I've been spinning through emotions the past few days. Sunday evening I was still floating in air over having Shake Russell fill my house with his beautiful music when I got a call that a dear friend's ex-husband had died, killed in a motorcycle accident that afternoon.
My heart aches for her - even though they were no longer married, he was one of her best friends, still family. The father of her children. They had dealt with the issues that separated them and found a new closeness through forgiveness.
It set me thinking about relationships - marriages, family, friends - and forgiveness.
"I've been trying to get down to the heart of the matter, but my will gets weak and my thoughts seem to scatter, but I think it's about forgiveness ... forgiveness ..."
My thoughts are scattered right now. The thing is, even though my friend and her ex worked things out, managed to forgive and love again in a new way, another friendship of hers never recovered from it. Because of that one broken link, snapped apart by pride and judgment, a circle of friendship, like a pearl necklace, became unstrung, the pearls scattered. And that's been on my heart, too, because my friend could really use that whole strand of pearls right now.
"There are people in your life who've come and gone, they let you down, you know they hurt your pride. You better put it all behind you, baby, 'cause life goes on. If you keep carryin' that anger, it'll eat you up inside, baby ..."
Sadly, that's not the only friendship I've seen crumble apart because of pride and judgment. Friendship shouldn't be judgmental, should it? Honest, yes, but honesty tempered by love and forgiveness for each other's humanity, not honesty tainted by pride.
But then, even love is judgmental and too proud sometimes. Husbands and wives dig their battle trenches and won't budge an inch ... children don't speak to their parents ... siblings drift apart. Things from the past take precedence over the here and now.
"Ah ... these times are so uncertain, there's a yearning undefined, a
nd people filled with rage.
We all need a little tenderness. How can love survive in such a graceless age?
Ah ... the trust and self-assurance that lead to happiness - they're the very things we kill, I guess ..."
One thing is for certain - we will all have a last day, a last minute, on this earth. I hope I don't waste my time being hurt, angry or holding grudges. I hope when my last minute comes, I can go like my friend's loved one, knowing I have forgiven and been forgiven in return. To me, that's the heart of the matter.