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Forgiving myself

Sacred Sorrows welcomes Roberta Bazaldua back to our lineup of guest writers. Roberta fills her days servicing the marriage preparation pastoral needs of parishioners at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Phoenix, Arizona. She is also privileged to serve in many ministries within the Diocese, but is especially drawn to serve families and women. Roberta is the proud grandmother of 10 grandchildren, including Erin, her eldest granddaughter, who was received into heaven August 3, 2020.

I wash my dishes and watch the world go by outside my window. Almost every single time I soap up a dish, I think about how my granddaughter Erin, for the life of her, could not (or would not?) wash the dishes right. There was always left over food stuck to a fork or lipstick left on the side of a cup. The frying pan had oily spots still in it and there always seemed to be some crumbly something stuck on the underside of a plate. She just could not get all the dishes clean. I would get so frustrated that I remember saying to her once that I was going to bring my own plates and silverware with me to her house because I couldn't trust her to have clean dishes. Now I don't understand why it was such a big deal.

I was hard on her. She was my eldest granddaughter and I wanted her to live up to her full potential. Erin was bright and hilarious but she didn't always have a lot of common sense (what teenager does?). We used to say to her, "Oh Erin, you're so pretty." I would be critical of what she was wearing or what a disaster her room was. And her hair! She had long beautiful hair that she wore up in a bun shaped like a giant croissant on the top of her head. I hated seeing that thing. I once paid her $20 if she could go a month without putting her hair up on her head. She made that month, took the money and put her hair back up in the croissant again. Now I would do anything to see that dang bun on her head and spend the night in her room surrounded by the disaster that was all hers.

It seems since she died, I've remembered every single critical thing I've ever said to her. I'm sure I hurt her feelings so many times and she just kept loving me. How I wish I could take it all back. I've beaten myself up remembering the ways I wasn't the best Gramma to her when I should hold dear in my heart all the memories that are proof that I loved her with everything I had. I know I'm not alone in feeling like this. I know I'm not the only one who wants a do over. I know I'm not the only grandmother who wants just one more moment with their grandchild.

I try hard to be a faithful and loving Gramma. As I learn to forgive myself I know I will be an even better Gramma to my surviving grandchildren. And of this I am absolutely sure - my sweet Erin, has already forgiven me.

Roberta Bazaldua will be the featured speaker at a luncheon sponsored by Magnificat, A Ministry to Catholic Women, this coming Saturday, March 18, 2023, at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Phoenix. For more information, Eventbrite - Magnificat Luncheon or call Esther Ramirez at 623-565-0304.

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Thank you Roberta. Every day I beg for a do-over with my son. I know he has forgiven me but the hard part is forgiving myself. I'm working on it.

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Oh Roberta, you are right. You are absolutely positively not the only one. I also was hard on my son. Even though he probably forgives me, I have a very hard time forgiving myself. Thank you for your post.

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Than you for sharing this story of your granddaughter. And thank you for the learning to forgive yourself. That is a great witness!

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