Forgive? Forget?

When years have passed and a lot of bitter waters flowed within a family, there comes a time to block a relationship and go the other way. One of the best moves I have ever done and actually the first time, to block a member of my own family from the hatred messages received. There was peace. To block one is very powerful and freeing. Why didn’t I do that sooner? I allowed a lot of unnecessary stress and tears before hitting the option, to block or not to block. Block.

It was their choice to cut family ties years before and pretend I was dead, actually they wished I was, no doubt. After going through years of this, I welcomed this divide.

To my surprise, I had a message awaiting me, which surprised me as I blocked her. Apparently, a new profile requesting friendship on Facebook allows this to happen but all I could say or think was, “I’m Good.” I am. I have enjoyed the peace and quiet. Whatever is said or done, that is on them. I will not allow myself to be harassed or stressed anymore. A decision to be a ‘friend’ on Facebook and then to send a message of, “Let Bygones Be Bygones” still, “I’m Good” with no reply. It’s best to leave well enough alone.

So epiphany came to mind.

Epiphany is an “Aha!” moment. As a literary device, epiphany (pronounced ih-pif–uh-nee) is the moment when a character is suddenly struck with a life-changing realization which changes the rest of the story. Often, an epiphany begins with a small, everyday occurrence or experience.

The movie, "Monster-In-Law" of a daughter-in-law (Charlie) to-be speaks to an upcoming mother-in-law on the wedding day after being so manipulative and jealous of the couple's relationship and trying to stop the wedding in however way she could. Finally saying the marriage could go forward. Charlie says, "What, am I supposed to believe that you've had some epiphany? That all of the sudden everything is going to be different?" 

Actually, a “Come to Jesus’ moment is another way to think of this epiphany when it happens after years of being gossiped and lied about for years to those I know. Hopefully, those listening to the non-stop lies and gossip, they realized just what the one speaking really is and sees them for that. I cannot concern myself with what was or is said or believed. I did for a long time, but I had to let it go.

As much as it deeply hurt, I wanted to go behind them to fight my case, as there are always two sides to a story. I could also smear their reputation just as well but it is not worth my time or energy. In time, all I could and can do is to wait and let God fight my battles. In time, those that heard all the talk will understand, as they definitely felt the need to be heard in order to feel bigger and better. Some need that drama. I don’t have to say a word or defend my position.

My place was to remain in peace within myself, process the hurt and pain as I could but in the end, to forgive. Forgiveness is for me.

You Can Forgive Someone, But That Doesn’t Mean They Need To Stay In Your Life. But forgiveness doesn’t mean you need to keep that person in your life.

In a word – absolutely! Forgiveness is the foundation that must be laid in order to journey toward healing. When we forgive someone, instant healing doesn’t come (especially when the hurt causes deep emotional wounds).

I am sure we have all dealt with situations in life that we needed forgiveness for ourselves or for others. The same holds true with unforgiveness, we may hold toward others or they may hold toward us. Not an easy situation most times but we are faced with it in life. At times, we have to even forgive ourselves and that is even hard. Sometimes we have to forgive by faith.

Do we forgive? Can we forget?

Do we not forgive? Do we not forget?

Do we forget? Do we not forgive?

Forgiveness may not happen overnight, as there will probably be a lot of emotional baggage and let’s not forget anger.

This past week, I have had to re-examine this situation in our family. There has been a lot of water under the bridge over the years. As requested, let’s let bygones be bygones. I’m good with that and we continue to go our separate ways.

I’m good and I do wish them well.

Little Words


Words can lift one up or they can bring one down.  Actually, some words can last a lifetime that will never go away, always popping up to remind just how bad of a person one might be. Some unnecessary, rude comments can cut so bad that the heart will never heal. A knife in the back would heal quicker.

It is when these words or comments come and never seem to leave, often slapping your face with the lies and thoughts and feelings of others. As hard as it is, you must not dwell there and must forgive for your own sake and sanity. Trust that the Lord heard and knows the one(s) that spoke and He knows about this hurt and pain within.

At times, it is right to speak up but for the most part, trust Him to fight your battles. Why allow their words to cause you to go ballistic and both sides appear foolish, not solving a thing but causing more harm.

Forgiveness is a must. Easy? No! Will that happen overnight? No, probably not. Will it take years? Possibly. Forgiveness is for you to move forward. It’s freeing.

Some kind words can carry another for days when 878C61CA-5D18-425B-B68F-93A892AC3FECeverything seems to be falling apart. Even a kind smile with no words spoken. Behind the masks these days, the smiles are not as evident but the eyes show care and concern, so accept them and return. Be kind.

Isn’t it nice to hear some of these phrases: I am proud of you, I am so glad you are in my life, You bless my life by being in it, I have faith in you and these are just a few. People are feeling hopeless more than ever nowadays, whether a child or up to an adult with or without degrees after their name as a professional. We all need encouragement.

