One thing you should know about me is, I do not forget much. Now, this can be a good thing, but more often than not, it’s bad. I have lived through so much in these 35 years and one thing I have always been able to count on, is my memory. In spite of all the stuff (cough,cough) I did as a teenager, I still remember. I’m realizing now, that having a memory like mine is not all it’s cracked up to be, especially when you’re married. I mean, it’s hard enough being married and making it through the regular trials without remembering everything that was done wrong to me.
I remember it all. Every word, every argument, every hurt feeling, everything.
Add to that, the fact that I’m usually the optimist, I always try to find the good in people and situations. So, when something bad happens, it tends to stick out like a sore thumb.
For the past 6 years, I have been learning how to forgive, but forgetfulness still eludes me. I can forgive till I’m blue in the face. If someone says, “I’m sorry”, I will automatically say, “I forgive you”. If only forgetting was so easy. It’s not, not at all.
I can forgive you for slapping me in the face, if perhaps I’ve said something that you don’t like but I’ll never forget the sting of your hand as it went across my cheek . I can forgive you for lying about being interested in another person but I would never forget the heartache of knowing that you lied to me about it. I can forgive you for purposely insulting me by implying that I would ever be unfaithful, but I would never forget the hate in your eyes as you accuse me. I can forgive you for not trusting me, that all of our children are biologically yours, but I can never forget the way you treated those innocent children because of your distrust. I can forgive you for being insecure and therefore, constantly accusing me of looking for someone else, but I would never forget the guilt and shame you made me feel everyday if I even tried to look nice or I decide to go to work early to be proactive and actually trying to live a normal life. I can forgive you for almost anything but I could never forget the hurt and pain caused by you.
So, I guess what I’m wondering is, have I truly forgiven? I believe so, because I have indeed forgiven you in my heart. God says that I should continue to forgive over and over and over. So what happens, when the hurt, pain and unforgettable memories far outweigh the forgiveness, what is a person to do?
I am, after all, only human.
My feelings should matter and if most of my memories of you are mostly bad memories, when do you walk away?
On Saturday, November 8, 2015, my husband was involved in a hit and run accident.
I almost died when I heard this!
I couldn’t believe my ears. There’s no how-to book on how to react when you recieve some of the worse news of your life. What’s worse, is that he wasn’t even supposed to be right there at that time.
It was because of me.
It was my idea. I had been begging to go to the Jacksonville Agricultural Fair, every year for the last 4 years. But every time it came to town, something would come up and we wouldn’t be able to go. So this year, I was bound and determined not to miss it. Add to this, the girls had had an amazing first quarter of school, had avoided getting grounded and in fact, Mekayla, the baby girl had excelled! She was the first student of the month!
That sealed it!
We were going to the fair! Dad made special plans to buy early bird, mega passes for us all at a discounted rate. Once those were purchased, there was no turning back.
Dad had a bike club event to attend on this particular Saturday. Being a prospect meant he had to be there. This was fine by me! The club had proven to really be one of brotherhood and peacekeeping and helping out the unfortunate.
So, the kids and I hopped on the number 10 bus at around 1:20p.m. on a journey that would leave us all shaken.
He was supposed to meet us.
We were waiting for 4 o’clock. Dad said he was coming to ride kiddie rides with Kay. This would leave me and Lina (the resident dare devils) free to ride the “big girl” rides. Alas, the club fundraiser went overtime. So we didn’t see him till around 6. Which meant two things.
1) I didn’t get to ride anything “real”rides until he got there.
2) When he got there, it was getting dark, so I had to hurry and ride what I could before our bus left.
So I got a bit upset that our big rides had to be rushed and I refused to leave before I rode a few particular ones.
But it wasn’t to be.
Before we knew it, it was 9:00 and we had to go! We half ran/half speed walked back to the bus station with dad circling each block before and after us, checking for safety. After all, we were downtown at 9pm. Pretty creepy….
We finally make it to the station, only to realize the bus we were planning on catching had already left. Which meant we now had to catch two buses when we’re originally wouldn’t only needed one.
We did not have an extra $7.50 for a second bus.
This turns out to be where the trouble began. He was initially supposed to meet up with the club after the fair for a special ceremony honoring his crossing over to full fledged member. Instead, Dad decides to ride ahead home and get the extra money we needed and meet us where the first bus would be dropping us off. He is on a motorcycle. And a trip that is going to take us almost an hour would take him 30 minutes. (Not speeding by the way.)
As the kids and I are on the bus, I look at my phone to see just how much time has passed and realize that my phone’s battery is getting dangerously low. I decided then, to try and reach dad and let him know the approximate time we’d be arriving and also to tell him my phone would probably be dead before we got there.
A woman answered his phone!
She began to say the words I had been dreading every since he got that bike.
“Ma’am, I don’t know who he is to you, but I just picked up his phone, someone has hit him and he’s lying in the street.”
My mouth dropped and all I heard was “lying in the street” over and over in my head. Not knowing that I’m yelling,”No, no, no, please don’t tell me that!”
I completely forgot the kids were with me, all I could think was, “Please GOD, don’t take him from me.”
I heard her say the street name and it was at this precise moment that my phone died.
Yes, I flipped out! On the bus, with the kids, in front of all those strangers.
But I pulled it together long enough to see that I had scared the crap out of my babies. Everyone was crying except Kay.
So I dried my tears, tried to explain what I had heard in the gentlest way possible…. FYI, there is no gentle way. I apologized constantly for scaring them and encouraged them to pray with me for dad. We did and then I asked (pretty sure I screamed) for someone to please let me borrow a phone. I called a ride to met us at our stop and they did. They took us to where the scene was, going to see dad, but he was gone. Mind you, when I didn’t see anything except a totaled bike, I really did think he was gone….