Have you ever walked this road? Forgiveness that is. Forgiving that someone for something they might have done to hurt you. Emotionally, mentally, physically even spiritually? Maybe its a group of people? This road seems to be toughest for me lately. When do I let go. Move on. Stop hurting myself over and over again by something that happened weeks, months, years ago? Its a tough line for sure. Finding deep down in myself ways to heal the pain. To stop beating myself up. Wondering the what if's of life. These things seem to take up my thoughts. Especially when its quiet.
In the last few weeks, I have found that one particular thing keeps coming up. Its always the same really. Forgiving my Father-in-Law. The hurt and pain from years past has really been something I focus on day in and day out. The hurt he caused my husband, his son. The hurt he caused to our children. How does one let that go? I vowed in my heart never to allow him to see the kids again. To see me again. To make me feel the way I did that cold night in January. The many things he did to make the pain of things that happened sting to the core. I wont go into details. God knows what he has done. Family and close friends know too. The issue now is processing, healing and forgiving. You know, the 5 steps of grief. I think I am in the healing and forgiving phase of this journey.
I finally got the courage to see him again last June. After 3 years of no contact. A family function that we were invited too. I had to make sure this was okie not only for me, but for Olivia. She remembers so much, and I wanted to make sure she felt safe, comfortable, okie with the idea. She did great. She told him in her own words how she felt. He not understanding how she could remember so much at such a young age (she was 4 at the time) but she did. And she let him know how upset she was by it. I think it was then he realized what he lost. His grandchildren. They didn't know him. Want to play with him, talk to him. Jason and I didn't force the issue. We enjoyed the day, and worried less about how he felt about us being there. I was pregnant with Oliver at the time. I am sure he was going to have something to say about that, but we didn't care. We were happy, blessed, excited.
Fast forward to Christmas. We saw him again. He didn't know this time we were going to be there. Heck, it was even a last minute venture for us too. We were so happy to go. The kids had a great time. Family was happy to see them. It was great. I think a little bit of him was sad again too. The kids said hi, and then scurried off to do other things. They didn't want to play, talk, or hang out with him. They don't know him. It makes me sad really. The relationship he gave up with his eldest son. The relationship he gave up with his grandchildren. What will he tell them when they are older? I have made it a point not to talk in vein about him around the kids. I want them to decide how they feel about him and their relationship with him all on there own. Its not my place to make him look worse. Of course I am jealous of the relationship he will have with future grandchildren when Jason's brother has kids. It will always sting. Our kiddos came first. And this is where the forgiveness comes in.
I have forgiven him. My heart has finally said "let go." I often hear that little voice at night whispering softly in my ear. God telling me its okie to forgive. I will always talk about and analyze the things that were said or the way he acts when we do see him. That's human nature. My heart though has forgiven him for the things that he has done in the past. I can't change the outcome. But I can pray for a new one. Work hard to achieve those goals that Jason and I have set for ourselves. For our kids. Both of us work hard. In different ways yes. But we are a team. A team that cannot be broken. Someday we will look back at the things we accomplished and remember though it was hard, we came out better in the end.
Joe, if you read this, and I am not sure you ever will, but if you do. Know that I forgive you. And love you. You are still the only father Jason will ever have and grandfather to our children. Remember this.
As I bring this to a close, I will someday look back on this post. I feel lighter just writing this and happier to know that someday....someday, things will be better. I have the most powerful thing their is. PRAYER.