At times life is just at a standstill. A timely word of encouragement will push one forward and an untimely, unnecessary word or comment can sometimes put one on the brink of giving up.

What do you want to be remembered for, to be kind or 9BBA102D-7862-44A3-B664-839B44E8097Bindifferent to rude? Let’s lift one another up instead of tearing down or leaving a moment when a kind word would be benefited to cause another to smile and gain hope.

In my own experience, I have had words almost kill me, actually they did within relationships, sadly of family members. This past year or so, if just a few words of encouragement from someone special was said in a written note as a reply, such as ‘I am proud of you,’ it would have meant the world to me. Of course, it was not expressed and my heart broke. I needed that hope.

974E6639-3F4E-480C-994A-F64404B0A84EOther times though and thankfully, words were said or in a written form that were burned within my mind and heart that I hold onto to keep hope alive and my steps moving forward to goals and dreams. Those little words of encouragement here and there are like gold. Gold is rare to find, sifting through the muck and sometimes life is trudging through the muck and then one day, a glimpse of gold is found, there is hope to keep going.

We have a choice of lifting up or tearing down.


Dead Bird

98E5FAE1-BF66-4803-A7D9-18E83DBA426BLately, since I have been home a lot with this quarantine, I am putting bird seed in my feeder often, like daily in this one feeder and it is not small. How do these birds eat so much?

In one of my blogs, Care of a Cardinal, I wrote about the cardinals and that they are always welcome, as are the bluebirds, woodpeckers, finches, hummingbirds. It is those pesky blackbirds that swoop in and bully the others as they fly away quickly over to my Magnolia tree nearby awaiting their turn. If the cats are out and about wanting to play, they also aggravate my pretty birds.17863ACD-6E00-4803-A93D-B51537825215

Each day the seed is gone, yet again. They hang around and I can almost understand their despair as they perch and look around because there is no seed, and like, hey woman fill this up. They can be bossy. I had a bluebird years ago that truly was loud and bossy and it would get my attention. So, the same routine every day. They will miss me when work continues, as I won’t have time to devote to their feeder. The other feeder holds the same amount, if not more, but limited space for many to perch.

My one cat was at the deck door with me, as I was looking out this morning and excited to see the birds, as I was. My rule is don’t kill my pretty birds but you can be a bully to the black ones.

21BF5CC2-EE24-45FD-9030-F4711781AC62As I was filling up the feeder, I remembered back when my boys were young. My youngest was around eight. The neighbor boy was about the same age and each had a BB gun. Now we had set up shooting targets in our back yard, so they had ample room and areas to shoot. My rule for them was to not shoot my pretty birds. Okay, mom and off they went.145F6F3A-29FD-47AE-9536-F5E9B5570EFF

Our deck is up high, a lattice around, has a door and used for storage underneath. This one day, I was working out in the yard and needed to get something from under the deck for the pool. I opened the door and there were two black birds lying on their back next to one another, of course, with their feet up, dead. As I stood there looking at these birds, laughing to myself because I knew what happened and who did it. Those two rascals were now inside playing a video game.  I did tell them not to shoot my pretty birds so maybe I needed to be a little more clearer, no birds. Once I finished my task, I went inside and just wandered in the tv room trying to keep a straight face and asked if they knew anything about these two dead birds, inquisitive on just how they died together like that, next to one another. Of course, they then looked at one another knowing they were busted.45CEB892-9F0C-4286-B651-03B6AC68191E

I did not get mad, I’m still trying to stay cool in this situation. I explained that shooting birds is not a good thing, etc., my pretty birds or the black birds, you have targets. I’m sorry they both said. The mom in me said this needs to be taken care of so I need you both to go dig a hole. I placed the pair of birds in a box. Letting them know, they need to have a little funeral. Now the look at me was, are you kidding me? I believe they did just that by taking the box, putting it in the hole, covering it. I think I told them that they needed to dress up for the funeral but I let that slide. I don’t think another bird was a target from then on or if so, they did not place under the deck, knowing they would need to have another bird funeral. We do laugh about this still and if I sent a bird meme to my son, we would bring this story up yet again and laugh. Memories.F69E3A48-8548-4CB3-8B3B-3C74CE4D00CD

I love birds, and I have always had a bird in my life. My favorite caged, indoor bird is a cockatiel. The boys were still young, around eight and ten. At our home, we always have had extra boys in our home to come and stay over, play video games, skateboard, eat, all the boy stuff that they do. This way, I knew where mine were, plus I enjoyed having a house full of boys. Many times being a short-order cook. I was a stay-at-home mom at the time and could do such, which I loved.

