I attempted to go to bed early but ended up watching Amish Grace about the man who killed the little girls in the Amish community while they were at school. This was a man they seen every day and trusted. He was so consumed in grief, anger and bitterness over the death of his daughter that he became someone he wasn’t. He planned and set in motion six days prior to murder these little girls in the name of righteous anger. In the bitterness and anger that took over him he believed that it was his right for revenge and to do horrible things to innocent people because of the death of his daughter.

Did he have the right to hate God and not forgive him or the doctors who couldn’t save his daughter?

Maybe or maybe not. No one has the right to tell another person how to grieve the loss of a loved one, or how to learn to live with a tragedy that has turned their  life around, but no one has the right to make others pay for something they are not responsible for or have no control over.

He let his anger consume his heart so much that there was just no room for love. I call that Cancer of the Soul.  One of the sad things about this event was that his wife and children paid for his sins, guilt by association. She had no idea that the man who came home and played with their children, kissed her, ate dinner and slept in her bed, was planning a cold-blooded calculated murder, but they paid the price.

People forget you only know a person as much as they allow you too. People are different in different situations in their lives based on beliefs, based on upbringing, based on things from their past that have molded them into the person they are today but most of all based on who they are inside their soul.

I know people say they are the same all the time, but that is impossible, you are different in every aspect of your life. Every person brings out something different in you. If you say that is not true, that you are the same person all the time, then you speak an untruth. You are not the same with your parents as you are with coworkers, you are not the same with coworkers as you are with your boss, and you are not the same with your children as you are with your spouse. You may stay true to who you are and your beliefs, but we are very complex beings that many roles and factors play in making us the person that we are.

One of the most saddest things that I witnessed in this movie was the wife of this man who did this act was so filled with “guilt” for something she didn’t do or have any control over that she tried to pay for this act by helping the Amish and for paying for the crime of her husband. It was the most beautiful act of kindness toward another human being to watch the Amish community embrace her and her children in her time of grief and sorrow.  When she was burying her husband they even came to stand by her side to wrap and surround her with love, support and compassion.

I find it ironic, that as difficult as it is for me to wrap my head around the hatred I have witnessed in this world, I had just as much difficulty wrapping my head around that much love.

There was one part where the mother of one child who was murdered was angry at her husband because of his faith he chose to forgive the man for killing his daughter. She screamed at him how he could he dishonor their daughter by doing this.

He said forgiveness of the person was not for the person but for himself. He said it is not his right to punish a person for their wrongs, that responsibility laid elsewhere. He said that the act of forgiving is for the person who is forgiving, so that they may empty their hearts of hatred and anger and move forward with their lives.

I have always been criticized by people in my life that know what I have gone through, for being able to forgive and move forward. You never forget, it changes who you are, but I don’t choose to make myself or others pay for actions that were not of their own doing or that I had no control over. We are only responsible for our own actions and ourselves.

I tell the people in my life who are upset at me that  it is my choice to give people the benefit of the doubt for what they do, and to forgive those who have hurt me, and move forward. Some of these people remain in my life and some don’t.

If you hold on to every hurt someone has done to you or every wrong you feel you have been done or every little thing you think you are right over or better than, then your heart and soul becomes consumed with bitterness and anger, that there is no room in your heart for love, forgiveness or compassion.

This is not about religion this is about the core of your being and how you choose to live your life.

I refuse to live a life of

black or white,

hate or love,

anger or forgiveness,

truth or assumptions,

Judge or not judge

I live my life in the grey shadows, where forgiveness if offered, benefits of doubts are given, people are responsible for what they do, people are accountable for their own actions and decisions based on asking questions, seeking out the truth and going with your heart and gut on making decisions about things. I ask for forgiveness, I own my mistakes and wrong doings, I try to correct what I can and work on doing better the next time.

I have been made fun of for being naïve or simple in my way of thinking, believe me what I have been through in my “real” life has left me anything but naïve of the cruelties of the world.

I just choose to look for the good in people, I choose to forgive and ask for forgiveness and move forward, I believe in second chances and I also believe there comes a time when you can only do so much and you remove yourself from the situation or people who do not allow you to be who you are, who you need to be or who you want to be.

