“I just can’t wait until I see you again!”
Angry tears streamed down Imogene’s face as she considered her young grandson’s words in his latest letter. Not because he wasn’t a lovely boy; not because she didn’t want to see him, but because she couldn’t.
She couldn’t, because of all the pain her daughter, the mother of her aforesaid grandson, had caused her and the rest of her family in the last decade.
All the angry letters, all the vicious accusations, had left Imogene and her family ripped into shreds and in constant turmoil for years. But they hadn’t let it destroy them—they’d pulled together as only a strong family can.
But it had cost them dearly, trying to give explanations to family and friends, wondering what people were thinking, missing out on their precious grandsons, not getting to see all the cousins playing together……..it had caused them endless heartache, and it was all her daughter’s fault.
She could never forgive her.
And she could never have the kind of relationship she wanted to have with her grandsons. It was too late now. They would naturally side with their mother, and see her, Imogene, as the villain. They would never know her for who she really was. And that is why she could never face them.
It wasn’t that her daughter was still making bitter accusations or that she wasn’t allowing Imogene contact with the three boys. Quite the contrary, in fact. She had acknowledged that her accusations had been based on misunderstandings, not fact, had apologized, and asked for forgiveness. She and her husband regularly sent photos of the children, which Imogene proudly displayed on her refrigerator. They offered to call and invited Imogene and her husband to come for a visit.
But there was too much water under the bridge, too much pain from the past. It was simply too late, and Imogene couldn’t understand why her daughter and her family wouldn’t just accept that.
Even though Imogene wouldn’t receive their phone calls, they kept writing and emailing, sending gifts and photos, suggesting ways in which they could get together…when would that girl ever learn that no meant NO?! And getting the little boy to say things like “I just can’t wait until I see you next!” just made things worse! It was cruel, and the boy’s mother was just setting her precious son up for further disappointment.
It wasn’t that Imogene didn’t love her grandsons. She wrote them occasional letters, sent them cards and gifts on holidays, put money away for them in a college fund….
And she deserved to be able to be a real Grandma to them!
But because of her daughter, she couldn’t.
As Imogene furiously scrubbed the kitchen counter, cleaning it partially with a wet cloth, but partially with her tears, her eyes fell upon some photos of her granddaughters that she had put up on the refrigerator. They were right next to the photos of the little boys.
Seeing her granddaughters’ photos reminded her of herself and her own lonely childhood. Her mother’s quarrels with her grandfather had caused her to miss out on seeing him and her cousins, and it broke her heart that now her own grandchildren were experiencing the same heartbreak. It was a pity things couldn’t be different……
But her daughter must be made to see the gravity of the damage she had done to their family! She couldn’t expect to just say, “I’m sorry,” and then waltz back in after 10 years, like nothing had happened.
And then, quite suddenly, her eyes focused on a picture of her oldest granddaughter, Felicity. Out of all the grandchildren, Felicity most closely resembled her grandmother. And as she studied that little girl whom she loved with all her heart, a sudden burst of revelation burst through Imogene’s entire being.
A little child, and especially one as dear as Felicity, did not deserve to bear the consequences of the mistakes of her elders. No matter whose fault it was.
And Imogene was tired, tired after all these years of carrying the burden of having to straighten out that daughter of hers.
It was time to move on, time to enjoy the wonderful family God had given her and allow them all to enjoy one another.
That’s why, on this New Year’s Eve, Imogene resolved to work in the coming year to let go of all the past pain and anguish and forgive her daughter. Even if it killed her.