When I was little it was said that I was a daddy’s girl. I would run to my dad before my mom. In present time it is as if his job has destroyed his love towards his own creation, like Bush has destroyed the United States economy and the lives and families of soldiers forced to fight in Iraq. He has forgotten how to be a father to his youngest born and daughter.
About 4 years ago the relationship between my dad and me was stable. Sort of. The common interest of basketball and the idea of being able to accomplish anything through Christ Jesus who strengthens me kept both my dad and me on the same page.
In the year of 2006 he moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana (temporarily) to experience the pleasure of being his own boss and to lead a project meant to help those recover from the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. For a year and a half he voluntarily left the warm security of our home and traded it in for a cold and lonely one. In the two years, he evaporated from my life, we lost any connection we struggled to keep, and a common interest would no longer bring us together.
I thought that there was no need to forgive someone who hurt you deeply if they haven’t even attempted to make up for it. I also thought that forgetting was more successful and less deleterious than forgiving. So I decided to excise him out of my life.
While he was gone I found that basketball was a waste of time. The sport merely acted as a bridge connecting the two entirely different worlds of father and daughter, and gave a reason for us to hold a conversation or even be in the same room together. I tried to forget about anything that connected the two of us, just as he forgot about me, hoping it would ease the pain of our ceased relationship.
His name slowly started to fade out of my memory. But when questions aroused like, “how’s your dad,” or my mom made me call him just to see how he was I had to start the process of forgetting from the very beginning.
Over and over I tried to forget but I realized that to forget is not to erase. I finally owned up to knowing that I could never forget someone so important in my life, and the action of an eye for an eye failed.
I believe that to forget is not to delete. When you attempt to forget something that is tangible, and will never escape your life, it is natural for you to always remember. Forgetting in my case is not possible. I believe that forgiving one who has cost you such stress is a way to release the heavy burden, and to live again.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.