Finding Forgiveness Takes Time
It took eighteen years for me to realize the peace of forgiveness. True forgiveness requires reaching deep and pulling from the heart. Finding the willpower to forgive is like a picky person resolving to finally eat vegetables. Both are hard yet necessary.
The Call You Never Want
I will always remember where I was & what I was doing “when I got the call” that my sister had passed away. It was a Thursday in June and Becky, my dad, and I met for lunch on June 14, 2001. Becky told us a coworker was having a get together after work. Becky decided to attend the event at the last minute because several other coworkers had backed out. We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.
Later that evening, Chris and I were watching TV when I got the call: “There has been an accident in Dukedom and they say Becky is dead. Just stay put and I’ll call you when I know more.” Um… no, I could not stay put after receiving that call. Plane accident…Dukedom…. this makes no sense. Becky was supposed to be at a coworker’s house near South Fulton and then at a restaurant. Being the super sleuth that I am, I convinced Chris to drive me to Dukedom. Even though Dukedom isn’t big, I had no idea where to go. We tried a few directions and then I saw siren lights and a haze off to the left. We met up with my parents and then drove back to the field.
Becky had indeed passed away on a small two-seater plane along with the pilot. Becky was twenty-four and a newlywed. How could this happen? What was I going to do?
Growing up, Becky was the outgoing one. We used to joke that she dreamed in color because she was a little “extra” in all that she did. As the younger sister, I naturally took the back seat and let her be in the spotlight. Becky was super protective of me and a lot like my 2nd mother. We were super close, yes we fought as all siblings do, but I knew she loved me unconditionally and was my biggest fan. I was the maid of honor in Becky’s wedding and she was supposed to be matron of honor at my wedding. We were supposed to raise our children together.
I’m Ready to Forgive
This year marks eighteen years since my sister left this world. I will never forget the advice a friend gave me, “It will get easier but never better.” The tears don’t come as frequently. Although laughter and happiness returned, there will forever be a void of what was & what could have been. We are never promised an infinite amount of time on this earth, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that selfishly I just wanted MORE: more time and more memories.
I struggled for a long time with forgiveness, but in reality, how many times have I made a “poor” decision or executed a half-baked idea? How many times have I driven distracted or too fast? While I will never understand the “why”, it is time for me to forgive the “how”. More than anything, I look forward to the day that I can see Becky again. In some ways, eighteen years seems like a lifetime but at other times, I can vividly remember the details of so many memories with her. I know deep down that Becky would want me to forgive.
To celebrate this 18th anniversary of losing Becky, I am choosing to forgive. Forgiveness doesn’t come easy but it is heartfelt and right. “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
I pray for strength to continue to forgive others just as God forgives me. I also pray that I may always demonstrate grace through all of my actions.