Regret and forgiveness
Nowadays, the act of forgiving has become underrated. We keep the hatred in our hearts and the pride within ourselves. It is indeed pathetic. We are letting the hate in our mind engulf us. Revenge consumes our whole being.
I can’t help but get flashbacks whenever I think of regrets and hatred, because I myself had experienced these feelings.
When my grandfather was still alive, I felt contented and happy whenever I was with him. Every time I asked for something, he would give it to me. I was the only one who could make him happy. I felt like I was his favorite grandchild, the apple of his eyes. He was the doting grandfather.
Then one day, right in front of my eyes, he hurt my grandmother. I did nothing to stop him, because I was terrified to see him beating her over a misunderstanding. I never imagined that he could do such a thing, because I viewed him as an angel. But, oh boy, was I wrong.
That day passed. He became cold and rude at times. It wasn’t me anymore who could make him happy, and that broke my heart. I felt like I was not his favorite grandchild any longer. What was worse was that he became grouchy, mean and selfish.
He became a monster in my eyes. He only cared about himself. He would boss people around. And whenever he didn’t get what he wanted, he got furious. It was like I did not know him anymore. I really felt disgusted and despised him.
Then came the day he had a stroke. It was not severe, but he still needed care and sympathy. I did show pity, but I refused to take care of him, for I thought he did not deserve it.
He changed after being weakened by the stroke. He got softer in his ways and words. He was less bossy. Still, despite that, I did not get swayed with his little act.
He had a second stroke, but this time it was severe. He was transported to a more expensive hospital. I would visit him from time to time, but I still refused to take care of him. He was getting better, so they sent him home while he was still recovering. I had moments when I pitied his condition. But hatred still consumed me.
Not too long after, he was hurriedly sent again to the hospital. He was having trouble breathing, and we were told he might not make it this time. No words came out of my lips. My vision was blurred, and the next thing I knew, tears were falling.
Hours ticked by, and then they delivered the news: He was gone. My heart ached, my mind felt empty, my tears fell nonstop, because I knew I had lost him for good. I wanted him to be alive again. I wanted him to hear my last “sorry” to him, and to tell him how much he meant to me. But it was too late. He was gone. Forever.
A year has passed since his death, but he didn’t die here in my heart. I was blinded by hatred and didn’t notice that my longing for him was so much stronger than the hate.
I regret everything I have done. However, I have forgiven myself, because if he were here, he would also do the same thing. I will certainly forever wish that I was there when he took his last breath.
Living with such bitterness will only make life nothing but miserable. The act of forgiving bloomed in me quite late. Time and understanding healed the wounds.
Perhaps if I understood him during his remaining days, I would not have regretted the past. I should have cared for him, instead of abandoning him to his pitiful and helpless state.
Truly, love rules the world. Forgiveness, understanding, compassion and acceptance need to prevail in order for the human soul to glow, and be the best it can.
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Sophia Mariz Antonio, 13, is a Grade 8 student at Saint Michael School.
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