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The Power of Forgiveness, by Lindsay Maddox

Interestingly enough, this letter was original written and not truly intended to be given to the recipient.As fate would have it, the universe intervened and these two friends were reunited, though it was never quite the same. After the reunion, this letter was shared, in part, with the recipient. After this letter was shared, a second letter was written.

The first letter is available here on the blog. The second part of this letter, the conclusion of the story of this friendship, will only be available in the print collection when it comes out.

We will update with more information about this story before the Unsent Letters Volume One book is released. Thank you, Lindsay, for sharing your heart with us all.

Dear Amisa,

A year ago, when there was still a gaping place in my heart where you once lived, I wrote this to you:

Dear Former Best Friend (for reasons I don‘t know),

Yep, I still exist. Try as you might to forget your former life and everyone in it, I’m still here. I still think about you far more often than I’d like. For the record, I’m not crazy psycho or anything. Little things, like last night when I sang karaoke to She’s In Love With the Boy by myself instead of a part of our little duet, make you pop into my mind again. Every time you come crawling back into my thoughts, it rips open the hole in my heart I thought had healed.

It has been three years since I last heard from you. Three years ago, you were my sister-in-law, but so much more than that. You were my best friend. My confidant. Someone who cried and laughed with me and always seemed to know the perfect thing to say to make me smile. I would never in a million… no, umpteen billion years have guessed you could turn your back on me and cut me out of your life forever, without so much as a warning or explanation as to why.

I had a dream about you the other night. In my dream, you came back, and you and Derek were still divorced. At first, I was overjoyed to have my best friend back, but it didn’t take long before realization flooded my body. You had hurt me.

“I hate you!” I spat into your face.

Ever the people-pleaser, even in my dreams, I took it back immediately and simply explained the pain you had caused me. In the end, I forgave you. That forgiveness felt freeing in my dream, like a weight had been released from my heart, and it persisted even after I awoke. This feeling of reconciliation with my own pain made me want to write you, but I knew better. Many times I tried to contact you in these past years. No matter how friendly my letter was, you never responded.

When are you going to break this silence? It destroys my soul to know you’re out there and I don’t know how you are, or what’s going on in your life. What hurts me more is that I care deeply for you, and I can only assume from your actions that you feel nothing for me. It boggles my mind how you could flip the switch between, “You’re like a sister to me, Lindsay,” and, “You’re dead to me,” with seemingly no remorse.

I am mad at myself for even thinking about you anymore, wasting my precious thoughts on someone who has caused me such pain. I don’t want to think about you. I don’t want to wonder how you’re doing or if I’ll ever see you again. I hate wondering what it would be like if we did bump into one another. I wonder if you would ignore me, or run up and hug me. In case you’re wondering, I would prefer the hug. I hate this, I hate this distance. I hate thinking that you’re out there somewhere, possibly mad at me for reasons I cannot comprehend.

Please forgive me for whatever I did to cause this silence. Please know that if I said anything that made you think I was anything but supportive of you, that I didn’t mean it. And I’m not talking about you and Derek. That’s done, it’s over, you guys have moved on and I have too. Derek is my brother-in-law and I love him, but I know as well as both of you, that it takes two people to ruin a marriage. What I’m talking about here is you and me.

I accept that we’re never going to be best friends again, but can we at least be on talking terms? I am not going to disappear simply because you don’t talk to me, Amisa. I am still here, and despite my best efforts to convince myself you don’t deserve my love, I still care about you and your happiness. I know it’s painful and weird that I’m a part of your ex-family, but we’re all still here. Your name pops up in conversations, and we get sad. It’s almost like you died, Mis, only you’re still walking around, safe and sound. But to us, to me, it’s like you don’t exist. We were used to talking to you all the time, especially Mom and me. Then all of the sudden, one day, *poof* it’s all gone, you’re gone, and you left us behind without even a goodbye.

I don’t do this. I don’t think about former friends this much. Most of my former friends were idiots anyway, not worth spending the extra time thinking about. But you are not in that category. I could tell you anything, Mis. You know stuff about me that most people don’t know. I trusted you with such personal information because I trusted you, and you let me down. The last letter I have from you was mean and hurtful. I held onto it until about a year ago and then decided I had harbored that upsetting memory long enough. But deleting the email didn’t delete you out of my mind.

Though sometimes I wish it had.

I don’t hate you. I’m not even mad at you. I’m completely over all of those feelings because life is too short to live it holding resentment for people you once loved. So here I am, I’m telling you I love you and I miss you and I want to be friends, or at least friendly acquaintances with you. I hope you can somehow feel the same.

I forgive you, Amisa. I forgive you for not giving me a reason why you decided to stop talking to me all of a sudden. I forgive you because you were hurting and maybe confused, and didn’t know who to trust. I forgive you because at one time I know you loved me like a sister. I know you did. And I felt the same way.

