Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dear Tony and Forgiveness Part 2

Forgiveness is not quick and easy. It sometimes is a life long journey. The journey changes but the need to forgive is always there. When someone hurts you, you will often need to forgive him or her every day for years.

My biological father left before I was born. He slept with my mom, found out she was pregnant and left. My mom was fine with that and didn’t want to deal with him anyways. He never found me. If he tried, he obviously failed. Then he was shot in Athens, GA when I was 8. I found this all out my senior year of high school after the letter was written.

As you can imagine, I had the stereotype of the deadbeat black man stuck in my head. You know the one you see in the media (music videos, Movies, literature)? I was mad at him for living, and for dying (I assumed that his death had to do with him being bad and black in a big city). I was mad at him for making me look different from everyone I knew (I now cherish these differences and love that I am not the same as everyone else).

From learning more about him, I have found that he did search and that he wasn’t a bad man. I learned that he liked sex and has kids from various mothers. However, he owned restaurants and was loved by many. The story goes that he was shot because of racism (sniped by the KKK because he would not back down and close his restaurants). It case is technically still an unsolved homicide.

Even after the letter, I still needed to forgive him. For the most part, I think that I have. But now there are several more people that I need to begin to forgive.  The process may be different and these other people may have hurt me in less serious ways; however, that does not make forgiving them any easier.

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