Whoa Mama

Thursday, February 23, 2012

to forgive or forget

So I write a ton of stuff about my kids. They are usually plenty of inspiration. They are funny, difficult, silly, engaging. I adore them. They typically give me lots to reflect on and want to record. That is usually enough. This has been a difficult week. So here I sit on my Thursday decompression night only to come across an article on RealSimple.com on forgiveness, specifically on letting go of grudges. I'm Irish - we don't have that gene.

The author detailed her history with bickering and grudges, beginning with examples set by her mother many years before. Incidentally, this is not an example ever set for me despite my Irish Catholic upbringing. My mom is incredibly kind, accepting, loving and open.

A number of years ago, I had a falling out with a dear friend at a sensitive time for me and an emotional time for her. In short, I needed something, she needed something else. I went on with my life, raising my young son and managing my matters of life. The intention is not to trivialize the stuff of life. I was consumed with day to day with very little opportunity to manage conflict or be very aware of, sensitive to or tuned into others. It was about survival. I was worn and he was dirty and poopy. I am embarrassed to say that I moved on, allowing this beautiful, strong, loving, not to mention really funny woman fade from my life.

Then I had two babies at once. They call them twins. But I call them TWO BABIES AT THE SAME TIME!!!! If you think one baby is hard, multiply that…….exponentially. Incidentally, in case you are new, the aforementioned precious baby was a day shy of 2 years old when the next pair of cherubs arrived. I’m dreadfully sore, tired, overwhelmed and newly a mommy of more than one, when the most beautiful spray of flowers arrives at my door from my “sisters”, signed by three dear friends including the really great woman I hadn’t spoken to in nearly two years.

There is no rule book here.

I called her. She was leaving the grocery store, during a precious few minutes alone without her daughter, who I’d never met. We just started, skipped over the details, and started with the now. We talked and talked and talked. I vaguely remember telling her I miss her and her saying something like that back. There has since been one other veiled reference to it. We really just made a non-verbal pact built on forgiveness, maturity and serenity plus whatever handy phrase sums up “we-both-knew-what-happened-but-don’t-need-to-pick-over-the-details”. It may not be a squishy reunion full of tears, admissions and contrition, but it was very much a screaming pronunciation of “I’m ready for my friend back”.

Thumbs up, Real Simple for the inspiration to write this down.

More importantly, thumbs up for a little forgiveness even if the jumping off point is to ignore, wipe clean and move on. The squishy “ending” is that this is not friend for a reason or a season. She’s for life and I’m grateful.


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