“I Loved Him, Too”
In response to an article I wrote for USA Weekend magazine about how it's never too late to make amends, Hugs and Cuddles wrote:
"Thirty-nine years ago, my fiancé drowned. I'd been very close to his parents, especially his mother. The minister had told them to take a vacation away from home, and I thought it strange that they didn't talk to me before leaving. I was told they no longer wanted to see me, that my presence, at church and in their home, would be too painful for them. I was also told I wasn't good enough for their son, which is why God took him away! Not wanting to cause them more pain than losing their son, I moved away without another word to them.
"At 58, I made a trip back to my hometown this past summer for a class reunion and decided to relocate there. My dead fiance's mother is now in a care center. Once I worked up the courage to do so, I visited her. The immediate response of hugs and tears proved to me that she never told me to stay away! Her love, gentleness, kindness and acceptance of me, all these years later, have healed so many old wounds!"
Have you ever avoided seeing someone because you were afraid that your presence would spark painful memories in them? I did. After my Aunt Fern was institutionalized with schizophrenia in 1995, my entire family avoided seeing her for nearly 14 years because her doctor had allegedly said that our visits could deepen her depression. In light of Hug and Cuddle's story and the joy that accompanied my reunion with Fern (see "A Place for Me to Visit Her"), would you reconsider your fears about hurting that someone in your life? Why or why not?