Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I've spent my life intentionally (if not always consciously) distancing myself from people. It's really difficult for me to let people actually know me. This blog has been an attempt at getting past that, at least in part. But even now, having gotten closer to a few people, I find that perhaps, I don't like people very much. I find them maddening and hard to understand.
Understanding the people I love is very important to me. I guess I've spent the better part of my life just trying to understand why people do the things they do. I've failed miserably so far. And don't expect to succeed anytime soon.
As a person who has been hurt rather a lot by people and their actions and their inaction, I'm thinking about giving up. Seriously. For all my quick quips and glib commentary, I might quit. But consciously this time. And not because I'm a child circling my wagons, but because I'm a grown woman and I can't figure this shit out.
I think I spend too much time caring for, thinking about and doing for other people. In the past, the only way to correct that was to cut myself off, from virtually everyone. For all my big talk, I'm not really sure I want to retreat back into that completely.
I want a balance.
But I don't know how to give less. Not really. It's just how I am. And I'm really tired of assuming that the nugget of every problematic situation is me. I want everyone to be happy. I want everyone's life to be easy and fine. And I try to help that happen. And people come to depend on me a little bit. Which is fine. But I don't find that same dependability reciprocated by very many people.
I don't know. Maybe they can't. Maybe they're too caught up in their own snares to think too much about anyone else. Maybe it's too much of a stretch. It's hard not to take that personally.
I used to think I wasn't a very demanding person. I even counted that as one of my strengths. But I'm finding that I am, in fact, an extremely demanding person. I don't bring a lot of drama. I don't even think I require that much of an investment. It's just that I expect people to do the right thing. Or at least to try to do the right thing whatever that right thing is.
It's not that I'm some bigoted know-it-all who gallops about the countryside dispensing pharmacological criticism that I expect to be heeded. I don't give conditions. As demanding as I may be, I don't have an arbitrary list of requirements to be met. I just expect that people will be thoughtful and give me the same consideration I extend out to them.
But I think I may have a problem; a serious mental flaw. Because I give out a lot. And without any whining or petulant foot-stomping, honestly, I see that there's not a lot coming back in. I don't know how to be more moderate. It's just how I am. It's how I've always been. Even in childhood, I gave everything away.
When it got to be too painful, I pulled back. Way back. So far, in fact, if I'd died 6 years ago, maybe four people, outside my family, would have come to my funeral. It was that realization, in fact, that encouraged me to live a little differently; to try to extend myself out a little bit. Not because I truly care who shows up when I'm dead, but because, I'm a good person. And I don't want to die totally unknown, without having made some mark on the world. I don't want to die without friends. It's good to love people. It's good to be loved.
I just don't know if it's worth it. All the time.
My demanding nature, is mostly what's done me in. I don't believe people should be treated poorly or allow themselves to be treated poorly. So, when I see it, I guess, I shine a light on it. Light in dark places is mostly unwelcome.
I don't expect people to be different. I don't demand even that people do differently.
I am really horribly honest, though. And I'll say what I think. And I'll stand up for people who can't/won't/don't stand up for themselves. And I refuse to treat people like a list of hurts and injustices and insist that they are worth far more than they know. And I won't sit by and watch people be mistreated or watch a friend mistreat someone. I'll call bullshit.
Which, apparently, is what absolutely no one wants to hear.
That's how I've lost the vast majority of my friends. Regardless, I don't know how to be quiet.
Maybe it's just the consequence of trying to really truly love people, completely, with all their faults and foibles and peculiarities. When you take people as they are where they are, maybe they don't want to move. Or be moved to move. Or be made to think they can move.
It'd be kind of cruel, wouldn't it? To whisper the possibility of flight to a statue.
And I guess that's where my assertion that truly loving another person means being willing to make them hate you comes in. Because I do believe that. And I don't think I'm bound to change much. So, I guess I just have to figure out if it's worth it. To me. To give it all away. And accept that when you give it, it's a gift. And gifts are always free.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

for david.

forging ahead.
this new territory.
beyond the mississippi.

scurrilous invaders.
taking more than we should.
frowning indians stand all around.
but we are proud.

aren't we?
that we can go so far.
be that much more.
look how much we can take.

we crack.
we sweat.
we squint in the new sun.
don't you look around
at the landscape - flat and wide open -
and wish for our rings of mountains?
when we were held in?
you and I?
by land and all that was familiar?

now we walk. we ride. we laugh.
but less lightly.
always moving.
our feet fall on the dense prairie.
in this new life.
you and me.

rivers crossed
can't be uncrossed.
can't be crossed again.
even ferries hold no hope for us now.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Blah and blah and do you love you, too?

