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This story started as one about members of my family – branches long since fallen away. But in thinking it through, I decided that the reason for the story shouldn’t overshadow the reason for the story.


At a point in my past (actually, I was just out of college), I discovered something that I wasn’t meant to find. I suspect no one was meant to, for surely it would no longer have existed.

If you believe in the divine wisdom of the universe, then perhaps it was there for me to find all along.

It was a piece of information that I knew would prove hurtful to a lot of people – people I loved (and still love) dearly.

At the time, I hurt for the person who had kept the item – for it was associated with a person (and times) long since passed. I felt sorrow that they had carried this grief past its due, but even worse that of all the memories they could have chosen, this was the one they saved.

Even now, I weep for a choice that took years from a wounded soul, and wonder if there were nights when they lay awake remembering that time, only to stumble through the darkness, digging through old boxes to find it – a reminder of pain – sorting through treasure to find the knife, ignoring the best for the sake of the worst.

I know a lot of people who are like this. They cling to the things that poison, holding grudges for wrongs committed a lifetime ago, often by persons dead and gone. They rise each day and pull their bitterness to them, holding to their grief and their anger as if it would save them – as if it could change. Seldom do they realize that the only thing we can change is the thing we own. “If every problem in my life can be traced back to my mother, then I am in a unfortunate position – for until my mother changes, I’m stuck.”

In case you wonder, I have yet to share that secret bit of knowledge (this as close as I will come). But on that day, surrounded by boxes (less the one item I carried with me), I wept for both of them and forgave them both as well.

While the purpose of these ‘tellings’ is to impress the need for storytellers, there are some stories that need not be remembered again. I guess this post turned out to be about two things – the things we keep and the things we don’t.

Saw you there
and weeping for a pain
refused to heal –
though seasons passed
and still your vigil held.
Never thought beyond the hurt –
to resurrection –
beyond the veil
forgiveness to reveal –
the truth of life
the hope for love –
grace beyond compassion.
Dry your tears –
the day approaches new.