From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

October 8

As everything unraveled on our 25-year marriage, I felt huge relief that our only child was 20 by that time. I had said to my daughter and her dad that the nature and quality of their relationship from that point on would be up to them. I would neither facili-tate nor interfere.

Just when I was congratulating myself on our having handled things in a way that left her relatively unscathed, she told me she was dreading her college graduation. “Every time you see Dad or talk about him, you cry and feel sad. It makes me not want to go through graduation.”

“I know it wasn’t easy to say that,” I managed to mutter. “It’s six months until graduation. I promise you that on that weekend, we’ll be fine.”

And we were. That’s when I knew my choice to spend time with him during the months after her sad confrontation had been worthwhile. By “practicing” being cordial and friendly, I had moved beyond the automatic response of tears. And it wasn’t long before I realized that forgiveness had crept into my heart. A teacher once said, “Forgiving may help the forgiver more than the forgiven.” She was right.

Susan Carver Williams

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