Its a weekend. My niece is getting married. My brother’s daughter. I am really happy for her. Her future husband is a sweet guy. He seems committed to loving her like Christ loves the church. I am thankful for that. Some family is here. My younger sister and her two girls. My mom and dad. I am happy to see them as they can’t really travel much due to health. They live about 7 hours away. Of course, all I can think of is that its the right time. Face to face amends.
I replay this conversation over and over in my head. Amends with my Mother. Sometimes it turns out well, sometimes not so well. I am truly torn with this one. I leaned into step 8. I made my list and truly became willing to make amends. Only, now faced with it, I feel those resentments from my 4th step rising up in me and impacting my willingness and want to follow through. I feel this trying to be about more than me repenting and paying for my actions.
I wish I could do them at the same time. Make amends with my parents. My father isn’t in great health. His cognitive abilities right now are very limited. Truly making amends with him isn’t possible right now. I know that this will happen if and when God allows it. Doing so with my Mother only, I am struggling with my attitude. With the true motivation in taking this step with her.
We for some reason have some time alone together during the weekend. She asked me to take her to look at an independent living facility for her and my father. She has reached the point where she can’t really take care of him by herself anymore. Thankfully she is starting to realize that.
So we drove there alone together. We made small talk about the upcoming wedding, about how much Dad is struggling. About how much of a toll this has on her. I felt my resentment rising up at how I knew she would make this, like everything else, about her. Only this time I let go of that and gave it to my God. Just like he designed me to…to let go and let him handle those issues. They weren’t mine. My issue now was to make amends with my Mother. To be specific with her about why I needed to make amends.
So I did. I explained to her that I was in recovery. I asked her if she knew what that was. She didn’t so I tried to walk her through what a 12 step program was and why I was in this one. She knew the basics, she didn’t want too many of the details, and honestly I didn’t feel too safe in going into too much detail. But I told her what she needed to know. I talked about each of the 12 steps, that I was on step 9 and what that meant. She tried to just say that it didn’t matter and there was nothing to forgive. I was very tempted to just accept that. But I couldn’t. She and my father were on my list for a reason.
I let her know that I was sorry for how I had manipulated her and Dad for my own benefit. How I had lied to them both to meet my selfish needs. How I felt guilt over the impact that my separation from God and my family had on her and Dad. I asked how my behavior had impacted her. She was honest but very kind. She told me that she was broken, like me. That I didn’t have the only story that included sin and guilt. She forgave me. And she restored me to being her son.
For that action, I will be forever thankful and always proud to call her my Mom.