My father left the family when I was 6 years old. My mother had to work two jobs and support my sister and me. When I first heard of forgiveness, I thought it was a nutty idea. Why would I want to say that what my father did was ok? I have to admit to feeling a kind of rage whenever the topic of forgiveness came up. How dare he leave his family? I got madder when he came around as I was about to enter college. Both my sister and I had done well. We achieved in school and were making something of ourselves. Then in waltzes my father and all is supposed to be well? Forgiveness is for those who can’t think straight—at least this is how I saw it. Once I started looking into forgiveness more, i realized that I do not say, “It’s OK,” when I forgive. I am not letting my father off the hook. I am saying that leaving the family is wrong and even so I can love him and have compassion on him. I have come to realize that his own father did the same and also had a serious problem with alcohol. My father never really had love from his father. He did not have a good role model about how to be a good father. He has to own what he did, but he is not an evil person. Yes, he is confused and hurt, but he is not a bad man. When I realized this, I was able to respond to his phone calls and even meet with him. We still have a long way to go, but my forgiving him opened the door to our reunion. He has his own work to do, too, and I am hoping he can do it and have a more stable life.