There have been times in my life that I have lived in fear due to the actions of others and hid from them and inside myself in order to survive.  This month in 1980 I stopped to purchase gas in the middle of the day one mile from my work. I was struggling to make the pump work and finally managed to get it to begin to pump. A man came up to me and placed his hand on my arm and only said one word. Come.  I turned and smiled and said Oh I got it working thank you! He tightened his grip to the point that it was painful and growled come. When I turned to tell him that it was really ok, the look on his face stopped my words. In a panic I turned to run only to be stopped by a man who had come up on the other side. I was born deaf and after medical miracles I have minimal hearing in my left ear. In my panic and fear I tried to climb over my truck, to get away, instead of trying to run pass them.  In my upbringing of children are seen and not heard and afraid to speak out when hurt, I couldn’t scream loud.  The pumps were set up where the people in the store couldn’t see me, they dragged me to the back of my truck to where a white pickup with other men in it sat waiting. I began to fight harder, but let me tell you, you can prepare and say you would do this or that, but evil people prepare for what they have planned and the element of surprise is how they win.

My guardian angel that day ended up having a busted radiator hose and needed water and the first gas station he seen. To be honest I am unable to share the rest partly because I don’t remember and partly because I can’t. I ended up wearing bruises that showed the perfect handprints of these men on my arms for weeks upon weeks. I scrubbed myself till I bled trying to remove them.

I listened to people preach at me telling me, WELL I WOULD OF DONE THIS. I WOULD OF DONE THAT, blah blah blah, you have no idea how you would react in ANY situation in your life until you are there. I watched my husband live with guilt because he wasn’t there to protect me. I listened to ignorant people place the blame on him because I shouldn’t have been there. It was one of the most difficult times of our lives.

Two weeks later I received a phone call. After pages and pages of pictures of men and trucks and a line up. Two of the men were caught. The charges against them for what they had done to me were never brought to court; you see I was a backup plan just in case. These men had abducted, raped, and brutally murdered another woman two hours after the incident with me.

I became so consumed with fear that I sold my truck, so they couldn’t find me. I stopped going places by myself. I blamed myself for that woman’s murder; I blamed myself for their actions.  I let that one incident consume me so much that I was no longer me.

You are the person you are because of things that happen in your life the good and the bad, you are the person you are because of your choices and decisions on how you allow things to affect you.

One day I decided that I was no longer going to live in fear, and I was no longer going to hide and pretend to be someone I am not. I took charge of my life  and accountability of the things I am responsible for in my life.  That is how I choose to  live my life.

I hold people and myself accountable and responsible for our own actions not the actions of others.

I forgive those who have hurt me because I look at the intent in which the act was done, not the act itself.

I ask for forgiveness when I have wronged someone and sometimes when I am not in the wrong, because sometimes that person is more important to me than the fact of being right.

I refuse to live my life in fear of people, if I have the ability to remove them from my life, I do.

I refuse to hide and change my identity when I have done nothing wrong.

I stand up for what I believe in and what I think is right. I have nothing to hide and I have nothing to fear.

I refused to be blamed for things that were beyond my control and refused to allow my husband to pay the price.

It saddens me that society has come to the point they are so self-righteous and so self-consumed that their whole world revolves around a three foot diameter surrounding them.

Maybe I am wrong in how I feel, but I would rather focus on the positive things in life, and in people than be consumed by the negative things.

I live my life simple.

Give forgiveness and benefits of the doubt and ask for forgiveness and benefits of doubts.

I believe in God, but I am not a person of religion. I believe in love, compassion, kindness, understanding, forgiveness and faith.

I am so thankful that I am on the last part of my journey called life.

I am thankful that I come from a generation of the simple life.

After watching that story last night, I wish I had been born Amish.

To be able to have that type of love for your fellow-man, was one of the most beautiful things I have ever had the honor of witnessing.

You can only hold so much in your hearts fill it with something worth having.

Dedicated to My Guardian Angel May you rest in peace.

Dedicated to the one that I failed to save that day, may you rest in peace.

A willingness to forego vengeance does not undo the tragedy or pardon the wrong, but rather constitutes a first step toward a future that is more hopeful.