Several years ago, one of my meanest critics from my hometown died…at the age of ninety-one. Actually
he was a seemingly-nice neighbor until, in 1973, he served as the lead attorney for my husband in our ugly divorce.
I mentioned Steve Matthews in my book, THE BEAUTY
QUEEN: Let No Deed Go Unpublished, because he openly hated me. I never understood why, during the divorce, he attacked me viciously---like a scorned lover. He also nitpicked over every nickel to keep me from getting enough money to support
my daughters. One would have thought every dollar was coming from his personal bank account.
Years later, when we crossed paths, socially, Steve refused to speak.
He stared at me from across a crowded room with seething anger, much-like a bitter ex-husband. I almost felt sorry him. His unharnessed hate must have made him physically sick.
Reading his obituary, I noted he was being praised for the various positions he held in his church. I found it puzzling he was credited for the length of time he’d served in church outreach. Everything in his lengthy obituary focused on his church
duties and number of years he’d performed them….but, never once, did his obituary mention any of his involvement on a personal level. There was absolutely no mention of any of Steve’s “good deeds”. Not even one time was
there a mention of Steve's love for God....or for his family.
Steve’s death was a reminder of his hate of me. I know attorneys are hired to do the best job for their clients
BUT---does that require an attorney to get so-personally involved in a divorce that he/she adopts the same hateful contempt for the wife or husband---as the client!?!?!?
Obituaries seldom--if ever--say anything negative about the deceased. Or, as old people would say, "Never speak ill of the dead." But, as I approach the finish line, I speak out more and more about what I've experienced from people….be
it good or bad.
Life is never one-sided; all of us make mistakes. Hopefully, we learn from those mistakes......but if we purposely hurt others, slander
others, and do whatever we can to harm others.... and enjoy it.... should our obituaries focus on our Christianity? Should our obituaries describe us as candidates for Sainthood.... Really?!?! I don't want to hear about someone’s dedication
to church duties or how many hours they spent inside the church. Talk to me about their good works in everyday life.
PS….For the “first
time”, I’m going-public with information I learned--- almost one year AFTER my divorce was settled. Letters full of serious lies and hate... were written by Steve Matthews, Jack Perdue (my ex-husband,) and several
more of Pine Bluff's “Good Old Boys”.....and sent to then-Governor David Pryor. The letters were sent to David in an attempt to get me fired from my position with Arkansas Public Television. In the early seventies, AETN
(Arkansas Educational Television Network) was controlled by the State of Arkansas;I was considered a State Employee.
Interesting to note: I only saw the letters because David
Pryor was a loyal friend….more than he was a politician. (David and I had become friends when we both attended the U. of A at Fayetteville, AR).
believe that, overtime, Hate turns on its Haters and...they die a slow, miserable death.