One wave was that all of a sudden I realized: my maternal grandparents and me had not talked in a year, in a year…! How had that happened? We had not talked since my grandfather had hung up on me a day before my mum had had her manic meltdown last autumn (we were arguing in this emotional phase), not since he has not picked up nor called back the folliwing day.
Would I feel nothing, too, if they died unexpectedly (if you can say that, they are over 90….)? I knew I would not. We had been close(r). I spent years of my childhood with them, thus I have wonderful memories. I brought my husband, then still my boyfriend, to meet them before we moved in with each other. My grandmother has influenced me, who I am. I knew I missed them, had been missing them, but was terribly mad still about how they put blame on us for my mother’s illness.
I really hated that I did not know what to do about this. I did not want to forgive, neither could I ignore the shift in me. Not knowing what to do only made me grumpier.
My husband one day asked me: “What would it cost you to just call?”
And a very mindful friend whom I talked to when hiking in August put it in a nutshell: “Isn’t that what love comes down to?”
I knocked on my grandparents’ door two weeks ago when I was in Germany. I was let in. It was a bit strange at first, yet I was hugged by both of them and felt tears dripping out of my eyes (and can feel them now) when they did. We chatted a bit in the garden, I showed pics of our wedding and got subsequently teased it was time for me to become a Mom (some things do not change 😉 ). After an hour of talk I left and cried in my car.
I never thought I’d ever say this, but forgiving them has helped me. In this situation, my grandparents did not ask for it and I showed up on their doorstep by my free will.
It is hard to describe the feelings I had afterwards, on my way home. It took me a while to put them in words, I was very confused.
I felt much lighter, way lighter. And I felt peace, most of all. With them, but also with me. I love them, and they are human and make mistakes. So am I, right? It is a powerful feeling, this peace and ease of mind. I can look in the mirror now and like what I see when it comes to them.
P.S.: I wish I could say “Now, whoever you are, I will try to forgive you. (Even if you do not want me to. Or need me to. Or ask for it. I’ll do.) My heart is big enough to take it.” with everyone. Afraid I can’t. One does not transform from an emotional human to a saintlike person. However, I feel less that it’s their fault, and can accept some situations are not easy… so my hard feelings have softened. Well, baby steps.