|My children with their father|
Dear C and family,
I grew up with a very involved father. When I married, I gained another prime example of fatherhood in my father-in-law. And, I married a man who turned into an amazing father. Basically, I have been blessed in the father department. But, this letter is not about me, or really even fathers. It's a letter about forgiveness and the change it can bring.
I mention my wonderful experience with fathers because when I met you, your parents had just divorced. The time that I knew you, your father was not involved in your life. I never had to experience that, and your family's reaction to this is what I'm writing about today.
You spent many years without a father in your life. It was hard. I remember how hard it was on you. But when he asked to come back into your lives, you all let him. It couldn't have been easy. You must have been scared. You did it anyway. And because you forgave him and welcomed him back into your lives, you had him for 20 more years. I don't know why he was gone. It doesn't matter. I just know that he loved you immeasurably.
Several years ago, I began to read small comments on Facebook about your father. Wonderful comments that showed without a doubt what an amazing man he was, the sort of woman I desperately want to be. Over the past few weeks, I've read about your father slipping away from you. The pain and joy that you've felt as you watched a great man pass from our realm. I've mourned with you, although I only met him once. And I've been incredibly thankful that you got to spend all those years with your father. I am so very sorry for your loss of your Daddy.
I was lucky to have had a father who was engaged all the time I was growing up. But, I think I am also very lucky to call you friend and your mother an influence in my life. I want to say thank you for teaching me what it means to forgive. Thank you for showing me how forgiveness can change your life for the better. I hope that I will always forgive.
This Thanksgiving Day, I am so thankful that I got to be part of your family for such a short time, and that I get to see the way your family interacts with the world. This is the kind of family I want to be, and I am glad for the privilege of watching yours.
With much love,