Donnie, Carl, Henry (Hank), and James Earl had grown up together and seemed to always be together doing something.
There was no record of something like this ever happening in this small blue collar town on the Tennessee-Alabama border.
A triple murder/suicide. Three people they knew, dead, and laid out all in the same room at the local funeral home.
Fred Turner, a local electrician, came home from work one afternoon earlier than usual and found his wife in bed with another man. He shot the man, his wife, and then turned the gun on himself.
Carl, Hank, and James Earl had arrived at the funeral home to pay their respects and they were waiting on Donnie.
Donnie had this annoying habit that just drove them crazy. No matter what had happened, no matter how bad it was, he could not let it be without saying, “Well, that’s bad. That’s really bad. But, it could have been worse.”
So, they waited. Donnie finally showed up.
There they were. Three bodies in three caskets all in the same room. Carl, Hank, and James Earl had already viewed them Donnie walked over and very slowly looked at each of them and then joined his friends.
After a little back and forth chatter he said, “Well, that’s bad. That’s really bad. But, it could have been worse.”
Well, his friends couldn’t believe it. They were absolutely beside themselves.
They said, “Donnie, How! How in the world could it have been worse?
Donnie answered, “Well, it could have been worse.
"Donnie, there lie three people dead. How in the world could it have been worse?"
Not to be deterred, Donnie said again, "Well it could have been worse. Had this happened last Tuesday, that could be me over there in that casket.
Being where they were, they tried their best to stifle a laugh, all except James Earl. About a month prior, James Earl had been saved and he was trying his best to be a good witness to his new found faith.
After a rather long pause, it came to him that this was an opportunity to witness to Donnie.
He said, “Well, Donnie, you are more right than you know. It could have been even worse than that.
Let's say that WAS you over there in that casket, and you came up before the pearly gates and God looks at you and says, “Sorry Donnie".
Yes, Donnie, it could have been worse, much worse.
OH! REALLY? Hmm….