1% Forgiveness

A few months ago I received a call from the social worker from my mother’s nursing home telling me that my mother could no longer eat solid food. This condition would lead to her death sooner than later. We discussed options. I thanked her and told her I would look into the various options she had offered and call her back.

I got in my car, turned the music up loud and drove fast.

I could not cry. I could not think.

I drove to my church, St Elizabeth’s of Hungary.

Mass had ended but I knew that the church was open.

The church is small and beautiful, My son made his first communion here and I come to mass often during the week. It is a liberal parish and I support the soup kitchen which provides a hot meal every single day of the year to anyone who shows up. I love this chapel and the people inside.

As I knelt to pray, the sign of the cross offering some peace, I found myself praying the Our Father. I have for decades found greater solace in the Hail Mary and was surprised to find myself saying the Lords Prayer.

I came to, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us,”

and I began to sob.

I could not continue and knew that God had interceded.

I have had this happen before, God taking control when I am unable.

Here it was, when I most needed it;

guidance from my God.

‘You must find a way to forgive your mother before she dies.

You need to do this for you and you need to do this for her.”

The sun was coming through the stained glass and reflecting on the floor beneath the statue of Mary;

The colors were vibrant and warmth filled the chapel.

How could something so beautiful, light, colored light at Mary’s feet,

appear just at the moment I am saying to God,

“How the fuck do you suggest I do this?

 Tell me how you expect me to do what I have spent 20 years trying to do in the next 6-9 months?”

I sat in the chapel for a very long time. I went to the office to find Loretta hoping to talk with Father Chrys, knowing full well that this was not something I would be able to do alone.

“Father is out today and no other priesty type is in. Will I do in a pinch?  Are you OK?”  Loretta is one of the kindest women on this planet and I needed to talk with Chrys. I assured her I was fine and we talked a bit about the soup kitchen before I left the church.

I walked the Stations of the Cross on way to the car

trying to find an answer in the beautiful carvings on the outside of the chapel.

Miracles abound. An email was waiting for me after I left the church. It was from an old friend.

I called and left her a message about the news before I went into church.  My friend had no way of knowing what God  had just informed me in prayer.

She sent me an email about the need to forgive my mom;

maybe just 1%;  Just 1% Forgiveness.

The email said that I needed to find it in my heart to say that to my mom,

freely,  even just if I only believe it a bit,

 “I forgive you.”

She said I needed to do this FOR ME. She knows me. My friend also said that deep down my mom knows what she did and did not do. She holds that and will need to take it with her to her death-bed.  This friend has known my mom for decades.

Maybe this is possible. I just don’t see how.

The email, her heart connecting with mine, the beautiful light at Mary’s feet.

 It is possible isn’t it?

Somehow it is possible to forgive her; to give her that before she leaves.

 To give that to myself and add that to our universal  energy.

With Love, I wonder;

is this possible?

I have time, a small bit of time.

I can ponder this and see what might be on the other side.

Later that day I met my friend. She said,

“Maybe just acceptance Sweetheart. Maybe not forgiveness.

What Mommy did was wrong. Lets work towards acceptance, OK?”

I am holding the memory of the sunlight coming through the stained glass, the warmth in the chapel

and the colored light streaming across the floor at Mary’s feet.

If that is not a miracle, I don’t know what is.

Miracles abound. I can choose to see them.

I will work towards acceptance;

fast track that sucker and then call it forgiveness.

1% Forgiveness

Mommy has 9 – 12 months;  and so do I.

Peace, Jen

~ by Step On a Crack on September 25, 2011.

6 Responses to “1% Forgiveness”

  1. I discovered your blog by your comments left on Good Life No Alcohol. Obviously, I was drawn to it by our connection with dementia though the cause in my family different. But there is the other draw for me. My husband and I work in the recovery community. I was so touched by your honesty in this post. I have seen the hardship of forgiveness in so many. I’m glad you have a friend, a real friend that obviously cares about you enough to walk with you through this. I’m glad to have found your blog and will be stopping by. I pray you’ll find the freedom forgiveness can bring. I believe you will.


    • Debby, Thank you so very much! I suspect you know how much your comment means to me. Support is key in Recovery and my walk with my mom counts as part of my recovery. I want to thank you for reminding me of how important support is. ‘Get thee to an alanon meeting’, another good friend has been saying. Without the support of my community none of this would be possible. I have 30 years of sobriety under my belt and it was hard earned. My mothers battle with alcoholics dementia is the best darn AA meeting I have ever been to in some ways. Thank you for your prayers and your support. I have searched for forgiveness for a very long time; with the clock ticking, it is time for the rubber to hit the road. Your blog is incredibly inspiring! I will be following you and bringing my gratitude with me!

      Peace, Jen


  2. Thank you for stopping by and becoming active in the GoodLife Group! I have had so many of the same struggles you are writing about. I was asked by my mom to remove the post about my forgiveness of my father before he died. I’m going to repost it for you here: http://wp.me/s1lmv2-dale

    Forgiveness is the key to so many freedoms. I am praying for your freedom.


    • Heidi. God does work in mysterious ways. I just found time to read your post. I am deeply moved by it. Why would your mother want something so beautiful and touching to be removed? The photos and the memories are a palpable testimony to the Love you shared with your father. AND to the 9th step. Yes ma’am. Oddly, or not so oddly perhaps, I just posted my first blog about my father BEFORE reading yours.

      I find tremendous inspiration in your writing. Thank you and God Speed.


  3. I’m glad you read it and thank you for the comments. I will keep the link private again in an attempt to honor her wishes. We’re not very alike, my mom and I, but I love her.


    • I want to reach the place you have reached. My mom and I are not alike at all and I am trying my level best to Love her. Your willingness to remove such a powerful post is testimony to the power of Love in our lives.


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