Thanksgiving Threads of Forgiveness

I was not thinking along the lines of being thankful for Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. I wasn’t even thinking about Thanksgiving.  I was thinking about our nation, stats be told, how 81.2% of Americans are Christian  (Protestant, Catholic, etc.) and how Christian faith is based on forgiveness.

America the crazy quilt, the granny square afghan.  Faith is woven into the fabric of our lives and yet we struggle to forgive others, to forgive ourselves, of feeling worthy of forgiveness.  “Forgive us as we forgive those…” to quote the Lord’s Prayer, reminds me that I have to forgive to be forgiven.  Sometimes, it feels like an ongoing process as my emotional response to the situation seems to be my undoing.

It was after I finished the art on Wednesday that I realized that posting just after midnight makes this one land on Thanksgiving Day.   I thought oh no… maybe I should make something more suitable for the holiday, like a still life cornucopia of fruits or something stupid.  Nah, it is what it is… a reflection of what is on my mind today.

Thanksgiving is a time of reflection and a time of remembrance in my family, mainly because both my grandmother and her mother died on Thanksgiving Day.  (No, not in the same year.)  So many people have passed in the weeks leading up to this holiday that we pretty much believe, “If you make it past Thanksgiving, you get a whole ‘nother year.”

I had a hard time forgiving my grandmother.   I loved her dearly, she taught me how to crochet, she was my grandma, the earth and the moon set with that woman.  I loved everything about her.  When she played the piano, the whole house shook.  Now my other grandma also played piano, but not like Grandma Goldie. Her music was alive, not that zillion perfect notes of Bach or whatever.  But in the rage that took hold in my early twenties, I blamed her for the crimes of her husband.  She brought him into our family; she could have divorced him, taken him right back out.  In my rage, I threw away everything she ever gave me, things she had made for me.  I kept nothing, not even a photograph.

Maybe I had to heal enough to be able to forgive my grandmother.  As for her husband, the forgiveness is different.  I believe his eternal hell is to be stone sober fully conscious of his action, to be tormented by the guilt of memory.  I dreamed that he was sober and tormented, begging for forgiveness.

But how do you forgive someone who had done you and countless others irreparable harm?

It took a long time to realize that forgiveness in no way makes what they have done acceptable.  It does not make it okay.  Sometimes forgiveness is a matter of letting go, to not resolve them of their debt/trespasses against you, but to release yourself from the equation.  It is no longer my place to forgive him and perhaps in some ways, it never was.  The matter is between him and God.

So these are my thoughts for today, where my head is at on this day of remembrance.

Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating today.  I will be celebrating with my daughter’s family tomorrow. Thank you for viewing my art!


4 Responses

  1. Powerful post, Nancy. Happy Thanksgiving! I’m thankful I found your site when I first started blogging. — Sharyn

    • Thank you Sharyn. I’m thankful that you found my site, too, as it lead me back to yours. I hope you enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. ~ Nancy

  2. pretty powerful stuff says alot best wishes always


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