The Gift of Forgiveness

Lauren - Ada, Michigan
Entered on November 4, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: forgiveness
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Early one spring morning our goat, Tina, birthed two adorable kid goats named Kizzy and Stanley. The moment I first laid eyes on those two tiny, dazzling baby goats they began to mean a massive amount to me. That first day they were born I spent time feeding them, guiding them as they learned to walk, and making sure they soaked up enough sun to keep them healthy. With all the joy and love these creatures had brought and taught me in my life I did not realize they would be able to teach me an immeasurable amount about forgiveness too.

These baby goats changed my life. A day after their birth my mom forced me to go to school again, but at school life seemed different now. Before, school seemed to drag on and on and I never wanted to talk to other kids. Now, I felt more comfortable talking to people because I had a picture of Kizzy and Stanley to show them. This gave us something to talk about, and I become less on edge during our conversations. This only proved to make me happier and love my baby goats further.

Every chance I could steal, I found myself with Kizzy and Stanley because they became like friends to me. Each morning my sister and I woke up extra early to bottle-feed them. We found ways to prolong our time with them. Sometimes we persuaded our mom to let them trot beside us to the bus stop. Taking them to the bus stop with us insured us that school would be the only obstacle that separated the goats from us. This caused the bond between the goats, my sister, and me to grow each day.

On Mother’s Day my cousin came over to see Stanley and Kizzy. After that she agreed to take us back to her house for dessert with the family. Before we left in her car my sister and I put the goats on the porch, and then ran to her car. It did not come to our realization that the goats followed us until we went over a bump and heard thump.

At that exact moment it struck me what happened. Everything around me closed in making my breathing labored and difficult like I was suffocating. As I ran inside I realized that the red on the car and cement was blood that had splattered when we hit Kizzy and Stanley. It was over. My life, as I had grown accustomed, came crashing down around me. Tears began streaming down my face and I screamed thinking that perhaps I could wish this away. This did not succeed. So finally, after two hours of crying, my sister and I were calm enough to make our way to our uncle’s. As we arrived we were told that my cousin was up in her room crying. She felt terrible that she had killed our baby goats and did not know if she could face us again.

At that moment my sister and I knew what we had to do. No matter how upset we were that Stanley and Kizzy were dead we knew we had to forgive my cousin. We knew she mattered much more to us than the goats ever could. When we forgave her we caused her to be much happier and that happiness found its way into us and somehow made us feel better too. By forgiving someone else you not only help them, but can also assist yourself in the process. In the forgiveness of my cousin I realized the respect and encouragement that forgiveness brings. Now, because of forgiveness I have gained a stronger and deeper relationship with my cousin and I realized that I believe in the gift of forgiveness and I wish that others could see it in the same light through their forgiveness.