I have always recognized the the many blessings that I have in my life. I try not to let a day go by where I take notice of all of them. I have a wonderful family, our kids, while grown now, still need us and not just to help them through tough spots either. Despite being a new age family and what some may believe, we truly understand and embrace what "family" is and means.
I have an amazing sister, Kelly. My second trip to Buffalo last year was devoted to getting to know her, as well as my brothers more. We had some great moments of sharing and learning from each other how to heal, forgive and forget. We talked about not being able to change time, the years under our belt, but how learning to forgive and let go will help us all move forward. There was a bond instantly formed where Kelly and I are concerned. I knew it when it happened over lunch on a Friday afternoon, but I was convinced of it when were saying goodbye to one another at the airport. I was literally 50 yards from the car, which I thought was already homeward bound, when I saw her run to me in tears, sharing the love that she felt for me. It was one of those moments you only see on television and a moment in time that I will carry with me, forever. I truly felt like her big brother and continue to feel very connected to her.
In addition to a whole host of wonderful nieces and nephews that I am enjoying getting to know, there is a new woman in my life that I feel enough of a connection to call on as "mom," Sandy Bauth. I sent my first Mother's Day card in 25 years this year to thank her for her strength and for supporting all of us in this new beginning. What a gift and one that I'm not sure how many women would so freely give. I hope that she knows I think she is a wonderful woman. I know that my dad loves her with all that he is as a man. She has supported us and did not squint last year when we were all reunited as a family. This was truly done out of her love for my father, as well as a step to turning the page on their own painful memories of the past.
There is no doubt that we are still learning about one another, but some of the bonds that have been created are very powerful and I know cannot be broken. I have learned over my lifetime, especially over the past year, to never take anything for granted and how to turn dreams into reality through the sheer power of believing in myself, no matter what. So, to get to this moment in time. one year later since sharing my beautiful and loving story of one family finding each other, I understand and embrace the power of forgiveness and love. For undoubtedly, while a process, it is necessary to achieve happiness and success in all things in life, especially to have that deep seeded, personal untold peace and happiness, that I now enjoy for my life. Remember that you don't forgive someone for his or her sake, you forgive them for your own sake.
I've shared a great deal today. It has helped me reflect on my love of family and life. As you think about the power of forgiveness in your own lives, I leave you with this quote by Paul Boese, "Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future."