*Not his real name
When we recently traveled to Oregon, Fabulous Husband and I dropped in at the local clinic and visited with someone who had an important role in my life at one time. He was in a room with other chemotherapy patients receiving treatment.
It had been five years since we last saw each other. He did not like that I had adopted a child. He did not like that I had met a man online who was coming from Pennsylvania to Oregon to meet the rest of my family. He disowned me as a family member and did not want his wife to have any contact with me.
As we entered the room, I didn't recognize *Vernon at first. I saw a man with a hat similar to the one he used to wear and thought that was him. Fabulous Husband pointed to another man. How did he know that was Vernon when he had never met the man before is beyond me. I did not expect seeing Vernon again would bring up so many past experiences and emotions. It was hard to believe this person actually had power to make me feel inept, unwanted and unaccepted for who I was and the choices I had made for my life.
It took him a moment to recognize me. Fabulous husband stood beside me. Have I mentioned how wise he is? We had discussed the moment I would be seeing this particular person and my hesitation to go visit. Fabulous Husband kindly stated, "This time it will be different. You have me now."
There was comfort in knowing that we were not alone in the room. There were other patients with family and friends lounging and visiting. Vernon was always on his best behavior when out in public.
I introduced him to Fabulous Husband. It didn't take long before Vernon asked me, "Are you hearing better these days?"
"What?" I asked, unsure if I saw his question correctly.
He did actually ask that in front of a roomful of people. Twice.
"No. I'm deaf now."
He looked at Fabulous Husband and asked, "How do you put up with that?"
I looked at Fabulous Husband, who did not say a word, but turned and looked at me with compassion, gentleness and love.
He loves. Patiently. Kindly. Truly. Sincerely.
What Fabulous Husband said before we traveled to Oregon was true. It WAS different. It was different simply because of his love.
I saw this posted on FaceBook recently. It speaks volumes to me. I wish the words on the picture were larger so it could be read more easily. It simply says:
"Forgiveness does not always lead to a healed relationship. Some people just aren't capable of love and can be toxic to our lives. Sometimes we have to set up boundaries to protect ourselves. Wish them well, pray for them, and take care of yourself."