I believe that over time, only good memories will fade. The mind is a strange thing. I have forgotten some memories that were some of the best of my life, but all the bad ones stick like glue. And it makes me wonder, with all these bad memories hanging around, can forgiveness ever be found? Can I be forgiven? Ever?
I used to live out in Indianapolis. I used to be a figure skater. I used to be quite good. I used to love it. Not anymore. I turned my back on a lifelong dream, and on my mother, or that’s what she believes in her mind. She said she’d always believe in me, and would support me in whatever I chose to do. She said that she’d always love me. And then the divorce happened. I never told her about it. I let her find out the hard way, when the papers were delivered. I stabbed her in the back, something she has reminded me ever since, for the last five years. We used to have fun together and be happy. We’d go shopping at the mall, or go see the new Harry Potter movie. We’d hang out and be our crazy selves. But ever since I stabbed her in the back, everything’s been different. The atmosphere around us whenever we were together was tense and angry, and she always used every opportune moment to remind me that I was such a disappointment. She still believes that to this day, even though I haven’t talked to her in almost a year. I haven’t seen her in three. She still hates me, and all because I decided I wanted to go a different way, and not her way.
My mother has never forgiven me, and after so long, I wonder if she ever will. Do our bad memories ever fade? I’m not so sure that they do. But after being hurt so many times, can a person be asked to forgive? Especially if the bad memories are so strong? I believe not. Good things fade over time. Bad things do not.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.