Is always reconciliation possible?
My father’s father left home when my own father was a baby. Never once in almost 20-years did he see tor have any contact with his father.
One day in a working man’s pub in Edinburgh a man that knew my father shouted for him to come over. The man was standing with another man. The other man was old, drunk, short, had his hair creamed back, dark eyes a large nose with fine cheekbones. The old man had a very Italian look about him.
The man that knew my father said: “James, meet your father”.
Twenty years after his birth my own father finally met his father.
Did they reconcile as father and son?
I am not sure but here is what I observed as I grew older.
My own father had his old father staying with us on a regular basis. He would pick him up, drop him off, create a bedroom at home for him, give him the food and other hospitable things that should be given as a host.
When I was 18 years old I had just passed my driving test. A cal was received at home about my grandfather in Edinburgh. Not only was he ill he was now dying. Dad asked me if I could drive with him to Edinburgh. We drove and finally arrived at St James hospital in Edinburgh.
After parking and speaking to doctors, we were finally taken to my old grandad Smith. He lay on what is called a sand-bed. The mattress kept rolling to prevent bed sores. He had tubes, wires, needles and machines kicking, beeping and making noise all the while we were there. All my grandad could move were his eyes. He looked scared. My father spoke to him and just before we left he touched his arm and said see you soon. Soon never arrived he soon after passed away.
I still ask the question did they reconcile?
My father would say yes yet I wonder if reconciliation was replaced by a bound duty to do what is best because my father always seemed to be doing what was best for his father during his final years.
Eleven years ago I had a cataclysmic event in my own life. This led to events that expanded and took so many bad turns I don’t have time today to share them all here. This led to a member of my blood family not only trying to kill me but no longer being part of my life.
These actions led to anger. Anger led to hate. Hate led to dispossession. Dispossession led to a physical cutting away. The physical cutting away led to a final emotional removal and this took years.
Should I reconcile?
Four years ago I was asked to see this person for coffee but there were conditions. The conditions were that none of the past was to be discussed and she would pretend nothing took place. This is someone that attempted to kill me twice and harassed me for over two years until I had her arrested by the police.
She wanted to forget it.
I wanted to discuss it, resolve it and understand what took place and then move on.
She said no.
I said OK.
Should reconciliation take place?
There are times when reconciliation isn’t possible yet forgiveness is. I forgive that person and would show a bound duty if I ever had to yet the reconciliation isn’t possible. It isn’t possible because the damage from the historical event was just so great.
Yet my father learnt to move on. He told me that he couldn’t change the past and it was his father yet I don’t think they really reconciled. I think it was more of an arrangement bound by an expected relationship.
I don’t think reconciliation is possible in all cases.
I do think moving on from the pain is.
I also believe that forgiving is possible despite no reconciling.
So if someone has hurt you and others are trying to ask you to be forgiving the person you need to look after first is yourself. Pain is real when it comes to people and events. Those that inflict pain should not just face vengeance or retribution but also face justice. Your justice may be justified by no longer having contact with a painful past yet you can still forgive if you need to forgive.
My father is 83-years of age now. He is fit and active and lived much longer than his father. I do admire the way he brought his absent father back into his life and I loved the lesson being shown through those actions.
But a reality should be accepted and that is forgiveness can be given freely but reconciliation isn’t possible at all times.
Without reconciliation can we no longer move on?
Life is a journey from start to end. It is like a book we fill out and record our adventures. If you are on page 789 and have just written a great record of an even greater adventure there is no need to keep going back to page 37 where one event took place that removed your happiness for a short while.
And even better is this.
You still have pages to write, to move forward with and to fill out as you see fit and able.
Reconciliation is a choice. Forgiveness is also a choice.
Either way, I hope you are planning for the most wonderful times to come from this day onward.
I hope you’re having the most wonderful break.
THE BOOK: ESCAPE FROM ZOOMANITY
This book details life as messages and lessons to be learnt from. I wrote this book at the close of my chaos period to try and make sense of why life is the way life is and what can be done to refocus and repair a damaged life.
THE BOOK: DELIBERATE RECREATION
I wanted to give thought to the actual process of recovery of a life that felt lost. Deliberate Recreation is a book I wrote that details every process I went through internally and externally to recover and build a new life. Packed with stories and experiences and easy ways you can get your life back on track.
THE BOOK: HAPPINESS
This book was written to try and detail what happiness is and how happiness can be found. It identifies the reasons and routes from unhappy to becoming happy. Again filled with stories but written in a simple and reasoned way that again records how I went from unhappy to happy.