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Glenn's Cross

Updated: Apr 5, 2020

I just want to get this out. If there is anyone out there who has ever wronged me, I forgive you. I carry no rocks in my pocket, no bricks on my shoulders, and no bitterness in my heart. In fact, if you have ever wronged me, you have helped strengthen my walk. You have helped me grow.

Today, I heard from an old family friend, Glenn. As a teenager, Glenn hung around my family, made up of a single mom and four girls. We, the four sisters, had just immigrated from Mexico. Glenn, who was crushing on my oldest sister, always helped us with chores, made us laugh, and being a Spanish-speaking gringo, helped our immersion into an intimidating, American culture. It was unfortunate when, one day, Glenn ran me over. Yes, he and one of my sisters were at the wheel of a large delivery truck, and they ran over me...twice.

Our house was literally right next door to a Mexican restaurant and tortilla-making factory, where our mother worked. Glenn also did miscellaneous work for the restaurant and had access to the delivery truck keys. Glenn came over one early evening, while my mother was at an English language class, and asked if we wanted to learn to drive. My oldest sister passed, but my two other sisters and I eagerly followed him to the restaurant back lot. While one sister took the wheel, the two-remaining played handball against the building's walls. While playing handball, I overshot and my ball rolled in front of the truck. As I ran to get the ball, I felt an urge to climb the front of the truck. The front hood angled down and was slippery. My climbing efforts failed, and I landed on the ground. Before I knew it, my head was facing a humongous, black tire. I moved up, but the tire soon rolled over my chest. Then the tire stopped. I couldn't move and screamed as I realized the tire was now going in reverse...running over me a second time. If I had known the words then, I would have screamed, "What the hell?"

In our telephone conversation today, Glenn asked, "Hey, do you remember when I ran you over?" I laughed and said, "Yes, but it wasn't you who ran me over, it was my sister Cecilia." He said, "No, it was me." I did not recall the story the same way. Glenn said, "No, it wasn't your sister, it was me. And I still cry when I think about it." I reassured Glenn, "Oh my God, you shouldn't ever cry, because I actually laugh when I remember it. It's pretty funny that someone ran me over, not once, but twice." Glenn stayed quiet for a moment, then moved on to another memory. We laughed.

It pains me to think that Glenn's tender heart has been crying over guilt. All these years, I've never held a grudge against Glenn or my sister. I had filed the memory simply as young, mischievous kids learning a hard lesson.

I wonder how many others think they've wronged me. I know I've wronged a few along the way, and I am sorry. Forgiving others and forgiving ourselves can help us stay light. And we need to be light, so that our wings can navigate through what's ahead, without being weighed down by the past. So make peace with past pains, and arm yourself with presence and lightness.

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