Some things are hard to write.
Some are much harder to say.
Maybe it's just putting the words to them that is the difficulty.
I'd say I was a better speaker than a writer, but that is definitely not true.
I'd say I was a better writer than a speaker, but that is likewise untrue.
Words, sometimes, I think I was born of them. Like I sprouted, fully - a lexicon - straight from the ground. Words. I hate them. I love them. They drag me around by a chain.
Maybe once in awhile, I best them and twist them and make them do my bidding. But mostly, it's me that gets the whipping.
But still, I have a lot to say. So I trot right back to my fickle brain and try to tease out the meaning of living and then, try to put those thoughts into a generalized, accepted expression that other people share. If I were a painter, I'd use splatters and mash all manner of things into the canvas, step back and say, "Yes. That."
But I'm no painter.
And my brain's no abuser. Though I joke that way. Maybe it was shaped by one. And perhaps that's my gift to bring. My frankincense. I was brought up to hate myself, but something in me balked. And continues to balk at my upbringing's lasting legacies.
I write about love a lot. I write about it because it's so important. To me. And love, she's rarely represented in the world. For all the talk and greeting cards, marriages and dying declarations, most of us don't really know what it is to be truly loved or to truly love.
An elastic love, that stretches to encompass the whole of each of us. Love that holds no resentment. Doesn't keep track. Never threatens or dismisses. Forgives. Extends. Grows. Always.
Maybe this is God, to many. Maybe it's the promise of Jesus. I believe I've said that before.
It sounds stupid to say, "Love yourself." It's a message that's been co-opted and corrupted and turned into ads for personal hygiene and justifications for two-year degrees in not much. But loving oneself is not an outward declaration. It's not about anyone else knowing directly what you know of yourself.
It's trusting your footfall. It's knowing your step. It's believing that you will do what's right for everyone else by similarly knowing and doing what's right for yourself.
Not what's easy.
Not what's simply pleasurable.
Not what's convenient.
But right.
And figuring that out, I can't tell you how to do that. But I bet you'd know it if you'd just listen to yourself.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Knee-deep in the pound