So here’s a letter I will never send to you. I’m not certain you deserve for me to send it to you. In fact, I don’t know if you deserve my friendship after all of the hurt and pain you’ve put me through. I guess I would merely like to know why, and it kills me that I will probably never have an answer to that question.

I hope you find happiness, Amisa. I hope you have figured out what was making you so incredibly unhappy. I hope you have done some intense soul searching, that you have been brought to your knees and gradually picked yourself up. I hope you’re stronger, I hope you’re happier.

I hope you truly did consider me as close to you as a sister. I hope that wasn’t a lie, because that’s how I felt about you. I will not send this letter to you, making me vulnerable yet again, pouring my heart out to you, only for you to ignore me once more. I can’t do that to myself anymore. You need to find me when you’re ready.

I pray someday, you will.

Love,
Lindsay

~~~

Lindsay Maddox is a freelance writer, humorist, and Mommy extraordinaire. She mainly produces nonfiction articles on parenting, but recently found her true love in fiction writing. Lindsay will be published in Elements of the Soul, a Short Story Anthology in 2009. Please visit her author’s website at: http://site.lindsaymaddox.com/

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14 Responses to “The Power of Forgiveness, by Lindsay Maddox”

  1. Jennifer Wright says:

    This letter was so heartfelt. I think that there are a lot of people who can relate to this, but never do forgive.

  2. Cindy says:

    Linds,
    I have an old former friend I’d love to send this to…the circumstances are different and in some ways my former friend was even more hurtful, but I’d like to understand about what happened, to be acquaintances again instead of someone I once thought i knew.
    Great letter!
    Cin

  3. Angel says:

    That was a very powerful and heartfelt letter, Lindsay. I’m sorry your were hurt, and I do hope things eventually work out the way you need them to.

  4. Lindsay, this letter was really well-written. I’d like to know, was it cathartic to you? Because I’m the kind of person that, even when I’m furious with someone, can’t let them go if I ever loved them (romantically, as a friend, as a family member, whatever).

  5. Linda says:

    A truly terrific heartfelt letter. I hope you can mend this friendship.

  6. Thank you, all! The second part of the letter is my favorite. :)

    Nancy- Yes, it was incredibly cathartic. Not to sound hokey or anything, but I believe that the reason why we did come in contact again was because I realized through writing it that I had fully forgiven her. I don’t think our relationship would have had a chance to rekindle if we talked again before I had truly forgiven her.

  7. Jo Brielyn says:

    It takes a truly special person to love someone enough to forgive in spite of the pain she caused you, Linds. What a beautiful picture inside of your soul. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Rissa says:

    I think friends can hurt you much more than the opposite sex. You are more vulnerable to friends so when they do something like this, it hurts much, much more.

    I can’t wait to read the book to see what the second part of the letter reads.

    Good job Lindsay!

  9. sweetiepie says:

    This letter is beautiful and bittersweet.

  10. Gillian says:

    So want to know what happened next! Excellent, heartfelt letter.

  11. Laurie says:

    I have a friend I loved so much in highschool overseas.We were so close. I moved away and even though I wrote, I never got one letter in return. It hurt. I dreamed of one day finding her again. A few years ago I found her again. She seemed very reclusive, didn’t seem interested in renewing the friendship but i was really happy I found her and knew she was o.k., had a family and someone who loves her. And I know where she is now. It was a lot of work finding her, but to me it was worth it just to hear her familiar laugh over the phone and be taken back in time for a moment.

  12. Viktorya Hale says:

    Whoa – Lindsay, this brings many feelings for me. Sometimes we have to get through all these feelings to find that we have either moved on or found the dawn of something beautiful. I too pray that one day your friend sees how much you love her and how you want to always remain friends.

  13. jes b says:

    Sorry, but it seems you’re a bit too self-absorbed to take in the fact that maybe staying close to you was too painful for her to handle. Unfortunately, so many people only see one side of the coin. Maybe she needed to distance herself from you. You’re grown ups, she doesn’t OWE you anything.

    My best friend and I have been besties since we were 12 years old. We’re now 49. Through the years, for a variety of reasons, we have drifted apart and back together again countless times. The wonderful thing is, when we come back together, it’s like we never missed a step. I love her, I know she loves me, and we both know that we are here for each other no matter what, no matter how long.

    At one point, she was going through a very painful divorce with my husband’s brother. She couldn’t handle the pain of being around her ex, his brother and the rest of the family. Unfortunately, I was a part of that family. Two years later, when she was stronger and had gained the perspective of distance, we picked our friendship right back up where we’d left it. In the interim, I did my best to understand her needs, after all, she was the injured party. Sure I was sad, I felt terrible for her and missed her very much, but it never once occurred to me that it was all about ME. It never crossed my mind to stamp my feet, demand explanations, or not love her enough to give her what she needed.

  14. So sweet! written in such a way that you said what is in my heart for my lover..i think mostly people all around worl would cam across..these incidends when the love to someone…..thanks….

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