April 7, 2014 | Posted in: Uncategorized
The healing from the criminal abuse I received as a child, age 13 – 16, took me years to accomplish. With intense focus, focus that required seven long years of continuous work [work that included two solid years of guidance from an extraordinary family counselor], I was free at age 35. At age 40, with only one condition, I was able to forgive my father. The condition? For many justifiable reasons, I chose to remain estranged from him. He died when I was 44.
For many years now, but especially as I make my way towards the winter of my life, I wish things could have been different between us. I wish I would have found it in my heart to not only forgive him but to show him mercy and compassion through the grace of a controlled, adult friendship. However grownup that regret, it does have the benefit of leading me to this post.
I have always been affected by Rwanda.
From the onset, I cried out with despair and understanding. I related to the devastation. The pain. The ultimate evil. I was angry with our government for doing nothing and remaining silent as 800,000 were slaughtered. Our non-involvement only brought back the memories of not having anyone protect me, rescue me, when I was a child. I was disappointed with myself for not bending down and swooping at least six Rwandan children into my arms. I remain embarrassed I allowed my own circumstances [my beloved husband saying, “At 55 I am too old to raise more children … let alone children who have suffered such great abuse”] to trump their desperate need. That said, in its own powerful way, Rwanda defines a lot of my love of life and for my belief in my fellow man.
Here are people who have suffered unspeakable crimes, crimes that make my unspeakable crimes pale in comparison. They are a country, 20 years after the genocide, that continues to heal. They will continue to heal long after the entire generation who survived the horror first hand, have gone to their graves.
It does not escape me that the story I have included in this post (please click the link provided below), touches me as deeply as it does. It is a story of two people, Alice and Emmanuel, that moves me to the most profound of tears. A story of forgiveness of the highest order. As I read the story, I saw two people who were able to do what I was not. To forgive and heal, together and unconditionally. To them, I send all my love, my gratitude and my deepest admiration. They bring me to my knees. They exemplify what it means to be beautifully, impossibly, blessedly human.
Forgiveness. Alice and Emmanuel‘s story takes it to a level of which I can only dream.