July 9, 2011 by Jo
Something You Have to Forgive Someone For
This one is difficult for me. But here goes nothing.
In the past year I’ve played the forgiveness card several times in my little trip around the board game of life. I’ve made back old friends, opened myself up to people who lost my trust, and moved past some old grudges. It’s kind of been my “thing” for 2011, I guess.
I forgive my hubby for making me late at least one morning a week because I just. can’t. stop. CUDDLING.
I forgive my little sister for moving to New York and landing an Off Broadway role; now I have to go visit one of my favorite places YET AGAIN.
I forgive my other little sister for getting knocked up and FORCING me to get reaaaalllly excited about my new nephew.
I forgive TK for introducing me to great new music which has cost me $275 in a festival ticket and waaay too much dough to count in new music.
There. That feels better.
I need to forgive an old friend for giving up on us.
See, we were a boy and a girl who really liked each other. We weren’t ever official, though; our friendship was more important. We spent every. waking. moment. together in high school. He moved and for practically two years we didn’t date other people because we were just being us. There were sweet letters, looooong phone calls, and fantastic reunions when he was able to make it home. But we never declared our status.
So imagine my surprise when he calls late one night to ask me to consider marrying him and moving out west. I was SHOCKED. We’d joked before about living together at some point; we’d walked through Target and picked out our kitchen decor and cookbooks and favorite lamps and such. But we hadn’t really made the typical moving-toward-marriage motions. AND WE WERE WAY TOO YOUNG. He was 21 and I, 22.
I said no. I didn’t want to leave Huntsville; I was about to start a new job that I was excited about. I had just made a whole new circle of friends that I really enjoyed. I missed him being home but knew I couldn’t make a home with him somewhere else. So I said no. I could tell he was upset but we had a great conversation about it that ended with our usual sentiments.
And that was it. That was the last time we talked as friends.
I called the next few nights to no answer. I sent a couple more letters. And then I gave up; I knew something was going on.
3 weeks later I was back at the church where we grew up together for a special event. I ran into one of our old friends and she asked if I was excited for him.
“Um, I’m sorry…we haven’t talked in a couple of weeks. Did he get promoted or something?”
“Oh, gosh, I don’t know how to say this; I thought of all of us you’d know first! He’s engaged.”
At first I wanted to correct her; there was no way she was talking about him. Then it sunk in and the earth spun. I still remember that short conversation. I can still remember what I was wearing. I remember feeling like the wind was knocked out of me as I looked across the sanctuary to where his parents stood. I cried through the entire service, then went home and fought the urge to call him through my sleepless night.
And that was it. Nothing. I called him on that Christmas as I had for the previous 7 years. He told me that was the last time we could talk; I could hear the sadness in his voice, but there was no explanation. I attended the wedding reception 6 months later, and I took the kitchen towels, oven mitts, washcloths, art and cookbooks we’d always joked about buying for our house that he’d registered for with her. That was the last time I saw him; the spring of 2004.
I have no idea why I’ve written all this. I’m not sure what there is to forgive him for…I guess I’d like an explanation, but it wouldn’t matter at all in the long run because I know it all ended up exactly as it was supposed to. We would have NEVER worked out, and it’s probably best we aren’t close anymore. Yet for some reason I haven’t forgiven him for not respecting me enough to give me an explanation and for not wanting to keep our friendship.
But writing this has certainly helped.
This post is part of the 30 Days of Truth Blog Challenge. You can find the list here.