Life is Good - Sample Chapter

I’m very sorry to report that my Jolly girl killed one of my wonderful next-door neighbor’s chickens today.

Apparently, Stewy and Biscuit, roosters-at-large, did not count on Jolly when they were making their plans on how to best protect their girls.

Eme’s mother told me this upsetting news, knowing it was important that I know, but nine-year-old Eme begged her mom not to tell me because even though she was upset, she said she “still loves Jolly . . .”

Recently I had a conversation with a teenager I know. She told me the story of her life, confiding in me some of her struggles as well as those of her family.

Among other things, as a young girl, she had to care for her younger siblings because her very young mother wasn’t ready to be a parent. Then her father married a woman with children of her own, and he became so involved with them, he unwittingly neglected his own. She told me how she’d overcome some unimaginable heartaches, then added, “I will never hate my parents for what they did to me, I can’t.”

These two experiences came to me on the same day, and due to their juxtaposition, I found myself thinking about forgiveness and how it can be such a complicated business.

The nine-year-old, much as she grieved for her chicken, still saw the goodness in the dog that killed it and loved the dog in spite of her loss.

The seventeen-year-old I know who, after having an extremely difficult childhood, is still able to look at her very flawed parents and say, “I will never hate you for what you did to me.”

It makes me wonder about the power and flexibility of forgiveness. And about our ability to forgive, if not forget. Why are some people able to forgive heinous crimes? Why are others not able to forgive minimal things? I don’t have the answers to these and so many of life’s other persistent questions, but I suspect that in the end, it all comes down to love.

For whatever the reason is, I am grateful that there are so many people in this world who can forgive generously. It makes the world a much better place to be!