It's been awhile.
Sometimes, I get a little tired of putting it out there.
Lately, I've been a little overwhelmed.
When I was in 6th grade, in Mrs. Booth's English class and Mrs. Booth was probably the age I am now, my class read "To Kill A Mockingbird". It made a big impression on me. Not the racism. Not Boo Radley. Not bustin' up chiffarobes. Or children being saved from stabbing by chicken-wire ham suits. It was Atticus Finch, and not him directly. More what was said about him by Miss Maudie. He was, she said, the same man at home that he was on the street.
When I read that, at 10, I knew I was being instructed in how to be. Just be. Without duplicity or facades or games, weird and endless. And somehow, that worked for me. I didn't get a lot of home instruction in how to be an actual person. I put it together piece by piece, some of it.
Mostly though, I learned from my grandmother, who waited her whole life for me. Once she got me, she didn't let go. Time spent at her kitchen table was like sun, water and compost for me. She was amazingly honest about people and their limitations, but equally as amazing in her ability to love them in spite of themselves. And there was a lot of spite in her life to love around.
My grandfather, who was wonderful to me, was physically abusive to her. I never saw it myself. But one time, when she stood up to him the tiniest little bit, he drew himself up so tall and threatening and his voice coiled so cold and menacing, there was little room left for wondering about what went on when I wasn't around. When I was there, he dogged her fairly constantly. She spent a lot of time avoiding him in their tiny house. She'd staked her claim on the kitchen. She and her sister, her good friend and I would gather there. He'd slink in around the edges to the refrigerator and back out the door again.
That's not to say he was a bad man. Just a sad one, whose sadness was expressed in anger and resentment. My grandmother's life wasn't the best, but his was worse. She managed to live with someone that hurt her and still have joy in her life. He had to live with all that ugliness in himself.
I guess they loved one another, in their way. They were certainly used to one another, even if what they were most accustomed to was mistrust and unfairness. As terrible as it may sound, I always wished that he'd die first. Because even as an old woman, my grandmother held ideas of leaving him. I tried really hard to talk her into it. I offered her my home. I found other places for her to go. But it was just too ground into her. It was too much a part of who she was at that point to contemplate letting it go.
And like she taught me to do, I loved her even with all of her limitations. Even when those limitations surrounded her ideas of herself. I knew she was infinite. I knew she was wonderful, luminous and bright. Smart. Capable. And packing a wit so dry, despite painful, shaking laughter, tears dried before they could even escape the eye.
It killed me to watch her submit and surrender. Even though I loved my grandfather very much. It was like watching the greatest, grandest willow get topped so as not to disrupt a power line. I know electricity is important, but never again will there be a tree so fine as that one.
I managed to save her life more than once. When she had a series of strokes before my eyes, I insisted she go to the hospital, even though my grandfather insisted she was fine. And later, with her body failing, a lethal combination of medicines had been prescribed to her by accident. And as her liver failed and her skin turned the most appalling yellow I have ever seen, she laid on the sofa, dying, as my grandfather sat two feet away in a chair watching television. He knew what was happening. He wasn't stupid. He just didn't or couldn't care.
It was hard standing up to him and insisting. My hands shook. My voice trembled. But I planted my feet and for my grandmother, I stood my ground. She got to live a little while longer. And I got to visit her in the hospital and put pig tails in her hair. And she got to meet her first grandchild. Pointing back at him was one of the last things she did before she died.
And even after she was gone, my grandfather couldn't stop putting her down. And eventually, I had to stop seeing him very often. Because she wasn't around any more to represent herself to my children and the vision they have of her will be mine, not his. And honestly, I just couldn't take it. I was still too angry.
As long as I live, I will never understand how two people can live together hating and being hated by their spouses so much. "Don't get married like I did, Jennifer," is what she said. It wasn't the institution she was warning me against as much as she was cautioning me about her situation. And I listened.
I listened to a lot. I took it all in. All her love for me. I drank it. I bathed in it. I built houses and towns and streets. I survived the misery and the terror and the tumult because she taught me that I was worth it. And she believed it. So I did. She lived for it. For me. And I will not let her down.
So, bring it. All you troubled, lonely, sad, misaligned, broken and miserable people. Single file, make a line. I've got love for you like you've never ever known. Life, it doesn't have to be like this. You can look in a mirror and see yourself and love what's coming back from there. And if you can't, I can. And if I can, you can. Even if I have to Annie Sullivan it at you through a stream of gushing W-A-T-E-R.
Another world is possible. And it begins with a book by Harper Lee. And a man named Atticus. And a girl named Jennifer Elizabeth. And her grandmother, also Elizabeth, who loved her better than anything.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

His eye is on the sparrow, yes. But what about me?

