Anger makes you miss out

1:39 PM

Through the magic that is facebook I found out the other day that my step-grandfather had passed away. I knew from my sister and some posts from my stepcousins that he was sick and getting to the point in being old that people go to visit you "just in case". One of my cousins that I haven't seen since she was about six years old posted a video she made of pictures of his life and in the middle of it she placed the video of his 21 gun salute. The casket was there. I saw my stepgrandma receive the folded flag with tears in her voice. My stepaunts were crying.
    And an emptiness filled me as tears bubbled up to the surface.
    The last time I saw my grandpa was at my sister's wedding nine years ago.
    As I looked at the photos fade in and out in the video I realized that I had nothing but nice memories of him. He was a kind, gentle, loving man who my sister says asked about me several times throughout the years. I never really believed her when she said it. But as I watched the memorial I wondered why I had allowed my anger towards his son affect me so much that I couldn't even believe that my grandpa asked about me. Why wouldn't he ask? And who am I to question it.
  I never bothered to visit him and my stepgrandma after my mom and stepdad divorced (yes, technically there should be "ex" in front of all those "Steps" but that would look weird!) because I felt odd. They weren't really my family, after all. Besides, if I were to visit them I would have to encounter my ex-stepfather and I was NOT going to do that.
  Plus, when the whole divorce went down no one bothered to call me. Or visit me. Or....hmmmm there is an awful lot of "me" in there.
  When my mother and stepfather divorced I figured I was no longer a part of that family. I didn't want to be, really. I didn't want to answer polite questions about my mother from people who I believed didn't care about her, I didn't want to listen to conversation about my exstepfather or run into him or have his sisters go tell him about me.
  I was angry. And I had every right to be angry about the sh*t that went on before he left the house. I was still dealing with him on a financial basis until I dropped him like a hot pan finally when he once again refused to pay my tuition he offered to pay for in the first place.
   My anger at my exstepfather trickled right up to my stepgrandparents. My reasoning was that while they may not have been a part of what my stepfather did, they were his parents.
  Yep. That was my argument.
   And as I watched the pictures of my ex-step-grandpa fade out I remembered little things about him. Like his love for dogs. And for the countryside. How he loved to walk outside, his shoulders hunched up, and just take in the beauty around him. He was a countryboy who served in Paton's army, who came back to marry his high school sweetheart, who stuck around in the marriage even though there were whispered stories about difficult times. He was a loyal Catholic who served God the best he knew how and who always had something nice to say to me. In fact I don't ever remember him speaking badly about anyone.
   I told my ex-step-father years ago that I forgave him. And I really thought that I had because I could hear about him and not feel my skin crawl with thoughts of vengeance. Then, while I was reading my devotional a few weeks ago, I realized that in order to truly forgive you have to learn to love that person again. It is something that is humanly IMPOSSIBLE. Absolutely impossible. So impossible tat to merely wrap our minds around that idea would take millions of years. Only through the grace of God is it possible. Because loving that person is not to simply give them a fake smile when you happen to HAVE to be around them. Loving that person through the kind of love that God expects from us, that shows true forgiveness is to treat that person like they NEVER did you any harm.
    My mouth just about dropped to the floor.
    But then, if I want to bask in the revelation that God has forgiven me of everything I have ever done and continues to do so each time I ask for forgiveness, it is only natural that He ask of me the same towards other humans.
   Unfortunately that revelation fully came on me as I watched the pictures of my ex-step-father roll before my eyes. Because of my anger and unwillingness to show any sign of love for my ex-step-father, I missed out. I missed out.
    I sure hope I learn from this mistake going forward.

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