I believe in forgiveness, in redemption, and above all else, in knowing when to let go.
When you’re young and the little kid in the sandbox steals your plastic shovel, you’re taught to forgive them for taking what was yours. Whether you shove the kid back or forgive and forget tells of your already molding personality. I tend to believe that I’m the latter, the forgiver and forgetter.
My first true test of forgiveness came in the third grade, I not only forgave my brother for his first and certainly not the last, prison sentence but I forgave my sister as well. Lucy, the second oldest of six, took off to St. Louis to elope with a photographer, only after a screaming match with my mum and dad. Five years later after scattered e-mails and missed birthdays she entered back into our lives apologizing profusely and introducing her husband, who was not the ogre of a sister-snatcher I made him out to be. I forgave them at the drop of a hat because I knew how much they wanted to be part of the family.
Meanwhile, my brother broke into our house. He took among other things, my car fund money, a blank check, and my mother’s wallet contents. He did however leave the paintings done by the artist in our family each worth a tidy sum, and my Grandmothers diamond ring in the back of the clock in my mum’s bedroom. That, I’ll never understand. I can’t say that I forgave Francis for what he did, though I knew he was down on money and left what really mattered to us as a family. I did however, let his actions go never to plague me again. I did this because I know, deep down, how truly sorry Francis was.
Tests of forgiveness plague everyone, everyday. How you approach these trials gives yourself and others a glimpse into the unknown caverns of your mind and heart. Forgive thy neighbors and accept them as friends I say. You’d be awfully lonely without them.
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