just like Don in so many ways and in times like these I really miss his voice of reason and sanity too.
  • commented 2016-07-08 14:29:46 -0700
    Yep.

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