and hello, my dear Dibbuns. I have missed you terribly. Auntie Lee-Lee has been using all the words in her head for a paying gig. Yup, you heard me right. Someone is actually paying me to write articles for them. Enjoy Cherokee, “Cherokee Counties Premiere Magazine” oooohhhh schmancy fancy, is actually paying me, in cash not farm eggs or free oil changes, to meet really cool people and write articles. It is a dream come true. Because you supported my blog, I was able to take this step, and I thank you sincerely.
I’m adding a link to my favorite story that I have written.
The other reason for my long absence was I have been pondering on something I wanted to talk to you about. It took a while and the right time for this process, and like always, inspiration never disappoints and provides perfect timing for everything. Christmas time has come along and delivered the best time to tell you about,
THE BEST GIFT I EVER GAVE MYSELF OR GAVE SOMEONE ELSE!
But first, the tea on my favorite son’s long-awaited wedding.
After a Victorian-era style 9 years of engagement, well, it seemed like it, Kyle and Carolyn finally got married on Hornby Island. It appears to be a hippie commune located on the West Coast of Canada. A place where only natural deodorant is sold, NOBODY needed to tell me that. The two primary industries are weed and tea made from wildflowers fertilized from the communal outhouse. There was one tiny, main store, and I felt like a local celebrity when I went there as I was identified as the mother of the groom. The land and people seem unperturbed by the chaos of a world enslaved to greed.
Friends and family gathered to celebrate the couple on this quaint island in a casual and relaxed atmosphere. I was there and, of course, Kyle’s dad Tim and his wife, Blair. Dennis couldn’t make it due to the travel and his health condition.
CC’s family is just lovely. Meeting the extended family felt like a family reunion, not a first-time meeting of the clans.
After the ceremony, we took pictures of different groupings, one of which was the original form of Kyle’s family. Tim, Kyle, Amanda, and me. I’m remarried; Tim’s remarried with another child. Things are blendy, and the wedding could have been really awkward and messy. I am copywriting this saying that if you want to blend families, everyone will have to bend. I’m making the shirts. “You gotta bend to blend.”
I was positively giddy with happiness at Kyle and Carolyn’s wedding. When I was flying out of Vancouver to come home, watching the beautiful mountains drift further away, I had a moment when the bigger picture of life appeared. I saw that part of why I was able to enjoy the festivities so much was because of an essential and deliberate choice I made a long time ago.
I made a choice to forgive.
FORGIVENESS is the gift I gave myself and my family.
Of course, everyone is all for forgiveness until it comes knocking on their door. Then the answers are, “But you don’t know what she/he did,” or “I can’t just let them get away with ____insert horrid act___,” or they haven’t asked for forgiveness. The most complicated situation is when someone isn’t sorry and continues to do unrepentant harm.
This is the particular situation I’m talking about.
When my marriage exploded over 20 years ago, it was a volcano of hurt. I had already chosen 7 years earlier to forgive an indiscretion and had worked incredibly hard to keep my family together. I discovered I had been betrayed again, and in a very cruel manner.
My marriage was irretrievably broken.
Betrayal is visceral, encompassing, shocking, and life-altering.
In one move, my entire diminutive kingdom was toppled.
I had been here before, but this time in the aftermath of the revelation, I was going forward alone to dismantle my marriage, not rebuild it.
I still was going to have repair a working relationship with the father of my children and whoever ended up in his life. It’s been tough. I knew, though, it would have been far worse to have anger, bitterness, and resentment be my legacy and the legacy of my core family.
For a woman who has emotions about which laundry detergent to use, I was actually reasonably practical about it, and I’m proud of that. I made a list of the pros and cons of forgiveness. I needed a clear decision.
I could move on and start a new relationship without so much baggage, although at the time, the nunnery was looking blissfully peaceful. You Dibbuns all know my weird obsession with nuns.
