I grew up with Misty...and I don't mean that I knew "of" her or saw her on occasion and we spoke kindly but casually. I mean, we grew up together. My dad is also a physician, and he and Dr. Carter are medical peers as well as friends.
Misty was spoiled, yes, but I don't look at it like I might have looked at other girls with her privilege. It's easy to talk about people when you don't know them well. I knew Misty well. She was a kind person...so sweet. Understanding. Forgiving. Words cannot express that enough. Now, she was a hot mess as a baby and could throw tantrums like no other, but with her parents' love and consistency, she grew into the most charming young woman. She was just starting to blossom into an entrepreneur.
Misty was sheltered from what many of us have experienced, and good for Dr. and Mrs Carter for keeping her safe! More parents should be like them. They loved Misty, and everyone who knows them knows that to be a fact; however, Misty had no real basis of understanding to know everything than could have happened to her (and did happen to her) being associated with a man like Hack. I did more in life to deserve what happened than she, and MY life has been pretty good too.
What troubles me is the fact that Hack would have been such a coward to have put her in harm's way. He KNEW the kind of people he was involved with. Sure, Misty knew a lot more than she shared with her parents, but it was lip service knowledge. She had no experience or intimate understanding of the drug trade and its players any more than most ordinary people do. That kind of stuff only happens on television and in movies. There was no way she could have anticipated that anyone would have shown up at her home to kill her.
Hack did. He knew exactly what was possible...which was why he was at her home so often during those last few weeks.
My heart goes out to you, Sharon, but at some point, someone has to be accountable. Now that the other men are in jail or on their way to serve time and accountability is being dealt out, I would love to see what's left of Hack's family just admit that he was a coward. So-called love or not, he was a criminal. He was not a nice criminal or a good boy. He was regularly involved with the drug trade and would not have stopped except for getting arrested.
The reason my father is not a criminal is because he would never put those who he loves in harm's way. He would never make us pay the price for his sins.
Neither would my husband.
Or my brother-in-law.
Or any of my uncles.
Or any other man who says he loves me...
When I look at men who say they love and have actions to back it up...and then I look at Hack's actions, I do NOT see equality. He was wrong, and we now all pay the price for it.
Misty didn't attend her family reunion that year, and what's funny/odd is that I was about to call her and ask her to come home. We had not seen one another in so long...too long. My sister Regan had talked to her, but I had let the time slip away. For whatever reason, I let time slip away from me again, and the day after I meant to call, my daddy called to tell me she was dead. Murdered in her own home. Now, I will never see her again.
At what point do people stand up and take responsibility? I cannot speak for the Carters, but I can speak for myself; Sharon, what is there to "unite as one" about? We can forgive, but that's no reason to have a barbecue as well.
Ulysses Hackett is the reason why Misty Denise Carter is dead. I will pray, and I am a loyal follower of Christ, but even Christ tells the truth and makes no apology for it. Christ loves us all, but He is a God of justice as well.
I pray that the Lord helps you and your family turn your guilt and shame into something useful for the Kingdom.
Christi Johnson (formerly Bradford)
Creative Loafing Atlanta
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