My son Trevor did the most amazing thing on Father’s Day. He took the initiative and contacted his biological father who he had basically been estranged from since he was 4 years old (he had one conversation with his father the day of his grad party from high-school in 2005).
The short story to our past is that my ex-husband is an alcoholic which became clear after having a pretty tough work injury when we were first married (and when I was pregnant with Trevor). After having been involved in treatment program after treatment program without success, I ended our marriage and my ex went spiraling even further out of control and removed himself from his son’s life. It was tough on my son because his father was a loving father before his disease took control of his behavior and health.
All in all, my son has had a good life. I was fortunate to meet someone when my son was young and this person (who has been my husband for the past 20 years) raised our son beautifully. It wasn’t always peace and sunshine in our household as we joined our family unit of three children but my husband was the person who supplied Trev with the unconditional love, structure and needed discipline to support him in becoming the wonderful young man who he is… a young adult with an awesome heart (all three of our kids have that awesome heart thing going on …).
Trev and I have had a very open relationship and I have always made it known to him that his biological dad loved him deeply and the man underneath the alcoholism was a kind and loving person. I have also been honest with him that his biological father will not live to a ripe old age because the disease has taken a great toll on his physical health. I encouraged him to think about how the greatest gift he could give was the gift of forgiveness while his father was alive … to allow his dad to live his remaining life in peace and forgiveness.
On Father’s Day, my son took my advice and reached out to his biological father. His father was grateful to hear from him after so many years and he told Trev that he was sorry for the past. What did my son say? He told him “I forgave you a long time ago…”.
Wow… a mom could not be any prouder…
My son then wrote an eloquent post on Facebook about what a wonderful day he had and he proceeded to tell his Facebook friends that forgiveness can be the greatest gift we can give anyone whether it is our parents, our spouse or our friends. It was so beautifully spoken from the heart…
When I asked Trev how he felt after telling his father that he forgave him, he responded by saying it felt pretty good. So not only did he create comfort and peace for someone else, he created positive feelings within himself …
So take a little advice from a twenty-six year old kid and look within your own life … how about giving the gift of forgiveness to yourself and to someone else?
Is there someone you would like to give the gift of forgiveness to?