Forgiveness is Powerful
Yesterday and today have been surreal. My brother, who is very close to dad, was in such emotional pain about my dad’s poor health that I decided to return to my hometown. My father is very ill and in ICU. Before this, I hadn’t seen my dad for 10 or 15 years. But right now, I’m sitting in his hospital room watching him sleep.
I didn’t know what I would do when his time to pass drew near. But yesterday, I told dad that even though there were very bad times in my childhood, I also remember the good times. I told him I know that if he could have been a different person, that he would have. But between mental illness and alcoholism, he couldn’t control his anger and violence. I told my dad that my experiences as a child were going to help me be a better adoptive parent to my daughter, once I get her. I may be able to relate to some of her experiences, and that may help her talk to me and trust me sooner.
The ICU nurse told me that the oxygen mask itches so I lightly stroked dad’s face around the edge of the mask. He reciprocated by touching my face and hugging me. Three days ago, I wouldn’t have thought that I would ever allow that to happen.
Of course, there is no reason for me to feel threatened at this point. I forgave dad many years ago, but really didn’t want a relationship after cutting him out of my life when I was a teen. Back then, I was terrified of him and severing our relationship was pure self-preservation.
I will say that actually voicing forgiveness is powerful. I’m at peace. But I think I may have given my dad some peace, as well. I hope so. If he passes now, maybe the transitition will be a little easier for him. And I hope to grow from this experience, as well.