On Forgiveness, A Personal Story Born of Experience

South San Francisco, Ca  December 31, 2023 by Kamala Silva Wolfe

This is a personal story, one I hesitate to share but have been encouraged to do so

by those who believe it might be of benefit to others.

 

“No, no I can’t,” Dad told Paula when she asked if she could pray with him during his last days. “I’ve done too much wrong, I cannot be forgiven”

Dad never was one to talk about religious or spiritual things, although Mom had been able to drag him to St Veronica’s a few times in the earlier days.

And he had bragged he knew all the names of the books in the Bible, having lived with his Uncle, a Baptist Pastor, on his farm for a time during the Great Depression, spending evenings in Bible Study, and weekends at his Uncle’s parish.

But that was pretty much it from Dad when it came to any of that ‘God talk’.

During his last 10 years, without Mom, Dad and I became very close, we talked about pretty much every single thing. But he was a closed vault when it came to talking about anything spiritual.

“Hey Dad, what do you think happens when a person dies” I had asked him years ago in yet another failed attempt to open this subject. “Geez, I never thought of it” was his reply, another typical response.

And so we were extremely fortunate, blessed, that Paula, an angel on earth, came to help me care for Dad during his last few days.

I know from my work with those in hospice care, the importance of a non-family/friend be there to intercede, to break up the energy, to bring in new conversations, and at times, to hear the person’s testimony that they cannot share with those they are too close to.

“It’s OK Mel, God knows and he forgives you. He cares. Please can I pray with you?” she asked yet again.

In a small voice, this once larger-than-life man, finally said, “Yes.”

I am sharing this intimate story because I believe it is so important, this thing of forgiveness.

Yes, it is important to seek forgiveness from others when we might have wronged them, we all generally know that.

And the importance of making things right with our Creator, especially before we enter that long good night. And daily asking to be forgiven and to forgive others, as the ‘Lord’s Prayer’ outlines.

But too often we neglect the act of forgiving ourselves and we carry that weight on our shoulders, twisting who we are, who we might be, aye, who we might have been – if we had walked through life with a lighter load.

If we had not been controlled by this sense of being unforgivable, of having our wrong deeds done, owning us forever.

But they’re gone. Poof! They were yesterday. They are in the past, they do not exist today, only in our memory.

They do not exist in this moment, here and now, which is truly all any of us have.

This moment.

So…..

If your rearview mirror reflects a wrong you need to apologize for, do it, lighten your load, and move on.

If you feel you need an apology and have a problem with someone, recognize you are the one with the problem, forgive, lighten your load, and move on.

If you feel estranged from the love of our Creator, Yahweh, turn to Him, and make your peace, lighten your load, feel His Grace, His love, and move onto Him.

As we set to turn the page of our 2023 calendar, my wish for ya’ll is to seek and accept forgiveness from others, and from yourself, and our Creator, for any wrongs in the past.

Don’t carry that burden on your shoulders, the past is not here, all there is is this moment.


Embrace the present.

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Day with Dad
California Dreaming
Hashtag LuckyGalNIKnowIt
Forgiveness
Lessons learned
Praise Jah

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your neighbor
your neighbor
2 months ago

I cant believe your exit, it will leave a huge void in the community.
Farewell fine friend of SSF. Your heart was in the right place and resisted partisan influence and I imagine the toughest part of keeping your word of this site not being corporate owned. Kudos farewell, but hope you don’t head to the sunset ever more, instead come back,to check back we will look for you I know I will.

Paula
Paula
3 months ago

God’s powerful love above sin and fear.Unforgettable and inspiring mi Guapo.

Cynthia Marcopulos
Cynthia Marcopulos
3 months ago

Just beautiful, thank you for sharing this very intimate part of yourself and your family.

And, for your last sentiment —

“As we set to turn the page of our 2023 calendar, my wish for ya’ll is to seek and accept forgiveness from others, and from yourself, and our Creator, for any wrongs in the past.
Don’t carry that burden on your shoulders, the past is not here, all there is is this moment.”

— Amen.