A neighbor of ours just dropped off a load of firewood. Spontaneously. For free.
This is in addition to a load he dropped off the other week.
He is a forester and said firewood was really easy to come by for him.
A wood-burning stove is our only source of heat. There was an oil heater in place when we moved in, but it was ancient and in a very odd place and well, I just didn't trust it. At the time, we had friends who primarily heated with wood, so it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Well, it remains a good idea, but it's a job of work keeping the woodshed and the woodstove full. David usually takes care of the wood getting. I take care of the wood burning. Usually. Before Willoughby was conceived I was a menace with a wood maul. I split wood every day. It's a great workout and an even better tension reliever.
Getting wood for yourself is ideal. It takes time, a willingness to work hard and a source of timber, but it doesn't cost a lot of money. Unless you've got no time or no place to cut wood or are unable to work hard due to illness, injury or equipment failure. This year, we've had frequent shortages of time and money and stuff that works like it should when you need it the most. But we have also been so fortunate. We know a man that is happy to sell us all the wood we want for cheap and on credit, friends who have let us raid their wood piles and these neighbors who give us the fruits of their labor unsolicited and for free.
There are moments when I envy people with push-button heat. Like when it is 13 degrees outside or when the fire goes out overnight and I wake up with a cold nose and a fire to start. Around about February, I get so tired of hauling firewood I could spit. But then, I never open a huge electric bill, either. And I don't have to worry about calling the propane or heating oil companies, either. Wood is a renewable source of energy. And although it may seem counter intuitive, I would rather have my home's exhaust vented here, rather than from some coal-powered power plant far away. It's my waste. It should hang in my atmosphere.
But this is not a treatise on the wonders and glory of heating with wood. No, this all comes from the initial charitable act. These neighbors who randomly knock on my door bearing gifts of firewood, baby rabbits, turkey eggs to hatch or freshly-made sausage, they are evidence of my own personal bounty. My cup overfloweth to such a degree it's a wonder those of you downstream can still see your feet. But I feel horribly conflicted saying that I am blessed, even though I feel sure that I am. Because for me to be blessed, doesn't that mean that others are "unblessed"?
Cast your eyes about in virtually any direction and you can't really miss the suffering. Chuck a rock and you'll hit someone in pain. Real, life-altering pain. Unendurable, unceasing torment. Job, 2010.
Although I am a Christian, I am not a fundamentalist. I look to the Bible not as the inerrant word of God given to man, but as a collection of ideas about God; a God that is still being revealed to anyone and everyone that is paying attention.
There are things that happen to friends that I can't bear thinking about. A husband is killed. A child dies of cancer. And more. These are the things I can't say out loud; things I can't think on too long without my throat threatening to close or my eyes filling with tears. Sometimes, when everything in my house is quiet and my husband touches my hand or I hear one of the children sigh in their sleep, life is so sweet, I can't imagine things continuing on this good for much longer. It's like we are all dancing on the head of a pin, whirling closer and closer to the edge until one or eleven of us flies off and the rest of us are left there, reeling, before most of us turn back to the dance. I'm among those who cast a glance back, watching the bereft left wringing their hands. Because I know, I could be the next one flung into the abyss. Or worse.
I know that I am a good, worthwhile person, but in terms of my contribution to society, I'd rank a solid "fair". If Mother Teresa were exemplary and Hitler, the worst. A nice C. Maybe a C+ on a day I spend more time thinking about others than I do myself.
When you stack it all up, how am I here? In a comfortable house, with healthy children, a cherished marriage and more than the essentials in everything? Why is this my lot in life? With my cup running over, filling my lap, chair and shoes? I'm afraid it's a magic trick or a bubble on the rise. I do not deserve this. On any poor bastard's scale.
It'd be lovely if Christianity incorporated Karma, wouldn't it? There wouldn't be such a wrestling between the seemingly "blessed" and the "unblessed". I'd be successful because of my own hard work in lives past. And those of you stuck in the gutter, well, you made your bed, so lie there, Sucker.
Instead, I'm a tight rope walker. I've got my blessings perched on my arms and ahead, each atop its own pole, spinning. And somehow, I have to keep moving forward and keep things just so or, I know, the whole thing's going to come crashing down.
But then, I don't seriously believe that anyone else's misfortune is due to a misstep or a sudden sneeze. So I know it has nothing actually to do with me at all.
So is it God? Like a kicking-ass Santa Claus? Creating life and taking it away? Handing out the goodies to the good and smiting those who don't do right? Yeah...No. I believe a lot. But I don't buy that. I just don't. If that were true, my slack old back sliding self would be cast so deep in the pit of pestilence there'd be fifteen different kinds of plague with my name on it.
No, I think the world is the world and it is up to us to make it as good as we can for as many as we can. I believe that we are the bringers of God's Kingdom. But then, that's no answer to the question of why some suffer so much and why others so little. It's actually kind of a cop-out dodge.
This is an old and worn discussion. I know. I don't have anything new to add. I hope there was no hope for answers. Because this neat package is wet on the bottom with a hole besides. I'm stumped. Flummoxed. Stupefied. I just want to gather the whole world up. I want to kiss its cheeks and murmur, "Everything's under control. There is a plan. All of this is in there. Trust me. I'm in a helicopter. I can see it all from up here. Everything's going to be alright." Mostly, I guess, I just want to believe it myself.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Insomnia's only a problem if you have a bed to sleep in.

