Posted by Heartwarmers4u on October 16, 1998 at 23:55:00:
The following preface and true story were sent to me by the service known as Heartwarmers4u [link below]:
Welcome to Heartwarmers4u :
Forgiveness has been a big heartwarmer topic in the past. But few of us, if any, could ever do what fellow heartwarmer Merrie Root has done. While we sit and fume and dream of revenge for the little things and people who have done us wrong, Merrie has found in herself a strength few us will ever discover -- while she has offered the ultimate forgiveness, she has also found the ultimate peace. A very thought provoking heartwarmer for you today.
THE ULTIMATE FORGIVENESS
My sister and best friend in the world was killed by a drunk driver on a Saturday afternoon nearly 10 years ago. My sis was a very special person who had 5 children. She left a 14 year old who is mentally retarded and physically handicapped that needed her desperately as well as a college student with C.P. who depended on her. When she died, a big part of me died too. I gave up on life and blamed God. Recently, I have let go of all that pain and realized that God doesn't give us anything that we can't handle and that his love is what got me through this, made me stronger and showed me the way to forgive. Following is a letter I wrote to the man who took her life.
Dear Mr. Battle,
We have seen each other a couple of times. I'm not sure if you will recognize my name or if you would even recognize my face if we should ever meet again. I doubt that you have ever thought about me, but I have thought of you often.
Pat Spees was my sister. She died as a result of your driving drunk. The day she died, a big part of me died too. Mr. Battle, I have lived with depression, hate, and loneliness ever since that day, soon to be 10 years now. I have allowed these feelings to eat me alive, turn me in to a near alcoholic myself (I never drink and drive though) and keep me from fully living my life. I have cried and hated more in these 10 years than anyone can imagine. The tragedy of losing my sister turned me in to a person that I didn't even like.
Ten years is enough time to wallow in hate. My sister was a good and forgiving person who would have forgiven you a long time ago. It took me longer, but I do forgive you. I have to, so that I can let go of that horrible day and begin to live again.
Mr. Battle, I no longer hate you. I hate what happened, but we can't change the past. None of us are perfect, we all make mistakes. I know that you didn't set out that day to intentionally hurt or kill someone. It just happened. Maybe it was supposed to be that way. We have all learned a great deal from it. I loved my sister so very much and I will always miss her and regret that she isn't here. I will still have bad days, but I will no longer blame you for them.
Please forgive me for hating you all these years. Let's both move on with our lives and never look back with hate again.
Mr. Battle, I wish for you a life of happiness, love, laughter and many blessings. Take good care of yourself and if you haven't yet, forgive yourself too and live life to the fullest. My sister would want it that way and so do I now.
Have a wonderful life.