{gratitude: 11.14}

I have an uncle who was a continual disappointment to me when I was a child. All the promises of when he’d come visit, of what he’d bring, of what we’d do — promises the day of the visit… All the waiting at the window. The crushing disappointment when he didn’t show.

This uncle has a child or two. I suspect they felt the same, more often than I did. I didn’t… understand why, at first. Drugs and alcohol can make the people who promise you things in love unable to deliver; it took me a long time to understand that… and to my shame, even longer to see through the rage, and forgive. I’d work it all out, smooth out all the wrinkles in my feelings, and then he’d do something else, and the flames would rage anew… Ugh.

I’m thinking of him today because he is very ill, and inward there still exists that angry child. But, if I can be more than grateful for the times people have excused my screw-ups, well. I can do no less for someone else, even when it is hard. Even if I have to do it over, and over, and over.

on repeat

Forgive is an open word.
“What for?” it asks. “To give.”
From open hands my grievance falls.
That’s what I need, to live.