This I Believe

Erina - Bellevue, Washington
Entered on May 21, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I thought that you apologized to someone just so you seemed polite and that you forgave someone because you just forgot about it and it probably wasn’t that big of an issue to start with. I also thought bigger problems were never forgiven and would be there like a scar on your face, always ready to remind you with all those hateful memories. I’ve moved on and began to learn that forgiving someone wasn’t just saying words but it was a way of bringing back precious memories that were once hidden beneath the scar.

Pouting and yelling used to be what I did when I was a kid. Whenever something didn’t go my way I’d scream, get everyone’s attention, and show that my mother was the enemy, not me. My father was the master of advanced loud pounding emotions. He wasn’t afraid to express hate through occasional fist fight because he’d always say “we’re only human.” Since opposites attract, it was no secret why my father was so dearly fond of my mother’s calm nature. Poised and content, she was always able to refrain from any type of fury. My father was like fire, money was his tinder, and my mother was like water, smooth and calm, yet like fire and water one often overpowers the other.

It was a cold January, when things started to grow shaky. My family had just finished dinner and we were sitting around, letting time pass. I was still seven, not old enough to understand the gist of adult language, but I still watched the rhythmic toss of words between my mom and dad. At first their tone was weak and almost silly like two friends sharing their day. Then my father’s voice grew deep and husk. The conversation grew too heavy for me to stay so my sister and I fled to my room to play with our dolls, yet our childish need to play did not overcome the sound of crashing glass and sharp threats. It was then that we heard for the first time my mother’s cry.

I believe in forgiveness. It was that next day when I had to forgive my dad no matter how much hate I wished to inflict on him. No one forced me to do it, I just had to. Even if I didn’t, it wouldn’t bring back the smiles I once saw when my parents looked at each other, or the feeling of a full house when I cam home from school. Forgiving him helped me move on so that one day, I’ll start to believe in something else like hope or my mother getting married again. Each step I take into forgiving the things that he once did was another step to what I think is being happy again.