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From: Becky ( -
Subject: Apology and Forgiveness
Date: March 4, 2009 at 10:02 am PST

I wanted to share a story of forgiveness with my sisters in the Elder Tent, and invite you to share yours as well. Has anyone ever spontaneously forgiven you for something? Have you ever offered up forgiveness, asked for or not, to someone else? What impact did these occurrences have on you?

Here’s my story…

About 10 years ago I was in the middle of getting a divorce. I had been separated from my husband for about a year, and was involved in a new relationship (with my now husband). It was a very crazy time for me. Trying to come to terms with the unraveling of a 25 year marriage, trying to help my children come to terms with the unraveling of the family life they had always known, and dealing with this new relationship – my first experience with another man since turning 17. Needless to say, things were unsettled during this time, my life and the lives of those around me were being redefined; at times I would say life was chaotic. Anyone having gone through this will certainly understand. During this period, I had gone on a vacation with my now husband. We were away for about 10 days. Three of my children were adults and on their own, and my youngest (15 at the time) was staying with her father. Although I took my cell phone with me, I hadn’t had it very long, forgot to bring the charger, and it pretty much became useless after a couple of days. About mid-way through our trip I called one of my daughters to make sure all was well, and it was. About three days before coming home I tried to call my home voice mailbox, but couldn’t figure out how to do it, and gave up. Big mistake. The day I got home, I discovered several messages in my voice mail from my daughters and sisters telling me that my father had been hospitalized for heart valve replacement surgery, and was in pretty serious condition. They had done their best to contact me, but could not get me on either phone, and I hadn’t been able to check my voice mail, nor had I called anyone directly. My sisters were going to drive to visit my father (800 miles away) the next day, and wanted to know if I would join them. Against my better judgment, I didn’t go. I had all kinds of excuses – just got back home after being gone 10 days, couldn’t take more time off work, kids needed me as things had been crazy while I was gone. And at that time I didn’t think my father’s condition was life threatening (and it turned out it was not at that point). But I knew inside I was making the wrong choice, and went against my gut feeling, went against what my conscience was telling me to do. I think part of it was being all wrapped up in my new relationship and being very selfish and not realizing the impact of other very important life events going on around me. I’m certainly not proud of some of the things I did during that period of my life.

So, to the forgiveness part. One day about two years after my father’s surgery, I was talking to him on the phone. Out of the blue he said, “Becky, I never want you to feel bad about not coming to see me when I was in the hospital. I don’t have any hard feelings about that, and I know you had your reasons”. I had never even discussed this with my father before. I probably should have, I probably should have apologized before he offered this up to me. I don’t know what prompted him to say those words to me, but they were life changing! A few simple words, I felt such a weight off my heart. He eventually passed away from his weakened heart (about 4 years later), and I am so happy this situation was cleared up between us before he did.

Since that time, I have delved into the concept of apology and the life changing impact it can have on people’s lives – both the one offering it and the one receiving it. A great book on the topic is “On Apology” by Aaron Lazare. I highly recommend it!


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