Letter to Josephine Humphreys

Dear Josephine Humphreys,
Reading your novel excerpt brought me an image of a woman who is being used by her husband and doing nothing about it, except maybe taking it out on herself. I could see her laying in bed with her eyes closed, pretending she was asleep, as she listened to him dress and leave, and sometimes, when it was safe, opening her eyes, but not moving, or speaking, or anything, just listening and thinking. What pain this woman must be in to just lifelessly let her heart just slip away. It certainly must be routine, if she doesn’t move because she knows where he’s going. I have been in this situation with fiances, who were seeing my best friends. When you know there’s no proof and there’s nothing you can really do, you know you’re wasting your energy, energy you need to survive with while waiting on him to change, but knowing he will never change. I must let you know I feel for this woman, am angry at this woman, and understand this woman. I could defend her actions.
I sympathize with the woman when “she marvels at the single,” thinking of how “their bodies and clothing and cars are bright” and “they don’t have husbands in love with single girls.” and not only that, she is haunted by Claire, “the girl… who is lovely, whose teeth… eyelashes and hair shine,” and is “energetic.” It’s so easy to be intimidated by youth, beauty, and life, even when you have your own great qualities. This wife has every reason to feel down, but at the same time should at least defend herself. She does have the husband still in her house, her bed, her life, and the life of the children they conceived together. The mistress, Claire, has a job and great sex, that’s not a lot. That’s nothing compared to what the wife has. If there is one thing I’ve learned in life, it is to never let anyone take me down, especially someone who is intentionally hurting me. That is what Claire is doing, and giving up gives Claire an edge over the wife with insecurity, an edge that even the husband hasn’t given Claire because he’s still living at home with the wife and kids.
What surprised me at one point, was Will’s’ mother, Marcella. She knew, but didn’t confront her son. She even told the daughter-in-law first, as well as withheld it from her son that she knew, and that she told Alice. Usually, it is the precious momma’s boy that is confronted, to see if it’s a fling, if it’s trash, if she’s better than what he already has, or to simply find out just what’s going on. If the mother-in-law likes the wife, she usually doesn’t tell her (the wife) in hopes the couple will work it out, so the wife won’t leave. If she doesn’t, she usually keeps it to herself to give her son the room and freedom to play, to maybe fall in love again, get the mistress pregnant, or maybe to know something that her daughter-in-law doesn’t know about the husband, something that would only hurt the wife even more while the mother-in-law smiled. It was comforting to see this mother-in-law was honest with her daughter-in-law for good reasons, and trying to help her with encouragement.
This can be a major reason education is so important for a woman or a man. Though society paints a perfect picture of the “perfect marriage,” the “perfect family,” and the “American dream,” life teaches us reality, that there is no guarantee for no one man, woman, marriage, family, or soul. It is an education that gives us our skills and knowledge, as well as our personal growth, to support ourselves, so that we can survive the loss of our other half (our husband), our children, our lives (though we still have a whole new one waiting.) Education can be the key to getting past the heartache, helping pass the time, learning to start again, to rebuild, and to succeed. We can be shown we can make it on our own, that we have a lot offer us, not pain. This is something we can educate our children with as I do my son Anthoni.
I truly enjoyed your story and in the future would like to finish reading your novel, simply to see what happens, and how everyone feels when all is said and done. Compelling and enchanting, I am thoroughly moved by this simple small piece. It is an universal issue that all women, and yes, some men can relate to, being betrayed, by someone you love, someone you trust, and someone you gave your life to. May your days be filled with God, love, and beauty, and just in case this is a true story, if he (the husband) leaves, he’s an idiot, and you’re better off. You deserve better. If he stays, I told you, the mistress has nothing until he leaves. That is why he doesn’t leave because he knows she has nothing. Either way, you’re still a great woman regardless of what a man does to you. It doesn’t take a man to make you who you are, it only takes you. Only you can make it happen. Believe in yourself!

Thoughtfully and Sincerely Yours,
Gail Brookshire

4-15-1994 Friday
Written by Gail Brookshire
Inspiration: Eng152 D1 Taught by L.J.

A Portrait of My Lover

This is the way to live, to love, to be.
This is a way to bleed.
This is a way to kill yourself
And give the villain your help.
Standing in his spotlight,
You give him the right to insight
Of what makes you breathe and tick.
This is the way to enjoy the sick.
What would be an easy way
To find an escape… far away?
Surely you don’t want to really flee.
This is the only way to let your lover be.
Try, cry, and die again.
This is the way to your end.
Welcome!

4-14-1994 Thursday
Written by Miss Gail Brookshire
Inspiration: assignment from Creative Writing Class, Spring 1994
Taught by E.P. This particular day E.N. was substituting.

Thursday’s Thesis

Though I thoroughly enjoy thumbing
Through a man’s nerves,
I think that it is thoughtful
To thank him for his work.
Throw him three thousand thimbles
And ask him to try that thing on.
He’s sure to try a thigh,
Or maybe the thought of those
Who are willing to compromise.

That’s thoughtless!
The thorn of thick thresholds!
For what the evil asketh of the wicked,
Has more to hold.
Thumb it up?
No- thumb it down.
The thought
Could bring you down,
Or take you under.
Then thunder.
That that’s that.

4-7-1994 Thursday
Written by Gail Brookshire
Inspiration: Creative Writing, Spring 1994
Taught by E.P.

And This Is The Way

To love
To live
To death
To give in
To surrender
To conquer
To be humiliated
To survive
To be the survivor
To let the evil have its way
To bring the evil its ending day
To save each other
To save ourselves
To be alone
To be of life
To be anything you want
To be everything
To be nothing
Not to care
Not to love
Not to live
Not to share
Not to be.
This is the way to leave…
Exit!

4-12-1994 Tuesday
Written by Gail Brookshire
Inspiration: Creative Writing Class, Spring 94
Taught by E.P.

Sweet Jesus #2

Sweet Jesus,
Tomorrow is Your new heavenly birthday.
I hope everyone truly understands what it’s all about.
I love You, Father.
May everyone be in thought of what it means
And how truly special it is.
I hope and pray by the Grace of God
That they all learn in some way
What You’re all about,
And certainly about Easter.
God, I love You!
I pray and ask in the sweet name of Jesus,
In Christ Our Lord… AMEN.
Forever loving You,
Your daughter.

4-2-1994 Saturday
Written by Gail Brookshire

God Let Me Live a Little Longer

God helped me.
God loved me.
God let me live a little longer.
What a wonderful and merciful God I have
(we all have).
What a miraculous, warming love
Provided by His blood scarred hands.

God, I get scared… easily and fast… and hard.
Please help me to know the good from the bad
And the right from the wrong
Before I pay for it.
I’m sorry for all of my sins.
It’s wrong to do anything intentionally wrong!
God I love You…
More than anyone, anybody, or anything.
I love You, Father! Forever Loving You!

4-1994
Written by Gail Brookshire

Before I Knew You or Loved You

God, my God, I love You.
Thank You for loving me.
I’ll never love anyone like I love You
… NEVER!!!
And I’m glad.
I’ve always loved You
And I always will.
Thank You for being there before I knew You,
And before I loved You.
I’m sorry I ever rejected You.
It was the worst mistake of my life.
The best thing was when I came to my senses
…and fell in love with You.

4-1994
Written by Gail Brookshire