Today's parable is very special to me and is written from the depths of my heart. Given what I'm currently going through, I felt compelled to write about my experiences. It is deep, it is dark, but hopefully, will also be far-reaching and uplifting to those out there that need it. I hope you enjoy it. - Haylee V
It's Time To Go
Jake sat in the hospital bed, tears streaming from his face as he digested the news: Stage 4 Squamous Cell Carcinoma- the deadliest form of lung cancer. In less than a month, he would die.
"But why? And so soon. Surely we can try one more round of chemo. Radiation. More surgery. Anything!"
"We can increase the morphine and try to make you comfortable. Beyond that, all I can tell you is to start to make peace- with yourself and others. If there's anything at all that you don't want to leave left undone, then do it."
Monica trembled as she held her brother's hand. "Maybe it's time," she whispered.
"I'll never forgive him for what he did to our family!" Jake screamed, perhaps too vehemently, as he was wracked with a major coughing jag immediately afterward. "That bastard ruined our family. Mom loved him, and he did that to her. Became that disgusting thing. I don't care if they did cut off his damn penis. He was our father and her husband, yet he freely chose to become that 'Vicky' thing."
"Have you even met her? She's pretty amazing. And happier now than Dad ever was. If Mom and I can forgive her and move on, why can't you?"
"Because..." Jake began. "I had to give up my life... my dreams... to be the provider he never was. Had I not enlisted in the Navy and worked in the shipyards, I would not have been exposed, wouldn't have gotten sick, and wouldn't be dying now. He... no, IT... can rot in hell for all I care."
Just then, a silver-haired woman walked in, tears streaming down her face, ruining her makeup and causing her to resemble a raccoon.
"Jacob Wesley Abrams," she began. "I never stopped loving you. I never meant to affect your life so much by my choices. I had no choice in my actions- the testosterone in my body was causing my liver to fail. When I received my diagnosis and told your mother, we tried- hard, to stay together. But same sex marriages were forbidden back then and had we stayed together, the two of you would have been forever separated in the foster care system. I knew I would not be allowed to keep you, so I did the only thing I could. I was left with the choice of leaving you voluntarily, and living as a woman, or staying, doing nothing, and dying as a man. Your mother loved me enough to encourage me to choose life. Now, if you're willing, I'd like to share my life with you again, Son."
"I'm... sorry, Dad... err, Mom... err... Just what the hell do I call you, anyway?"
"How about just calling me forgiven? We can work out the details later. For now, I need to embrace my Son. It's been far too long."
Nothing is ever as heavy as a grudge, nor ever held as long. We should always be willing and open to offer forgiveness to those that have wronged us, and to accept forgiveness from those that offer it to us.
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