I listened as her words shattered my mind's false idea of the ideal. I thought they were happy after all these years of struggle. Her family had experienced so many dysfunctional stages. Yet, it survived and I had secretly grown to envy their large gatherings marked by excess of food, chatter, hugs and laughter. I thought the happy ending had arrived for them.
“Things are worse than ever,” she said.
The boys, her three grown sons, refuse to talk or socialize with each other. She visits with them individually while avoiding any conversation about siblings, wives, or children. Toxic gossip infected them. The economy also delivered its lethal punch forcing bankruptcy and the demise of their business partnership. Unpaid debts, misunderstood intentions caused explosions of hurt feelings. Even in their past times of dyer impairment love was present to forgive, to assist, to accept. Only the flip side of love is present now.
“I hope they don't wait 'til I'm dead to make amends.” Her soft words competed with the sob she choked to feign resignation.
I listened to my friend knowing that my empathy wasn't really helping.
Family quarrels are bitter things. They don't go by any rules. They're not like aches or wounds; they're more like splits in the skin that won't heal because there's not enough material.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Forgiveness does not change the past,
but it does enlarge the future.
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else;
you are the one who gets burned.