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.