Thursday, February 5, 2015

An Era of Threads Part 4

As the case against Uncle dragged on, laws changed within the molestation epidemic. By the time it came to trial, the cousins’ and my testimony was no longer admissible. Statute of limitations had passed. Two Sisters would face the trial. The case continued to drag until the last moment when Uncle plead No Contest. His sentence was Community Service.
Legalities settled, Grandma Edna renewed her vigilant pressure of bringing the family together. Birthdays. Holidays. Anniversaries. All of us in different places of healing.
I found myself not caring about what she thought. Her discomfort did not bother me.
This resolve was something I learned from her.
Photo taken by dancjr

What I did dread however were the funerals. Only three important ones remained. My Great-Grandmother.
Grandpa Johnny
And Grandma Edna’s.
Each I would need to attend and pay my last respects. Honor their lives and support my Dad as he grieved the loss.
Great-Grandmother went first. She was an immigrant from Switzerland. I spent a few nights with her when I was little. Within her was a sweet resolve. A similar fierceness to Grandma Edna, but a gentleness and grace. I greatly admired that quiet dignity. With only a few years of, I attended her service and wake. It was the first time I had seen Uncle. I felt a little sick, but not falling apart. He stayed on one side of the room and we the other.
By the time Grandpa Johnny passed away, I understood a little about forgiveness. Giving up my right to get even, be vindicated or even see justice was a start. The longer I wished him ill. I understood the verse, “Vengeance is mine, says the LORD.”
It was God’s job to judge. I don’t know what wounds Uncle carried which influenced his choices. Who knows, maybe Uncle simply paid forward a violation he received.
I needed to stop being afraid.
I needed to get out of God’s way as judge.
For my own healing, I needed to forgive
So, at Grandpa Johnny’s graveside, I approached Uncle.
With shaking hands and a trembling heart, I looked into his eyes. I said, “I forgive you.” Then hugged him. A peace flooded my soul. The words, “It is finished” breathed within me. Then I walked away.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean a Do Over. It doesn’t mean access to my life. It simply means I accept the same God that judges me, will judge him. The same sun that warms me, warms him. The same air I breathe, he breathes.
That’s all.

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