I just want to thank you for today’s Small Group Reading. You are a lovely person, inside and out, and my time with you today was nothing less than profound. I can’t stop thinking about it.

I came with a friend who in the last three years has lost both her mother and her father. Her mother was one of my dearest friends in the entire world and came through loud and clear today. It was so lovely and exactly what we both needed! And then to hear from my dad who died 33 years ago was amazing. His personality shown through and there is no way you could have known some of the things you shared. But then to hear from my former in-laws was mind blowing. I’d like to explain a little if I may.

I was married to their son for over 20 years. He’s a very limited person and our marriage was very difficult; he has also failed pretty miserably as a parent to our kids. I tried to stay in the relationship for as many years as I could, but finally could take no more. His father was a raging alcoholic until my ex was 14 and his mother was, by necessity, an absentee parent trying to provide for seven children while dealing with a spouse that drank up his whole paycheck every week. They both died in the two years before we were married — his mother just three months before.

For the last 29 years I’ve repeatedly talked to them — and not always very nicely — but the gist of most of my conversations has been, “You were very nice people, and I know you did the best you could, but you really dropped the ball in raising your son.” So to have them both come through today and apologize to me and to “own” their failures as parents was humbling.

I’ve never hated them – I only knew them at the end of their lives when they had confronted their demons and were dying of cancer and were gentle people brought low by life. I loved them. But I have been very angry with them through the years because of the negative impact they had on their son and — indirectly — on me and my children as a result . So, thank you being an instrument. I didn’t even think about the possibility of them coming through today, yet, I feel so much more at peace after hearing from them.

Thank you for listening to your Grandma and honoring your gift by sharing it with others in the loving way you do.

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