Today wasn't such an easy day. I had to be interviewed by a man that I once swore I would never forgive.
It was around May of 2003. My brother had just left for Manila after a series of gigs in the US with Lani Misalucha, and after visiting me in Mission Viejo (Rob and I were living in a small apartment here to be closer to his mother who was at the time undergoing medical treatment). He was on the same flight as a journalist that had come from a junket in LA, and the conversation in flight turned to Rob's mother's condition. Under the supposed veil of discretion, my brother disclosed the details of what's been going on. Not long after, in the papers, those very same details were revealed at a time when neither Rob nor I could take any more emotional strain on our collective plate. We were both, needless to say, very very angry. I wrote a letter to the editor of the said paper expressing my distaste for what this writer wrote.
Three years... three years I refused to invite him to my press conferences and concerts... three years I didn't want to appear in any write-up to be written by him. My skin would literally crawl when I'd hear his name or see his face, as any mention, breath or memory of him would just remind me of what we went through before her passing... it would remind me of the river of tears the family cried... the many sleepless nights in the hospital... hearing bad news get worse. I hardened my heart to this man, and swore to never have anything to do with him. Forgiveness was the last thing on my mind. Until a few weeks ago.
Through another person, a request came in... this writer wanted to do an interview. When I saw the text that contained the query I felt all those emotions rise up inside me, as if it all happened yesterday. It took a great deal of thinking and consultation before I agreed to do it. I also asked a journalist friend to let him know exactly what I was feeling (I don't know how the conversation went). Finally, I agreed, and we met up for lunch today. I did ask for some moral support though, so my mom and a couple of recording company exec friends went along with me. I appreciated that.
I had to make the decision to forgive him... I wouldn't have been able to do that interview otherwise.
To forgive someone is not an easy thing to do. This particular instance was especially difficult, in that a woman who was unable to defend or speak up for herself was being written about in an unflattering, unsavory light. She was, as far as I was concerned, a member of my family... she did not deserve to be treated this way.
However, to forgive someone is to reach a certain state of grace... it is to ascend to a height that isn't of a human plane. It's to find it in one's heart to feel the pain once again but make the decision to move forward from it, and absolve the person responsible for causing the strife. I never ever received an apology for this, but I choose to forgive anyway. To hold on to the hurt is not worth the effort. Not anymore. It takes up way too much energy now to be angry.
Rob's mother was one of the most beautiful, generous, and kind people I ever had the good fortune to meet, and I'm sure she would have let this go far sooner than I did. She was a lady that exuded class and grace, and did everything in life with a smile. She lived her life to the fullest, with no regrets, no looking back. Her life is a legacy that we shall pass down to our daughter who will carry her name, and hopefully carry some of that grace too.