As a fan of the show ER from the very first episode, I was of course glued to the TV for the finale. If you were one of the many who tuned in for the last episode, you were more than likely touched by the scene between the elderly couple who had known each other since first grade. The tenderness of the scene where the husband asks the emergency room doctor to do something, to do more, brought tears to my eyes.
However, what made the tears flow down my cheeks was the scene of the daughter telling the emergency room nurse that she couldn’t remember why she was estranged from her mom and that of course “now it really doesn’t matter because she’s dying.” What this scene was conveying in a very poignant way is to treat everyone like it is their last day with you.
I thought about arguments and disagreements that I have had with my own mother over the years. Many times, it was for silly reasons; other times, not so. With my anger and hurt would come resentment and occasionally short periods where I would not call or visit. Thankfully, I always came to realize that I was wrong—not wrong in the sense of the argument, but wrong in my actions. I can’t imagine how horrible and guilty I would have felt if something had happened to her during a period when we were not speaking. Somehow, I learned to forgive her.
Forgiveness is the key to moving forward with any relationship, especially with our parents. It’s the only way I was able resolve my anger and resentment for real or imagined slights over the years. True forgiveness requires honesty, not only about a situation or another person, but also about yourself. Forgiveness is not always easy, but it always leads to healing.