Brody: Reflecting on unfinished business

My best friend wanted it to be over.

Her cancer had returned for the third time, and she was in pain.

She lingered day after day after day. She asked, “Why can’t I just go?”

I was sad for her. I called my son-in-law Steve who is a minister in Colorado. After telling him about the situation, he surprised me. He said maybe she had unfinished business.

After gently telling her about the possibility of making something wrong in her life right, and after she reviewed her memories, she told me about badly hurting the feelings of a woman who had just moved to Winchester several years ago. She said her words probably made her feel unwelcome in Winchester.

My friend contacted this lady, apologized to her and meant it.

Two days later, my best friend went home.

Well, lately, for some reason, I’ve been thinking about this unfinished business.

I began sifting through things I’ve said and done which could hurt someone, and for some reason, I don’t think I’ve ever made them right. I didn’t apologize.

There weren’t many because each one involved someone I dearly loved, but I felt the strong need to right those wrongs.

The first one I did to my Daddy. I must have been about 4 years old. My Daddy traveled Mondays through Fridays, and when Friday night came, I couldn’t leave him alone. The trouble was, he was exhausted and laid on the bed to read.

I remember hopping on that bed, and I started doing somersaults.

Daddy asked me to stop; he was tired.

I did not stop.

There was this floor lamp behind the bed.

When I ignored Daddy’s third request to be still, and I did another somersault, my foot hit the lamp, broke the glass and showered the broken glass down on to his head.

Blood went everywhere.

Daddy yelled.

So did I.

He had to go to the hospital for stitches. He never lost his temper with the brat that I was, and I don’t remember saying I was sorry.

So today, to my sweet, tired Daddy, I am ashamed of myself, and I’m sorry.

Secondly, I didn’t cut her head, but I did something disrespectful to her, and this time I was old enough to know better.

My mother was a beautiful seamstress, and I was so proud of the clothes she made for me. So, at the all-girls high school I attended, I heard about a girl who couldn’t go to the first formal dance. I went to this girl and asked why she couldn’t go. Tearfully she told me her dad lost his job and her mom was ill and there just wasn’t any money for a long dress.

Do you know what I told that girl? I told her my mother would gladly make her a beautiful long dress and she wouldn’t charge anything.

Bless my dear mother. When I told her what I had committed her to do, she not only said she would do it, but my mother bought the pattern, the material, the shoes to match and I don’t know how many hours she sat fitting this girl and sewing this dress.

Now, I was probably 14 years old. I should have never made such a commitment for my mother, but how could I ever tell her how proud I was of her. I didn’t even try. Can you imagine how selfish I must have been?

I believe taking someone for granted like that is a sin. So, Mother, I want you to know how much I love you for doing that. I thank you, and I’m sorry.

Thirdly, I have two brothers, Bill and Jim, both younger than I.

Ever since I started writing and publishing I would admit to doing stupid things, I mean the kind of things most people would never admit.

And whenever I did this, both brothers were unhappy with me. Sometimes I told crazy family things, and then they were more unhappy and ashamed of me. They also called me to tell me so.

I heard them complain, but I laughed at it. I’m sorry. Forgive me for being so insensitive.

So, there are many ways we say things and do things and forget to listen with our heart, all of which can hurt others. I believe most of the time we aren’t even aware of it.

Being rude or mean to another person or even to an animal is unacceptable in God’s eyes.

When I get into bed at night, I pour my concerns out to my Heavenly Father. Then I ask for His guidance. Do I listen and follow His direction?

Many times when I feel safe and comfortable enough my eyelids close, and I fall into a peaceful slumber.

Who knows if cleaning up unfinished business on earth should be addressed? However, trying to “right” our lives can’t be a bad thing? Can it?

The view from the mountain is wondrous.

Jean Brody is a passionate animal lover and mother. She previously lived in Winchester, but now resides in Littleton, Colorado. Her column has appeared in the Sun for more than 25 years.