2007-10-31 / Opinion

Up The Creek Without A Paddle

Real men can-
by Terry Toole

Well, I guess it's over, or I hope so.

I've said this before, and it bears saying again, most men do not hold grudges. They might fight or cuss each other out, but most of them say or do what they think, and it's over.

On the other hand, most women are not as forgiving or forgetting. That might sound sexist, but if you get down to the truth of most any problem, that is the way it is. A few men never forgive or forget, like most women. Some women are much, much worse, and there lies the problem in this case of what Mark Merritt Sr. admitted to doing in the Miller County Liberal on June 6. By his own words, he was lied to by one particular woman, and his manhood was questioned by her. Most everyone in three or four counties knows who this woman is, and it is no surprise to anyone. She is one of the best at getting others to do her dirty work, but especially men.

Now if there is a man who I wouldn't question his manhood, it is Mark's. He is a big, big man. His parents as well as Mark have been our family friends for many years, and still are, so this should not have happened and should not happen again.

As my first wife and I were sitting in court Tuesday morning awaiting another plea bargain session to be offered, she reminded me of the last time we were in court together. Some 51 years ago, the day after we were married in Colquitt, we were sitting in a traffic court where I had slid through a yellow traffic light on an icy street back in December. The judge was lenient and gave us mercy since we were very freshly married, and broke.

Everyone in Mark's case, save one, wished none of it had happened. It has been terrifying for some and costly for others. I thank the good Lord everyday that nothing worse came from it.

Someone once said that something good comes from everything. I must admit that I have had a hard time seeing anything good come from this. The physical wounds have healed, but for some the mental anguish will last a long time, especially with the women that are involved. I have seen it last for generations, and that is the bad that comes from something like this.

It is hard for a hot-blooded, hot-headed, red-faced, once red-headed Irishman to forgive. I really have to work at it. I have been taught all my life to fear no one but God, protect those you love and stand for what you think is right. At times, this can get you into trouble. It has in the past, and it will in the future, but I continue to work on trying to get along with others as long as I can do as I have been taught.

I'm glad that Mark and I can shake hands and be friends again. Real men can do just that. His parents and their children are some of our dearest friends, and close friends are not something that anyone can afford to lose.

All of us have been taught that we are to forgive and forget. That is one of the hardest things for some to do, and we fall far short of it most of the time. Those who don't forgive are soon eaten alive by their own hate. I don't want that for anyone, especially those I love.

When we do wrong, for whatever reasons, it affects others, and most of the time our family members. In this case, if it isn't handled right, it could ruin some lives if it isn't too late for some.

We all protect our own if there is anything to us, but sometimes tough love could save lives. We cannot allow others, even if they are our own, to endanger the property or lives of others. I was taught that was not permissible under any circumstances.

None of us are perfect or without sin, but we do have to accept the responsibility for doing wrong to others.

Prayer helps! Actions are even more important.

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