Last night at 9:30 pm, my boys' paternal grandfather passed away. Ronald Jorgensen is the father of their biological father. He is a military veteran, the father of five children, and grandfather to several. He has not had a relationship with any of his children, besides Ryan, who has lived with him for the past several years. Ron was 85 years old when he passed away. In recent days, Ryan had moved him to the VA Hospital, where he was cared for and without pain. Ryan believes that he passed away peacefully and without pain. Ryan was the only one with him, and returned home alone. That thought makes me sad.
Ryan and I did not have a good marriage. In fact, it was a very bad marriage. I carried a deep hatred for him for years and years. I prayed daily for all the wrong things. I prayed that he would pay his child support, that he would take responsibility for the boys, that he would do this and do that, or stop doing this or that. One day, B. Beck was talking to me about it. This has been a few years ago now. I was explaining to her my frustration, my anger, my fury. She asked me if I was praying. I explained that I was. She asked me what I was praying for and I told her. She quietly (in B. Beck fashion) told me that I needed to stop praying for those things. Rather, I needed to pray for forgiveness, for love, and that Heavenly Father would make up the difference for me and my boys. I agreed that I would do that. That night, I began. From that moment, literally, I have had zero feelings of hate. Although things have been very, very difficult, I know that Heavenly Father has made up the difference. He has blessed us with Priesthood holders to bless my children. He has blessed my children with the ability to feel the Spirit in ways that others cannot. He has blessed us with food and clothing when I had no means to purchase either. He has blessed us, literally every single step of our travels, with mortal beings to walk beside us. Every step of the way. And, he has wiped the hatred from my heart and from my Spirit.
This does not mean that I don't still get frustrated, because I do. But, I have forgiven him. I have had a changed heart. Right now, that heart of mine hurts for him and for his loss. I cannot imagine being alone at a time like this. And, he is. I pray that he will have comfort, peace, and solace as he goes about the next few months alone.
This lesson has carried over into a new relationship - one that has proven to be equally difficult. The relationship between our daughter's other parents and us is strained, to say the least. The other parents choose to use name calling and yelling as a way of communicating. It tears me up to the core. I lay awake at night wondering why. Two nights ago was one of these nights. Finally, the thought of B. Beck sitting with me in Café Rio, telling me to pray, came to my mind. I prayed immediately that I would have a forgiving and forgetting heart, that I would not think about it or let it hurt my heart. The feelings of confusion, frustration, and anger disappeared. Whenever they pop back up in my mind, I pray again. And again. And again. I pray that they will go away. I pray that I will not have them. I pray that I will let it go . And, then I do.
Today, I pray for Ryan's comfort. I pray that he will have the strength he needs to make tough decisions. I pray that he will not feel alone. I pray, also, that I will continue to have a changed heart anytime my heart is turned away from the peace and solace that the Spirit brings us when we ask.