Everyone Deserves a Second Chance

Caylyn - lynchburg, Virginia
Entered on September 15, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: forgiveness
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Has anyone ever done something hurtful to you, but you still want to give them a chance to explain why? Well, that is what I believe. I believe that everyone deserves a second chance.

For eighteen years, I grew up without a father, causing me to build up resentment towards him. But in the back of my mind, I wanted to talk to him and give him the opportunity to explain himself; so two weeks ago, I did. I took a trip to Florida to visit my sister, and we started talking about our dad, she lived with him a short while, and I had mentioned we should just go and knock on his door to see what his reaction would be. As we got closer and closer my body started to tremble, my hands clammy, and I wanted to back out. But before I knew it, we were in his driveway and I was walking up to the door. I calmed myself down, and rang the doorbell. I could see someone approaching through the glass door and then it opened slowly. “Can I help you?“ he said confused but seeming to recognize us. I told him I was his daughter Caylyn. He froze and stared at me while his new wife and kids were standing shocked in the background. Trying to recover from the initial shock, he introduced me to his children as their long lost sister. As we went to the kitchen he stopped and half hugged me saying how big I have grown since the last time he saw me, which was when I was two months old. As it started getting late, I finally sat down with him, and then all the questions I ever wanted to ask started pouring out all at once: how come you never called, did you ever miss me, did you ever think about me, and how come you didn’t try harder to see me? Through all these questions and pointless conversations, he never said sorry, he just gave the genetic responses any father in that situation was supposed to give: yes I missed you, and of course I’m glad to see you. I still wasn’t satisfied by his responses and seemingly uncaring attitude. So a little while later I left. I left unsatisfied with the still non-existent father-daughter relationship I was so hopeful for, and with no exchange of contact information. But I did leave with the satisfaction of giving him that second chance, the opportunity to start fresh when it was literally knocking on his door.

Nobody ever said that second chances turnout as planned, but then again no one can take away the personal satisfaction of knowing instead of wondering ‘what if’ the rest of your life. As William James once said, “He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he had failed (Chance Quotes).”