Thursday, May 19, 2011


Sometimes we are so caught up in our lives and in the bad things that happen to us, that we completely forget about forgiveness. I'm not talking about simply saying "I forgive you" and still harboring ill feelings. I'm talking about true forgiveness. When you can truly forgive someone of their transgressions, the burden of hatred and disappointment will be completely lifted off of your shoulders.

I understand that true forgiveness is difficult to achieve. In fact, I have only experienced it one time in my life, where I truly and honestly forgave someone. That person was my father.

In all rites, my father was an emotional bully. He was strict, and his words could be very biting and demeaning. Everyone else saw him as this incredibly smart man (which he was), who was supportive and loving and compassionate (which he was...toward other people). At home, the story was quite different.

Living at home, my father made me cry practically every day. He was the kind of person whom you feared, yet respected. He demanded respect, but showing respect for his children was difficult for him at times. He would tell us how he felt, but he did not want to listen to how we felt. If we tried speaking to him, then he would be angry and tell us that we were talking back, and would send us to our room. He would ignore us for days, not saying a word. He would make comments that would send me into a depression and if I refused to tell him how much he hurt me, he would think that I was being defiant. I couldn't win with him.

He wasn't always that way, however. During his early years, my father was a strapping, muscular, strong man who would do anything for anyone. He was the person people would go to with their problems, and he would do whatever he could to help them out. Family meant everything to him, and he was a proactive father. I often went to him with a problem, and he would help me sort it out.

As he grew older, he developed multiple sclerosis, which took his entire body from him, except for his incredible mind. I should have realized in my adolescent years that he was no longer the man I knew, and I should have been more understanding. Adolescents however, does not give you the capacity to realize those things however, and I took everything to heart and was severely depressed.

We fought constantly. He hurt me and I would in turn hurt him. However, he was also the man who helped me with my math, consoled me when I was heartbroken about a boy, and would give me general advice about life. He was a good man. He was a good father. He just had no control over his body, so he coped by taking control of everything else around him, including his children.

Before he died, my father and I had a moment of clarity, love and forgiveness. I explained to him that although I had a hard time showing it, he was my hero. He was a man who may have been spiteful and mean, but he never complained about the disease that took him from us. He never complained about how much pain he had to endure everyday and he never complained that he could no longer do the things that he used to do. I loved him, and I let him know that. With tears in his eyes, he told me that he was proud of me and my accomplishments, and that he was also sorry for the relationship we had during the last few years. It was a beautiful conversation, and I forgave him. We forgave each other.

When my father passed away, I felt no guilt or shame. All I felt was love. When I think of him now, I no longer think of the tumultuous relationship that he and I once had. All I think about, is that he was my father, and he was loved.

My father passed away five years ago, and yesterday was his birthday. I cried while thinking of him, but not because I was still harboring ill feelings. I cried because I knew he was in a better place, and because I loved this man with all of my heart.

True forgiveness is the most wonderful feeling in the world, and it has brought me inner peace.



  1. Incredibly moving, Amy..... Wow... Wiping away tears!

  2. Thank you, ladies. And Chrissy, you CAN have this. You just have to dig down deep within yourself and let go. You will experience the most incredible feeling!! Good luck to you. :)

  3. Very moving Amy. Thank you... We need more forgiveness in this world...