“I tried to forgive them. After all, isn’t that what we are suppose to do? Love our enemies, forgive as we want to be forgiven? The good book says that, right? You know what it doesn’t say?” He asked as he took a sip from his cup of coffee. I looked at him and just shook my head.
“How difficult that it’s going to be.” He put the cup back down on the table and just stared at me.
“Is that what made you start?” I finally asked, leaning back in the booth we sat at.
He thought for a moment, as if weighing his words before he spoke. “I don’t know.” Then he looked out the cafe window at the old worn down house across the tracks before he finally continued. “I just don’t know. I’ve thought hard about that, and for as much as I would like to blame them…” he paused as he scratched his chin. “I just can’t.” He finished by taking a deep breath, holding it, then slowly letting it out.
“You know blaming them would be easier, right?” He drifted into an unspoken thought. “It would be easier to do that, wouldn’t it.” then as quickly as his statement ended, he turned toward me and added, “But, it wouldn’t be true.” He picked his coffee up again. “Besides, ultimately, it’s not why you started that matters, but why you couldn’t quit. It’s that, somehow, you are right here, right now.” He took another sip.
“But, how do I get past it all?” I asked, still wondering how he was able to do something that I felt was an insurmountable task.
He looked back out at that abandoned home and I could have sworn that, somehow, that place resonated with something deeper inside him. It was a long minute before he finally spoke again. “Sincere forgiveness isn’t colored with the expectations that the other person apologize or change.” He grabbed his coffee cup and then continued. “Don’t worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time.”
He then put the cup to his lips, took a sip and then finished by saying, “And then, you just remember the motto.” He smiled at me over the top of his cup. “One day at a time.” His smile spread to his eyes.