Never Forget

Today is the 16th anniversary of September 11, 2001. It is also the first time in almost a year that I’ve posted.

Welcome back!  Thanks for reading.

On my run this morning, I realized today was September 11th. I was struck, then, to notice that the weather was very much like it had been that day 16 years ago.

I remember much about the day. I suppose it is one of those days I will never forget.

Yet, I cringe a little when I hear the phrase “Never Forget.”

It reminds me of another day I will never forget. This day was almost a year later, and, though I don’t remember the date, I’ll always remember the day.

I was preparing for a mission trip. I was also preparing for my divorce to be final. After I had apparently said something bitter, a friend suggested I should consider forgiving my almost-ex-wife.

I said (another thing I will never forget): “Oh, I know I need to forgive her, but not yet. I’m going to let it stew awhile.”

Saying those words aloud woke me up. I knew, from having told other people, that refusing to forgive someone is like taking poison and hoping they’ll get sick (thank you, Anne Lamott, I think). Hearing myself say this started me on the road to forgiveness.

(to be clear: I do not hold my ex-wife solely responsible for our divorce. Therefore, I hope she has forgiven me as well)

I’ll always remember my first marriage, and my first wife. I do not remember it as I did in those first few days and months afterward. I still remember, I will never forget, but my memories have taken different form and occupy a different place in my heart.

As you remember traumatic events in your past, whether national tragedies or personal hitches, may you find the grace of remembering them differently as wounds heal.

 

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