Resolving misunderstandings

Published 6:00 am Friday, June 29, 2018

Resolving misunderstandings

I had been out of town for a long vacation and got back with a loaded answering machine. Among the messages was one that stood out among the others.

I appreciate the person calling me personally, even though he certainly had the wrong person. He had an honest complaint about someone who had spoken meanly about his mostly volunteer work on a family cemetery. I have no idea how he came to the conclusion that I was that person, but someone had to try to stoke a fire to make him feel this way and to think I was the bad guy.

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In the first place, I had been out of town for many days. In the second place, I’ve never complained about the upkeep of any graveyard anywhere. In the third place, there are about four or five Judy Hensley’s from or in Harlan County. This is not the first time I’ve gotten credit for or gotten blamed with something I had no part of.

I think it’s pretty amazing that there are individuals in the community that take on the responsibility of keeping the cemeteries clean. I have wondered if someone is in charge of a fund to help pay for the upkeep, but had no idea if different people took a whack at it or if only a couple of people took on the job for the sake of the community.

I was not available to visit either graveyard this year on the designated Decoration Day.

So, the problem is not about the graveyards. The problem is being falsely accused by someone for something I most definitely did not do. I’ve never said an unkind word about the upkeep of our family cemeteries or any other graveyard anywhere. Not in the past. Not in the present.

I have no clue who said what. I have no clue why someone would think I was the one who said something unkind. I certainly have no idea why they would accuse me of writing about it. The person who called was very hurt, and rightfully so, but they were truly misinformed. I don’t know if someone deliberately tried to upset them for reasons of there own, or if the person passing on the information to him had been misinformed.

I’m not angry that the person called. I’m glad they did. At least maybe I will have the opportunity to speak with them and clear it up. The thing about me is that I know I’m not perfect. I know I make mistakes. I know there are days that I might act ugly in general because of illness or worries, but it will not be on purpose.

I’m not afraid to say I’m sorry. I’m not too proud to apologize. I don’t carry grudges. If I have a problem, I will do my bet to work it out with that individual in private. And I’m not afraid to confront people and try to work out misunderstandings.

I have no idea who set this misunderstanding in motion or what their reasons are for doing it. I’m sorry that it happened. I’m especially sorry that the person who had been caring for our family cemetery for years and had done such a good job was upset by unkind comments.

Through this situation I can easily see how walls of misunderstanding go up between people and stay there if they don’t make and effort to make amends. The real trouble is when someone lies on purpose or is misinformed and spreading things that aren’t right and don’t even know the difference. Much hurt has been done by false comments and accusations throughout generations. It is a good reminder to all of us to keep our hearts and words right.

Reach longtime Enterprise columnist Judith Victoria Hensley at or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.