The kids wouldn’t feel like they were living in a war zone
All future group events wouldn’t be stressful
I attended a wedding where the bride’s mother gave her ex-husband the finger while he was giving the toast to the bride. Her childish behavior was screaming I care about no one but myself, plus I’m just a big bitch.
The kids would see forgiveness modeled; everyone gets the opportunity to forgive in life, yaaayyy…?
I could evaluate my shortcomings in the marriage and grow as a person.
I would still have a partner I could talk to in raising the kids, nobody else will ever love Kyle and Amanda like their dad, and I do. Nobody but their dad knows funny little stories about them when they were growing up, like when Amanda wore a pink ballet skirt on her head for a year, or that Kyle functioned like a french mime until he was three.
Anger and bitterness take a toll on your body, aging you prematurely, and causing disease. I have things I want to do with my life and things I want to share with my kids, weddings, babies, my debut on the broadway stage, etc. I didn’t want to let someone else’s decisions rob me of those things. I make my own happiness in life.
I am not a saint; I find myself, too frequently sheepishly, bellying up to the forgiveness bar.
I would be kicked out of the man-haters club full of toxic divorcees. Every bar has its regulars. By the closing time, they are sloppy drunk and repeating how their exes ruined their lives. True, they make good martini’s, but they come with a frequent Botox user card and a tsunami of anger, so no thanks.
My ultimate reason for working through forgiveness.
I claim to be a follower of Jesus. Often it looks like I got lost and fell into the ditch or purposely pretended I can’t see the path carved out for me. “Oh, Jesus, I just know you would have made an exception for me to throw just a little pebble with pointy edges, at the woman caught in sin, not to kill, of course, just maybe make a big scratch that would heal eventually.”
I could see there was no way around it; I was going to have to forgive
I wrote it down on pieces of paper.
I have chosen to forgive because I have been forgiven. It is what is best for me and best for my children.
I had these pieces everywhere. True, I did burn a bunch of them in a fit of anger once, but I rewrote them. When pain and resentment come bubbling up, I repeat my mantra. Then I
Yup, still praying,
All the time.
You see, I believe it takes supernatural power to heal the heart. My mind could not do it completely. Something mystical and profound happenes. I am so grateful that the searing pain was taken from me. Now it is like the scar on my hand from when my cat Mrs. Cupcake, one of many of our mentally ill cats, when batshit crazy. I remember it hurt when I look at it, but it’s healed. Things come up again, and I work it through again. It also helps to remember, hurt people… hurt people.
In this situation, I don’t think it’s arrogant to say that I held the key to how my core family, myself, my two kids, and their father moved forward after the divorce. I had been directly in the line of fire, and I needed to set the tone. Unforgiveness gets passed down to the next generation. I will instead leave them my collection of Nuns having Fun calendars, my snowflake Christmas dinnerware, and my size ten figure skates (I bet the girls are going to brawl over those!.”
Forgiving left my heart open to falling in love with Dennis, who as it turns out is my twin flame. I love Dennis in new ways every year. Forgiveness is also great for a good night’s sleep, and I rest in the ethereal sleep of the purposeful heart. All the previous lessons led me to appreciate where I am now. It wasn’t just me; it’s taken all of us, but, If I had stayed bitter, angry, and full of unforgiveness, Kyle’s wedding would have been difficult.
The narrative of our family is redemption and gratitude for all the good we have shared.
In Sept 11, 2001, all the good things came together on that tiny hippie island on the West Coast of my beloved Canada. We danced, swam in the ocean, had bonfires; my parents, who have been such a crucial part of Kyle’s life, were there, and we toasted the gorgeous couple.
Everywhere there was love, family, fun, hope, and grace for the ways we got lost on our way there.
This holiday season, it’s not too late to give you and someone else a gift that fits everyone, has free shipping, no promo code needed, and no one ever returns. Give and receive the gift of forgiveness as we celebrate the one who came and gave us the master class on it.
Merry Christmas, my Dibbuns, be the light,
May There Be Peace In Your Heart This Season.