Relationships can go through so many twists, ups, downs and all arounds. We can be loved incredibly well along with being hurt incredibly bad. Our partners can either love us well, or hurt us deeply and in most cases, they can do both. I have done both. Right now I’m currently emotionally wiped and drained with a big burning question luring above me.. Will I forgive? While I write about relationships, today I’m going to share about something a bit different, but still ties into the principle of forgiveness, whether in a relationship or not, it’s a question we’re asked of in various forms of relationships.
Yesterday was one of the most difficult days of my life as my family and I had to face the man who injured my sister in a drunk driving accident. She drove to work on a Monday morning October 18, 2010 and he drove the streets of Galveston, Tx like a wild man with an alcohol level 2 times above the legal limit. She’s still in a nursing home, leaving her husband and 2 year old daughter to do the best with life, without her. We haven’t heard her speak, she hasn’t eaten nor walked since that day. Needless to say it’s incredibly painful, difficult and at times overwhelming.
So to have to face the man who did this to her, who did this to my family was challenging. Challenging in the fact that I had to remain civil in front of this person and the attorney defending him. We were in court, so cussing him and his attorney out were out of the question, taking a baseball bat and beating the shit out of the both of them were not options either. We were aloud to speak our grievances, but were asked to not do any of things which most of us would’ve enjoyed doing.
I glared at him while we awaited to stand before the judge, if I couldn’t say or do what I wanted I figured I’d glare. To see his attorney made me want to vomit all over him, as he is a local in our area, went to high school with my father and is known for representing the most crooked, corrupt species out there. So to see him stand on behalf of this guy enraged me. To make matters worse, as my other sister took the stand to say all that she felt and how she was impacted by this man hurting our baby sister, I watched the criminals wife roll her eyes countless times as we shared our stories. Bitch slapping wouldn’t even cover what I wanted to do to her in that moment.
Angry with how the situation played out from being presented with a settlement the week before court, being presented and then told that if we didn’t accept my sister could walk away with nothing, as if her present condition isn’t enough already. We all said what needed to be said, we said our grievances while my sister whom was hurt by this man sat in a wheelchair unable to speak and to share her side of the story.
In the middle of it all, my mother said the unimaginable. Through her tears and anguish, she looked at the man and said “I forgive you.” She amazed me, as I had spoken first and told the man that despite being taught to forgive, in this situation I wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to forgive him. Of all people to be willing to do this, I was surprised to hear her say this and to him directly. My sisters husband also shared the same sentiments. They both were exceptionally strong and both had courage in that moment that I believe shocked everyone in the court room.
I’ve said my anger, I’m still unsettled as I feel her situation has been handled with great injustice, yet I find myself being asked “Will I forgive?” How can I forgive this man, the slimy attorney representing him or his cruel, bitch slapping needing wife? I’ve heard that forgiveness isn’t a feeling but a choice. I believe that forgiveness doesn’t always mean letting the person off, but letting their actions go so that I myself can be restored to peace and love, as unforgiveness seperates us from the two.
I stayed in bed all day after that court hearing, I slept and slept and that night, I slept more. I woke up still wanting to go back to sleep as I feel emotionally wiped and drained. So to consider forgiveness seemed unbearable. But I have a responsibility to myself, to love myself with the same self love I preach. I have to love myself enough to learn to let go. To not allow bitterness and anger to consume me like a wildfire of cancer that could permeate my entire being. I must forgive, because I love me too much not too. I love God too much not to. I love my sister too much not too. God give me the strength to do what feelings and emotions do not want to do, to do the best thing for me when the anger says to do the opposite.