Sunday, November 1, 2009
This is kind of a hard post for me to write, more awkward than anything, but I feel that it should be done. I have a cousin who died a week ago Friday. She'd had cancer 12 years ago, recovered, then was feeling tired recently. She went to the doctor a couple weeks ago and was told she had days to weeks left; cancer was throughout her body. Within two weeks, she was gone.
If that's not sad enough, she was only 43 and left behind her husband and two children, ages 13 and 9.
What I feel is even more tragic is that she and her immediate family had been estranged from her family (mother & father or my aunt and uncle and basically all our extended family) for the last 20 years!
Now luckily, or should I say mercifully, amends were made and forgivenesses given before she passed on, but I see such tragedy in losing that 20 years. My cousin's kids did not know their grandparents, nor most of their cousins on my side of the family. In fact, I was able to witness my uncle meeting his 9-year old granddaughter for the first time. It should have been joyous, but it was painfully awkward!
As far as I know, the estrangement was not caused by a major, horrible event, but many small, insignificant events. There were times over the last 20 years when amends could have been made, but were not. There were times when forgiveness could have been granted, but was not.
I, like anyone, do not have perfect relationships with all whom I associate. This experience, however, inspires me to do better with my strained and awkward relationships and to be forgiving and more merciful.
I can do my part in fixing my relationships, but where I get stuck, the Lord can help me make it further, help make it the rest of the way. How dreadful it would be to die and reach the other side wishing I'd had better relationships here on Earth.
I pray we can all improve our relationships and not waste decades holding grudges. Give it to the Lord.