Shannon "Forgive"

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For many reasons that don't seem as important now, I had not seen my mom for over 15 years.  

My life could have continued this way, but I felt a heavy nagging inside me that said, "reach out".  I knew I had to get past all of the icky stuff in my heart and the junk of the past that festered in my soul.  I had to set free things mom did that scarred and hurt me. 

Then it happened. I took the scary, big step and texted her, "Can we meet in St. Louis?"  My mom not only said "yes", but her excitement was confirmation I made the right decision.

April 20, 2015, at noon is a date and time lodged in my memory forever.  I sent her a text, "We are here, what do you look like?" She replied, even though her shaking hands messed up the text: "I have long, curly sliver hair (silver) and am in a wheelhair (wheelchair). She was as nervous as I was. We met at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis. As I walked down the big flight of stairs, I was subconsciously wringing my hands. My husband Randy asked, "Are you okay?" I think I answered yes. Time froze as I looked down into the massive crowd  and I a saw her - my mom. Her back was facing me but the silver hair and wheelchair and, well, just my gut told me - it was her. Suddenly all of the people around us were fuzzy. I felt a dizzy sense of determination to move through the crowd to reach her. It felt like slow motion but I reached out my hand that looks like a younger version of hers. I touched her shoulder and she stared back at me with eyes like mine, and she also knew it was me. Me, the daughter she never really got a chance to know yet had never forgot. She said, "Hi." I said "Hi," and we looked into each other's eyes like time had never passed between us. She said, "Why couldn't we get our crap together sooner, we wasted so many years?" I told her we will never know why, but God knows and I have to believe it just wasn't time. I can't focus on what wasn't, but what IS.

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As humans we carry this baggage from all of the hurting and pain others have inflicted upon us.  It is easy to think it is the other person's responsibility to remove the weight and heal the scars. I was one of them that believed this but I knew I needed, and wanted to leave this world one day with peace, not only for myself but I wanted to give that to her while she was still alive.

Now looking back, I thought I had forgiven her many years ago, but I realize I hadn't completely - forgiveness is a tricky thing. Now I am sure I have.

Forgiveness set my soul free -- and brought me back my mom.

 

ONE YEAR LATER:

My mom and I are still in touch and on good terms with a healthy relationship. I still have people asking me what is the "key" to fully forgiving my mom. I would say that the "key" is to fully humble yourself to your own mistakes in the relationship and unlock your heart. To realize the bitterness and dislike of someone that has "done you wrong" only makes you bitter and drags you down. You can't change the past, so don't let it define you. Forgive fully, and your life will feel like a ton of bricks have fallen off of your shoulders. You will feel things you never have that will help you grow in all areas of your life. Know you may never get that apology...it doesn't matter. I never did, but I know it is not my place to judge what she did, but to TRY and understand, forgive and just love her. But first, I had to realize all I have is NOW....and I don't want to waste it living in the past.