Several years ago I had a friend who had lost her husband in a terrible car accident. She loved this man, who was the father of her two daughters, and this was one of the most devastating times of her life.
She came to me for council, sympathy and words of comfort to make some sense of this horrific situation. In my stupidity and carelessness I will never forget what I said to her. “Shit happens.” My point was that sometimes in life bad things happen that cannot be explained and we must move on. Somehow, I did not get that point across and I came across like a total ass.
This so devastated my friend that she never spoke to me again and I believe it drove her further and further into despair. Of course, I went on with my life not thinking any more about it. That is, until several years later.
I remember re-uniting with a mutual friend who told me that my other friend never did get over what I said to her that day and still couldn’t stand the thought of me every time she would mention my name.
I never knew.
From that point on, it really bothered me that I was so brash, even tho’ my intentions may have been good, I totally lacked good judgement and empathy.
About a year after finding this out, I was at my townhouse one Sunday evening. I remember it like it was yesterday. I clearly heard or felt that I was to go to Barnes and Nobles. I had no idea why, I quickly got ready and went. I was of the mindset that something was stirring me inside to go, for some reason or other. I didn’t know why until I walked in the door of the bookstore.
There she was. My estranged friend and her daughter. I was like, no God – don’t make me apologize. But I immediately knew God had brought us both there to resolve this issue between us.
After walking in the opposite direction and arguing with God about having to apologize, for fear of causing a scene or being rejected, I finally gave in and made my way to the Starbucks on the other side of the store where she and her daughter had ended up. I asked her if I could speak to them and we sat down.
I began to take her back to that night when I said those things to her and apologized for my stupidity and ignorance and that I hoped she would forgive me. I said, “I’m genuinely sorry. I was so wrong for not only what I said but how I said it.”
Something happened that night, at that very moment in fact. It was as if I could literally feel something happening, stars aligning in the cosmos, and then she hugged me and said, I forgive you. It was as if all things were then, as they should be.
I stayed in contact with her after that. I could see something beautiful beginning to happen. Her life blossomed – and she was free. Free from something that had held the both of us in some weird prison of anger, bitterness and hate.
She is now one of my dearest friends and we continue to talk to this day.
I’m so grateful that I had the chance to make things right. It was worth letting go of my pride and giving up to have this beautiful soul back in my life.
She reminds me of a lovely garden, which continues to grow. And some how, I played a part.