How can I keep from becoming angry with people when they hurt me? Why must I forgive and put myself in a position where I could become victimized again? How do I forgive when I don’t feel like it? My father past away a year ago. When I received the news I did not shed one tear. In a way it was a new feeling for me. I did not feel sadness or joy. Now I couldn’t be hurt anymore, I couldn’t be let down by someone who I cared so much about. After I received an email from my half brother Kirk, I changed the way I felt about dad forever.
My parents divorced when I was two years old. I was fortunate enough to be younger and not have to go through the stress of figuring out which parent to live with. It was always just my mother and I. I would watch the other kids at school run to their dads and it would make me upset and wish I had that. I loved my dad very much. I only saw him once or twice a year and those days where always the best but unfortunately not always guaranteed. As a kid you are more vulnerable. The more and more he forgot to come see me or call on my birthday the taller the wall I put up became. It became impossible for anyone to get through.
Dad would call and say the same thing. He would promise to come see me and tell me how much fun we would have. We could even go do what ever I wanted. I would get ready the night before. Pick out my outfit and make a list of all the things I wanted to
go do. I remembered being so excited. I would even sit by the door patiently waiting for his arrival. Like always he was a no show. This went on for a couple of years but finally when I was 13 I stopped caring. He would call, I wouldn’t answer. I became tired of the excuses. For a while I tried forgiveness, since that is what God does for me. When I say for a while, I mean a couple of years. But I failed. I decided to pretend he wasn’t important to me and didn’t need him.
A couple months ago I received an email from Kirk (My dads son; he was the one that called me and told me that our father had past away from cancer). I sat there and read the email and started to cry. Suddenly I felt anger and finally mourned. In the email he explained to me what happened and told me that he had talked with our dad before he died. He told Kirk to tell me how much he loved me and how he was sorry that he wasn’t there for me.
Forgiveness is possible, even under the worst circumstances. I have forgiven him numerous times and now I have realized that beyond forgiveness is change. It is a choice, a decision that I wish I would have made sooner. But now that he’s gone there is nothing I can do. Although I can forgive, I will never forget.