This morning, my mind has been adrift with memories from my early twenties. I was employed as a milkman. Early mornings led to short days, if only because we had already completed a full day’s work by noon. I worked on a route in a small town called Poplarville. My helper was named Robert Reid. He was an older man, but he was as strong as the day was long. Throughout our time together, I saw him perform several feats of strength. Yet, for all his strength he had a massive weakness. He was an alcoholic. I am not referring to liking to drink. He could not function without it in his system. One day as we were heading to Pearl River Community College to deliver their product we passed a cemetery. He pointed into the back corner and simply said, “One day, I will have peace. I will be laid right next to my son.” It caught me off guard because as much time as we spent together he never mentioned losing a child. He explained to me that one night he was drunk, and he decided to drive. His son sat on the front seat with him and was not wearing a seatbelt. Robert lost control of the car that night and hit a light pole, throwing his son through the windshield. His son died that night.
Throughout my years of knowing him, I had never heard this story. How he sought forgiveness for killing his child, and he never found it. One morning he ran late for work and he called me. “Kid, I am sick. I don’t think I am going to make it.” That was the last time I heard from Robert. I found out later he had vomited up his liver due to the disease that took his life. The moral of me writing this story is that once people are out of our lives, it is too late to forgive them. Forgiveness is for the living. Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath. It is not worth holding on to the anger, bitterness and hatred. While we may think that we are hurting those we refuse to forgive, the truth is that we are hurting ourselves. Forgiveness is for us, not the individuals who caused us pain. Mind how you go. God bless you all.