© M.C.V. Egan
My second book in the Defining Ways Series Climbing Up The Family Tree; Defined by Pedigree is set in a sobriety or halfway to recovery house. I chose the setting deluding myself that I did not need to delve much into addiction. I just needed a setting where I had people from all walks of life interacting and discussing their past.
As my characters grow and become real (I am far from finished with the first draft) reality has set in and the basic realization that the first cure to addiction is ACCEPTANCE has given me so much to ponder on. I finally opened my eyes wide and removed the dark eyewear of denial.
As I explored this I came to the inevitable conclusion that it is clearly the key to addressing any issue, be it personal or global. Today as Americans we stand on that very edge of DENIAL vs. ACCEPTANCE, as we witness the reactions to the inexcusable shootings at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina.
I grew up with an amazing Step-Grandfather who dressed like Santa and went out of his way to be kind and helpful. I have some warm and amazing memories about this lovely man who served under Nimitz in the South Pacific during WW II and who lived in London when the war broke out as an executive for Standard Oil of New Jersey’s INTAVA branch. In 1940 in London, he helped a woman deliver her child in a Taxicab, so many interesting stories. (image below Xmas 1962, I wish someone had taught me how to hold the puppy properly)
With all the wonderful experiences he had in his 91 years on this earth. He met Pancho Villa who would have killed him had he known he was Edward Cuilty’s son for God’s sakes, I mean HUGE experiences. The last time I saw him a few months before he died in a VA assisted living facility in Southern Texas, instead of focusing on the beauty of that life well lived, he harped on his sadness that a lovely white girl; my best friend, had married a black man and had two black children.
That is the deep seated bigotry that runs through the veins of so many Americans today and in the late 1980s. How can we as a country, a people, a whole refuse to seize what makes us a good people and accept and thus change that which does not?
It took me several years to mourn his passing as that last conversation left such an empty and confused feeling in me. It was hard to remember all the good, when he had shone such a bright light on such a huge flaw that he carried throughout his life. Inasmuch as I am originally from Mexico City, mine is a very white world, since 2008 I have ended many relationships, with friends and relatives, because of the overt bigotry and prejudice, they have openly exhibited.
I am an American by choice and I love my country the United States with all my heart. As an American it is my civic duty to be aware and involved. I hope all Americans have the courage to remove the dark glasses of denial and stare bigotry and prejudice full in the face and ACCEPT that the issue is real, very real.
The best words I have found today on the subject are by Jon Stewart …
“We’re bringing it on ourselves,” he said. “And that’s the thing —al Qaeda, ISIS, they’re not s— compared to the damage we can do to ourselves on a regular basis.”