Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

February 12, 2012

“Forgive Me and Thank You”

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

Recently my cousin Bob died.  We had grown up together as boys.  He and his brother were like brothers to me.

In the closing weeks of his life, I would call him.  In one call, I told him I needed to say two things.

“First, I want you to forgive me,” I said.  Then I began to relate something that happened when we were in the fourth or fifth grade.  I could not recall our exact age, but the location of the incident was well remembered by both of us.  I asked him if he remembered how we got in a terrible fight when our School School teacher had taken us to a cabin in the mountains.  There were six or seven of us young boys.  And as I continued to tell him of the scene . . . he responded, “I remember well.”

“I want you to forgive me for attacking you,”  I said.  “I think I was just trying to be a ‘big man.'”

He responded that we were both just trying to prove something.  But I asked him to forgive me for that.  Isn’t it strange that we can recall such an incident?  Certainly, we had fought and fussed many other times, but that one fight had been on my mind of these years.  It was so good to be released from that regret.

Then I told him that I wanted to thank him for something.  I began to tell the scene. We attended different high schools.  I would have been there in high school except for our family having relocated just prior to my high school days.  The two high schools, Stone Mountain and Clarkston, played one another in football on that Friday night.  The game had been played on the field of the high school which I attended.

Our school won.  It was always a bitter rivalry between the two schools . . . regardless of the sport.

He remembered the game.  I asked him if he remembered what happened when his team bus arrived back at his high school.  Before he could respond, I continued with the scenario.  I had driven from our school to the parking lot of his campus to pick up my date who was required, as a cheerleader,  to return on the bus.

The players . . . most of them knowing me as we had gone through elementary school together . . . were still angered about losing the game.  Several of the players came over to my car and began to rock it and daring me to get out.  Suddenly I was becoming the scapegoat for their anger.  They were ready to drag me out of the car.  It was at that time that my cousin came over.  He was in a dilemma.  Would he stand with his teammates . . . or stand with family!

I said to my cousin, ”  You chose family.  You went against all your friends.  You intervened . . . and you rescued me.  I want to thank you. I know it was not easy.  But, thank you.”

He made no real response, but said, “I remember.”  I am sure he remembered because it placed him in an uncomfortable position.

Like asking forgiveness for the fight, I felt a peace that I had  thanked him for that intervention.  Again, strange that the event had lingered with me all these years.  More than anything, I rejoiced that I could say those words to him.  Oh, I realize that they perhaps did not need to be said . . . but, then again, I believe they did.  Why else would they have been on my mind?

There are many other people who I need to say such to.  There are many memories.  There are others in my life where I need to say I am sorry — for cruel words, a snobby attitude, an act of disrespect, an anger expressed, and I could probably elongate the list!  Then I also need to say to so many how I appreciate their influence on my life, how they brought joy to me, showed patience and kindness to me, and how they will always be a part of my life.  And again, the list could continue!

Some of these people have completed their days on this earth . . . some, I have no idea where they are today . . . and probably none of them read this blog to identify with what I say . . . but who knows . . . perhaps they have forgiven me and one day in heaven I will be able to say thank you.

Consider my experience . . . give appreciation and thankfulness to those who have influenced your life.  And, certainly, if needed, seek forgiveness from those you have offended if you have the opportunity.

“Bear with each other, and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another . . . .”  (Colossians 3 :13)



1 Comment »

  1. What a wonderful story. Not the same story, but a great mentor of mine years ago told me that if there was a “break” in a relationship and they seemed to not want to continue in that relationship because of something that had happened that you didn’t feel you were to blame for to go to that person and say “If I have done or said anything to offend you, please let me apologize to you and may we continue our friendship”. In talking with others who have come to me for advice I have relayed that same information that she spoke of as advice for them to mend a relationship. It helped me and it has helped me to help others.

    Your story is different in that you two continued your relationship, since it apparently was a strong one and your cousin was forgiving, knowing you loved him, it’s still a way of mending a relationship and healing for yourself.

    Thank you so much for sharing. Sometimes we wish we hadn’t done or said something, but are unwilling to make things right. Some things that I had done or said have come to me in later years when it was too late as the person had since passed away! Guess that goes back to the scripture of not letting the sun go down on our anger.

    Comment by doriswhite — February 12, 2012 @ 3:52 pm | Reply

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