I couldn't sleep last night.
It happens sometimes. And when I can't sleep, my normally pragmatic mind runs to some otherworldly weird and violent scenarios - like my children being hit by cars or a bear attacking them in the yard while they're doing their chores - that make my actually falling asleep even less of a possibility. Last night, I couldn't stop creating scenarios involving the death or grave injury of my youngest son, Willoughby.
It's a strange state to be in. Not asleep. Not awake. And not entirely in control of my thought processes. But in the middle of one of these horrible visions, Willoughby, who sleeps with us, rolled over, putting his feet against my belly and throwing out his arm straight across my face. A gentle rebuke, I guess, but an effective one. It woke me up enough to remember not to fear the millions of horrific possibilities the world has to offer, that will probably never happen and certainly couldn't be prevented due to their randomness and sheer improbability.
I removed his hand from my face, causing him to shift his position again, lining his back up against me so I could feel his every breath.
And this is how I eventually dropped off to sleep, his every breath reminding me he was there and safe and I had nothing to fear.
Now imagine our house falling down and my sweet-cheeked, breathing consolation Willoughby stuck under it and me running back and forth helplessly there trying, desperately to get him out.
Which is rather like what is happening in Haiti.
Where for many mothers, day-to-day survival is more of an actual battle than it is here. You know, my pantry is rarely bare. I mean, there's always something. Even when we are at our lowest moments financially, I can't think of a time we've actually been out of food. Maybe we don't have exactly what we want...or maybe I can't make what I usually do, but we've never gone to be hungry due to an empty cupboard.
In Haiti, mothers don't love their children any less than I love mine. And I can hardly bear to think of the desperation, the horror, the helplessness swirling about in the air there today. What can you do when the ground gives up and quivers all around you? You can't hold anyone close enough. You can't protect your kids from that. As hard as you work. As rich or poor as you may be. It's a great leveler, in more ways than one.
One of the things I love the most about Christianity is the idea that regardless of our individual circumstances, I am no more or less in God's eyes than anyone else. So my children, though they mean the world to me, are no more valuable than any other children on the planet. I have taught them this from very early on. Before the Jesus-Me. It's fundamental, isn't it? Not to bring everyone else up to our level, but more to bring us down a few notches.
Many is the time, I've looked around me and felt a little smug. I take good care of my family. We have a comfortable house we're not in danger of losing, largely because of my insistence, initiative and creativity. My marriage is loving, stable and secure. There are moments when I am dangerously close to falling into the trap of thinking myself somehow "better" than someone else who does not share my good fortune.
But how different am I than the alcoholic when I eat more than I should, to the detriment of my health? Not to mention my kids who may not have a mother drunk off her ass on the sofa, but still have one who spends way too much time there.
How different am I than the person with thousands of dollars in credit card debt when I spend too much at second-hand stores? Both of us are spending money we don't have, just in different venues. And both of our families are suffering from it.
How different am I than the mother who does everything she can for her children - feeding, clothing, sheltering her kids the best she can in whatever environment she was born into? I'm not different at all. We're exactly the same. We're all the same. Me and you and people half the world away. We're all the same, one for the other.
National and cultural boundaries, they are all man-made. Even religious boundaries, they're bunk too. If my children were buried under the rubble of our home, I wouldn't care who the rescuer prayed to. Neither would you. And we live in a world where oceans of water no longer profoundly impede us. Mountain ranges, either. And my brothers and sisters in Christ, they are crying. Especially in Haiti today.
And since we're no different, don't we have a responsibility to help them, like we'd help any other neighbor? Because I'm pretty sure they'd help us, regardless of our skin color, our country of origin, our financial status.
NPR has set up a page telling us how. Please go and consider making a donation. Because unless you're chartering a hospital boat full of food, water, and heavy equipment, it's the least you could do.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Well, you asked.

