It was such a small thing and so long ago. A perceived slight three decades back when we were both young. No doubt he had forgotten it; indeed he probably never intended or knew the hurt he had caused. Our paths had followed different directions and we had not seen each other since. And yet, over all these years the incident had perched at the back of my memory, ready to be relived.
Then recently, at the celebration of the life of a dear friend, I saw him across the hall. I hesitated. Should I greet him? Would the snub be repeated?
I listened to the tributes to the friend we were honoring: his generous spirit, his sense of humor, his clarity of conviction but his lack of judgment of others.
The service ended and we gathered for refreshments. The person in question was standing alone for a moment. I thought, “Why continue to harbor this childish feeling of wounded pride?” I approached him with an outstretched hand, “Your son sang well today,” I said. He responded with genuine warmth and gratitude. “Thank you for speaking,” he said. “It has been so long since we saw each other.” We chatted briefly about our lives and our families. “Thank you for speaking,” he repeated as we parted.
It was so simple, so natural. There was no need for explanation.
What better way to honor the life of a friend than to bury an old resentment and never think of it again? It was a glorious day, a blue sky and a gentle breeze. Spring has come early this year. It’s a season for letting go.