(I'm not quite sure why holiday gatherings can bring out the worst in us...perhaps because we're focused on the wrong things during the holy, holiday season?)
Feeling horrible, after the fact, I made amends with the person I hurt.
I called and apologized to that family member. (They were quick to offer forgiveness.)
I apologized to my husband...family loyalties run deep...and one never wants to hear negative comments about their loved ones.
And, I apologized to God during Confession for my loose tongue.
|All of Armella's Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren at her 90th Birthday Party.|
But to this day...a different extended family member...hurt by the comment I made that fateful January day to the other family member...has refused to forgive me.
Multiple family gatherings, including Easter and a summer Family Reunion, have provided ample opportunities for the two of us to converse. Yet, they will have nothing to do with me. To the extent that if I enter the room and there is a way for them to exit to get away from me...they will.
While this is painful, I bear it. It is a consequence of my actions last winter. But what is even more painful, is seeing this same behavior (avoidance) exhibited toward my children.
Who know nothing about what happened. What words were spoken. What apologies were issued. They are just the unfortunate recipients of this soul's misguided/misplaced anger.
So, what is a person to do?
I have been praying for this family member off and on. And they have appeared to soften towards me...if even just a bit. They at least communicated with me during the 90th Birthday Celebration.
So, I'm thinking that I need to increase my prayer life...my offerings of forgiveness...my requests for a softening of their heart...and maybe some prayers for myself to let this go.
I've been searching for words to provide comfort and guidance during this painful time in my life...and I found some words that I didn't actually want to hear...but needed to hear.
“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.”