Forgiveness. It's perhaps the hardest thing a Christian is asked to do.
I can feed people. I can clothe people. I can give physical things quite easily. I have a surplus of them, as most of those in the U.S. do. And I'm considered among the decidedly un-wealthy. What I can't always give is that place in my heart, reserved for honored guests and confidantes. I can forgive a lot. You just may not get a chance to do it all over again.
Recently, I was talking with my children about "extraordinary forgiveness", which is precisely the kind being a follower of Christ demands. Extraordinary forgiveness is the kind that confounds nearly everybody other than the one giving it away. Usually, it is the one requiring it that is the most confounded. And out of that startling relief, a new understanding should emerge. A humbling understanding. An uplifting understanding.
We see examples of this in grand, sweeping ways - the Amish community forgiving the man who murdered their children, extending a loving hand to his widow or the parents of a murdered child lobbying against the execution of the murderer - but it exists in smaller ways as well. We just generally overlook it or it exists in matters so personal, unless directly involved, its sounds go unheard over the greater thrum of the world.
There are lots of things I can't imagine forgiving anyone for. To see someone forgive what seems to me to be unforgivable is evidence of what a human can do, when tested.
Recently, a certain famous athlete was revealed to be a philanderer. That particular issue is not really of importance here. Rather, it's the reaction to that issue. There are a lot of opinions out there about what his wife should do in this situation. I couldn't say, myself. I am not privy to the complexities of anyone's marriage other than my own. And even on familiar territory, I am often lost.
No, more to the point here is the public reaction to what this one wife will or won't do re: her husband's transgression(s).
I really shouldn't read any public commentary on the Internet. It just raises too many issues for me. Truthfully, I am a much happier when I don't know what [insert on-line moniker here] thinks about every.single.thing on the Internet. But like the tongue in a cavity, I often find myself poking around, even though I know I should just leave it alone.
Once you get beyond the idea that I shouldn't have even been reading the story to begin with, much less the comments and then, forgive me my trespasses, I ask you to ponder along with me about a much larger issue. Why would anyone believe that a spouse who forgives is a "stupid", "ignorant", "self-loathing", "just in it for the money anyway", "half-wit"? How could anyone *not* see the inherent strength required to forgive an unforgivable thing?
It's such an outrageous and super-human feat that, truthfully, it requires somebody big - like God - to back it up. To forgive someone is not just to nod your head in their general direction and go on with your life. To forgive is to invite them back to your table, even if they don't deserve it. Ever. It's to acknowledge that, "Hey, you've done something so bad, I should kick you out of the box seats in my heart, but I'm not." it?
The truth of the matter is that I am as confused about forgiveness as pretty much everybody else. Alongside the above statements, which I truly believe, I also think there's a limit to how much someone can possibly take. Let's say you forgive the unforgivable once or twice or 23 times, and then are asked to forgive it again. Do you? Can you? My grandmother used to say, "Jesus said to turn the other cheek, not to lie down and let them wipe their feet on you." And I agree with her. At a certain point, it becomes a destructive cycle, doesn't it? Let's set it up like this:
I trespass - mightily.
You forgive.
I do it again.
You forgive.
I do it again.
You forgive...again.
And, once again, there's me breaking your heart.
And you're coming back with all the love you've got.
And I chuck it in the bin.
You pull it out.
I toss it back.
And on and on, ad infinitum.
I could be wrong, but I don't think that's what forgiveness is all about. It's not the only part of God's bargain. Forgiveness, when taken seriously by the forgiven is a transformational act. When you hurt someone, when you misstep, when you falter, being extended grace is the moment you should experience some fundamental shift in yourself. It's an exchange. It's the restoration of trust, more than the mere absolution of guilt.
It takes work to forgive. You have to reach out beyond yourself and grasp at a new future, close your eyes and jump. Being forgiven, that takes work to. Maybe more. Because you have to reach out beyond yourself and be better than you've been. You have to realize the power you wield over others, pledging great awareness and care in the future.
And if the forgiven takes that forgiveness for granted, what then?
Because there are people in my life that I have forgiven, but on whom I have also closed a door that is not likely to be reopened. And I am just fine with that. In fact, I am better for it.
Parents are tough people to forgive, but believe it or not, I've forgiven mine. And not just for not letting me have what I wanted when I wanted it. I've forgiven abandonment, a little face beaten far too swollen to be seen in public for a few days, and well, lots, lots more. Just trust me.
Forgiveness, I think, is a two part process. To have a relationship with anyone, it has to be an exchange, even among parents and children. My son may say something really hurtful or disappoint me in some huge way, but when I forgive him, I expect him to keep up his end of the deal. And his end of the deal is to not do the same thing again, at least not immediately. He is 10.
See, a long time ago, when I forgave my parents for really committing the biggest wrongs ever experienced in my life, it was a quiet and private process. I didn't seek my father out to let him know I'd absolved him of all his wrongdoing. And I didn't tell my mother, either. I just let it all go and the walls I'd erected in my heart, I took them down. No one knew they were there. There was no reason to broadcast their absence.
Now, my father, I guess he gets a pass. I don't know him. He really couldn't be more absent than he already is. I guess he could be dead and therefore there'd be no potential for change in the future. But then, not really because that's just not going to happen.
But my mother, she broke my heart. Not just once. But over and over and over again. And every time, from a very young age, I just forgave it. People want me to forgive. I say, "I have forgiven." And my forgiveness, which cost me dearly, was disregarded and I was hurt again and again. And at a certain point, you just have to put your hands and shout, "Stop!" Don't you? Or do you?
Forgiveness is the most beautiful thing in the world. I struggle with it. Unquestionably.
And poor Tiger Woods' wife. I wish her luck. I do.