Friday, February 22, 2013

Silence and Forgiveness

The season of Lent brings my thoughts to things I regret and want to do over.  It's a time of starting fresh and improving oneself.  It's a time to give up bad habits and cultivate good ones.

I want to share this small story of forgiveness because it may inspire others to mend old relationships, too.
"Pop-pop" and me, approx. 1962

Silence and Forgiveness  by Janet Sobczyk, 2012ⓒ

Grandfather was called "Pop-pop" by his grandkids.  Maybe it was a childish way of saying Papa. I don't know for sure who started it, but that was his name.

When I was little I enjoyed taking walks around the block with him and his Chihuahua or riding with him around his small town.  He had a habit of reading every sign to me, which I didn't mind too much as a child.

When I was fifteen, Gramma died suddenly and everything changed. Pop-pop found a new lady friend and married her.  He didn't seem to have time for his grandchildren anymore, so I just stopped talking to him.

It went on like that for years.  Just silence between us.  And lots of distance since we lived in different states. I didn't think we would ever bridge the gap.

But when I grew up and got married my perspective changed.  I could understand the loneliness he had felt and his desire for a wife.  My heart softened.

We never spoke about our feelings or apologized.  We started with hesitant smiles and then polite conversation.  By the end of his life I could hug him and mean it.

I am so glad that at his funeral I felt peace.  No more bitterness or regret.  Just peace and a comfortable silence.


Carolyn said...

I love these thoughts and I'm so glad you found those pictures, Mom. Ironically, I think as a baby you looked a lot like Grandpa!

Janet said...

It's so nice to have baby pictures of myself at last. And I love the horse ones, too. Pete was amazed at the size of the green house I grew up in (in Old Photos posting), especially knowing that my dad designed and built it.