My father and I had a complicated relationship.

We could talk for hours on the phone or

Giggle like girls over blackberry cobbler with ice cream and

He could tell stories like no one I’ve ever met;

He’d swoop you up into his world- his fantastic world-

And all you could do was

Pray and hold on.

But my father has done some pretty terrible things.

He has hurt so many people close to me.

And this is a bond I wish we didn’t share:

That our struggles have affected the ones we love.

Forgiving my father has come to define me

Because if I cannot take the broken memories and make them holdable

Who am I to ask the same of others?

I’d forgiven him for the past and forged onward,

Triumphant in small talk and small hugs and things that didn’t tip the impending iceberg.

He had been doing so well, we had been doing so well,

That I forgot things could go wrong.

But they did, just the other day,

The iceberg imploded

And he had words that cut me sharper

Than any knife or razor blade I’ve known and let me ask you this:

How do you forgive the past if it keeps reaching up under your pillow at night to grab you?

How do you forgive a man who will not forgive your space and growth?

The answer is you don’t have to,

And this says nothing about you and everything

About the one you are trying to forgive.

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