Later on, the boys were on spring break. I am cleaning and running the sweeper when the telephone rings. The call was from a parent, as his child was at our house, so thinking he was on his way to pick up his son. His voice was different though and he proceeded to tell me that one of the girls in their 6E524E2F-DBAC-49E1-81B9-E868964A5AF6class had died while on vacation, of drowning. Okay, this day just got tough in telling the boys and working through it all.

Days later the visitation, of course, was held at our church. The boys were not interested in going and we discussed and I offered again, etc. I was not going to push them but respect their reasoning and wishes. This evening, my husband and I took the boys to a friend’s house while we went to pay our respects to this family.

It was hard seeing a young girl in a casket and the grieving parents. This should never happen to parents in burying a child. After we left, we went back home as I had made an appointment with a veterinarian. My cockatiel was ill and he dealt with birds so we picked up the bird and off we went. I had never taken a bird to a vet before. He was not an overly friendly doctor, and I just remember his office was dark but the whole evening was dark and sad.

We were in the little office waiting to be seen. The Veterinarian looked at the bird and said it was sick. The decision was made to euthanize it that evening. I sat there in the corner chair in this dark, little room with my husband standing, no words were said, as the doctor took my sweet bird in the other room. I am alone in my thoughts and the tears bottled up within from the visitation and now over this bird, so I thought.A182A60D-E6EB-4527-A674-B57B2ABE7CD2

Emotions are real and will come out in some way, I have learned in the last six years through counseling. As we waited together in the office but both distant. The words that came to me as if spoken aloud was, ‘your marriage is dead just like your bird.’  Oh my! What do I do with that? It was as real as someone standing there saying it to me. I had to wonder, Lord was that You? Was this Satan attacking me even more with these words. Honestly, I did not know but now I am holding a dead bird in a box, we pay and we leave. Talk about being in a state of shock, I was. How do I even express what just happened and those words I heard to anyone? I didn’t, as I would look and sound crazy. Most never knew of the marriage issues that we had kept hidden but as the words I heard, I knew the words were true.

Since the boys were at a friend’s house, the church visitation was done for a young girl, now a dead bird in our backseat and no reason to go straight home to place it in the empty cage, we went to eat, like a date. I am stunned with it all, my emotions were everywhere ready to erupt but he was hungry.

E618E05B-44AB-43AD-BB92-A401A729F43COur favorite restaurant, usually in times past, was a fun occasion to go to for a date. Even as I write, maybe eighteen years ago, this is all still so real to me, the whole night. We sat across from one another in complete silence. He ate and while I did eat, I had a hard time swallowing due to the emotions jammed pack in my throat, like a valve ready to spew. As I glanced at him, there was nobody home, as they say. I might as well have been sitting alone at the table. Those words, ‘your marriage is dead just like your bird’ rolled over and over in my mind, not sharing as it would have gone on deaf ears.991882F7-6831-405F-92B8-96FDCAEEC661

Somehow, someway I had to get through this life, keeping our family intact while I came unglued at times, in secret. I had to fight through this to keep the boys safe, on target with school, curfews, etc. I knew if I did not remain strong and pull through this, I knew he would not. Just as the nobody home look I saw at the dinner table and the many times, they would have ruled and he would let them. No! These years were hard. I knew if some were aware of what was happening, they would just say leave. Sounds easy. My counselor back then did encourage me to leave, but I told him that I cannot do that to my boys. I will push through for them, and I did. Many times wanting to throw my hands up; I surrender, I cannot do it anymore. I pat myself on the back though, and I know that this sounds prideful but I am proud that I stuck it out. I really do not think the boys would have gone down the same path and be as successful today.  Just like the ones who would have said leave, they did not have to live it or know what I was truly 4B306256-6DDC-4905-871C-17E0FA361F66experiencing. I did what I knew to do for my boys. I had to decide what was best. Sadly knowing either way they, too, will need counseling in life. There is nothing wrong with counseling, and I would encourage it for them. Would I do it again? Yes! To protect them, I sure would. I am stronger today due to it all but it knocked me down several times and it did affect my health, but I am still here.

When I started counseling back in 2014, it was time to take care of me.  I learned of Aspergers, just six years ago, which was eye opening and like a breath of fresh air for me. This is what I have dealt with all of these years to the point of exhaustion in all areas of my life. Looking back, the 00C4314C-D239-472E-8FB2-E0274E4762BCnight at the vet’s office, alone at the dinner table, I now understood why there was no reaction. Sadly, that was just one evening, maybe four hours total of my married life, now multiply the hours, days and years.

He knows my name and He knows where I am.

These were the words that I held onto through it all.3CCFBF8F-6061-45AF-A590-C37FFEFED4D3 Maybe you are going through a storm, hold on! Storms don’t last forever. Take the words I used and use them, as they give HOPE.