Coronavirus taught me a valuable lesson – forgiveness. After about two years of not speaking with my father, I decided to speak with him today. It was easy and hard at the same time. Easy because…well, he’s my dad. Difficult because…well, he’s my dad. Shared history always makes things complicated and simple at the same time.
When we had last spoken in Dec 2018, we hadn’t so much spoken to as we had screamed at each other. I had sworn to myself that night that I wouldn’t see or speak to the man ever again. I was too hurt, too angry, too resentful. My mother was heartbroken. Both of you are extremely important to me, she said. How will I live if you both never saw eye to eye?
I continued to hold my grudge, though. I had the right reasons to be estranged from him, I decided. But somewhere at the back of my mind, I knew that I wanted to someday make things right with him. He’d grow old and who else would take care of him? I’d groan, though, thinking about how much work the whole process of reconnecting with him would involve.
This year, Coronavirus happened. Things were still okay until I heard earlier this week that my father had contracted it. My mother was beside herself with grief because he was living all by himself with no one to tend to him. I was quite worried too. A little voice whispered, what if he doesn’t recover? What if things go downhill? Would I be able to live with myself if I didn’t make amends even at a time when he was ill? Did I want to live with regrets?
Hell no, I didn’t. I knew that I had to call him. Reach out with an olive branch and start healing a broken relationship. So I called him this morning. He choked up as soon as he heard my voice and told me that he was very sorry to have hurt me. I asked him how he was and told him to take care. The conversation lasted all of four minutes but it meant a lot to the both of us.
In all honesty, I have a lot of work to do. We’re talking about years and years of issues that need to be resolved. But I’m happy that I’ve taken the first step. Every healing occurs because of a genuine desire to heal. And I’m willing to put in the work to forgive. And the person being healed in the process will be me.