Day 878: 5 Minute Freewrite: Monday - Prompt: a bitter remedy

in Freewriters4 years ago



“Humility is a bitter remedy for men like us, but you better learn to swallow it while the Lord is offering it with the honey of grace, boy. Make no mistake: He'll force down your throat if you won't have it the other way.”

So Donald Garner had once said to his 16-year-old nephew, Donald Lee Garner Jr., who, as teenagers were likely to do, dismissed his grandfather's advice. Thirty years later, he regretted that, because indeed, humility had been forced down his throat at the hands of the violent end to his marriage – she had slapped him across the face and he had her picked up and jailed on the charge of assault.

That had happened as part and parcel of Big Loft, VA, the city of which he was interim mayor, being three times humiliated coast to coast because of its dramatic mishandling of the death toll of the Ridgeline Fire, because of how the Black and Latino communities of the city and the surrounding Lofton County had forced the city to its knees and to change the count to include their relatives, and because the great memorial had been planned to bring the city and county to its knees once again because of 100,000 going to the memorial and not to work in a city of only 300,000 people with a workday population of close to a million.

(But then again, that's what you get when you tick off 42 percent of your population and they decide they have had enough and unify.)

All this went through Mayor Garner's mind as he answered the invitation on Friday – a politely issued summons – of the organizers of the memorial to come and officially recognize the memorial. He knew he had no choice but to go even if he had not wanted to … the economy of the city was teetering, and tempers all too frayed.

However, although Mayor Garner had swallowed humility hard, it had worked … he did recognize that those at the memorial were not his enemies, and, if treated with proper respect, might be the only friends he had left as he sought to rebuild Big Loft in all the ways it had fallen down.

“Humility is a bitter remedy … but effective,” Donald Garner had also said.

“Lord, I get it now – 30 years late, but I get it now,” his grandson whispered as a tear rolled down his face.

Photo by Artur Rutkowski on Unsplash

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