Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Forgiveness. For Real.

Remember this post about Saying Goodbye?  Well, that was a good start, but certain events lately have forced me to recognize that I'm still harboring bad feelings.

And I'm tired of that.

Daughter is graduating COLLEGE in a couple of weeks, and the "blended families" will meet for the first time.  Her father, per usual, will not reach out.  He is his same, obtuse self. 

I finally told Daughter she was going to have to deal with it, because I cannot.  I know she hates being "in the middle."  I know she hates the way he pretends I do not exist.  But she's 21 and has to deal with it - which she is doing beautifully.  Because?  She's awesome.

But deep down, I let him make me angry.  I get annoyed when he [finally] responds to my emails with the most minimalist reply possible.

Wait - make that I used to get annoyed.

Finally I sought guidance, and a wise woman has coached me with some awesome tidbits.

First, I am learning to "embrace consistency." He treats me consistently - as if I do not exist or with utter distain. GREAT! When I do have to ask him something, I KNOW how he will respond! I embrace that! If he were to be nice suddenly, that would be odd and throw me off!

Second I can't control my feelings, but I can control my thoughts that lead to bad feelings. So when he sends an email that would previously have annoyed me, I EMBRACE the consistency, laugh at it, then throw any thoughts leading to that email in the trash. I actually picture myself wadding it up and tossing it. 

Third,  I don't need his forgiveness - forgiveness is about the giving not the receiving

Fourth, with guidance from this quote, I can finally forgive him:

To forgive someone is to believe them to have been wrong and to let go of the moral leverage that our righteousness grants us over another. Forgiveness is renouncing the position of remaining superior. It is a leveling born of letting go.

With these simple steps I am looking forward to graduation without trepidation!  He will be there, being himself.  I will be there being myself.  The Captain will be by my side, thrilling in "our" daughter's achievements (for he truly loves her as his own - and she loves him dearly, too). 

It feels good to finally break free and truly forgive.

I am hopeful this will be the last you will ever hear of him.  I know this has been my place to rant, to question, to work things out.  I truly hope that at last I have moved past him and the baggage he carries.  I hope to be finally free.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sad, Startling News

Heard today that an old college friend died.  He kept a blog, and it is painful to read his demise from throat cancer that spread like wildfire over his body.

I haven't talked to Chris, oh, in probably 10 years since our last reunion.  We were pretty good friends our freshman and sophomore years, then kind of went our separate ways after that.  We were always friendly, and it was great to see him and catch up at reunions.

And now?  He is gone.

That shouldn't be such an emotionally rocking event, but it is.

He was one of my first friends in college.  He was one of my first dates.  He was one of my first college kisses.  We never really dated - just that one time.  And just that one (delicious) kiss.  We discovered we were much better friends.  Actually, he looked like a Greek God and I didn't measure up.  No joke, our nickname for him was Zeus.  But he was much too kind to put it to me like that...

He was the quiet, peaceful kind of friend with the best sense of quiet humor.  I still have a hilarious poem that he and his best friend/roommate (also a good friend of mine for a time) wrote to me one year at Halloween.  (A Halloween poem?  Sure why not.  They were just funny like that). 

In reading his blog I see that he found a wonderful woman who loved him very much.  And they had a sweet little girl who now will grow up without a father.

I don't know if it hurts so badly because we lost touch and now I feel quilty that I didn't even know he was sick?  Or because he was such an important memory of my college days?  Or because I know he has left behind a family and group of friends who love him very much?  Or because the photos of him ravaged by cancer in his last days can't possibly be the vibrant man I knew?  Or because he was so young.  or maybe it's a little bit of everything.

He had just turned 48 last week.  48. 

Rest in Peace my friend.