I can’t stay mad at you

This is over a week behind, but I wanted to answer this daily post in particular. Do you hold grudges or do you believe in forgive and forget? I would like to think I am the kind of person who forgives and forgets. It can be difficult. I think the most difficult person to forgive has been my mother, followed by my father. I was able to be with each of them before they passed. With my father I was able to say “I love you” and mean it before he died. I could not think of anything to forgive him for at the time. I knew how hard it had been to live with my mother. Heck I lived with her and it almost did me in. But, after he died and I started reading some of his journals and things that he wrote I began to become extremely angry with him. I was angry because there was so much he had done to hurt my mother and his children. He was selfish, self-absorbed and hurtful. He knew he was hurting her and he just couldn’t stop himself. (At least that is what he said in his journals. He just loved to love women. And Mom didn’t do it for him.) Affair after affair. He always made it her fault. I remember that. Now I knew something different. It softened me considerably when it came to what I thought of my mother. However, there were things that happened in my childhood. Horrible things that were said and done that would ruin any child and it was mostly my mother that did it. How do you let go of it? How do you forgive your parents when it seems they had children just because it was expected and that we were more of an inconvenience at times than anything else?

I have come to the point in my life that I have to let it all go. I sat with my mother as she lay dying and forgave her and I meant it. She had a mental illness, she was married to a man who was emotionally and at times physically abusive. She was left alone to struggle and raise 4 children much of the time. It does not excuse the neglect, the often emotional and occasional physical abuse of her children, it just gives a reason for it. I feel that just because you understand why something happened, does not mean you can excuse it. But, you can forgive it based on the reasons that it happened. She did love all of us as much as she could with the condition that she had. She never killed us, never truly abandoned us and she tried to be better. And she did get better. Never perfect, but better.

So, can I forgive and forget? I can forgive. I have forgiven many people. Well there are two people that have been involved in my life at some point that I can say I will NEVER forgive and forget what they did without the help of God. On that note I suppose it is a continuing process, something I need to work on. It is better to forgive and let it go.