Forgiveness changes everything.
Relationships with one's parents are always fraught with mixed feelings - love which frequently leads to disappointment and then resentment. Parents frequently frustrate their children with their best of intentions. In their own insecurity, they could become overly controlling, or while struggling with their own marital issues, they might neglect how their children feel. Some parents cannot control their own emotions when disciplining their children, and exceed reasonable punishment. Because we yearn so much for a fulfilling relationship with our parents, these expectations are more easily disappointed, and hurt more deeply when this happens.
Yet I recently realized that forgiving our parents for being human - weak, imperfect beings - helps me to appreciate them more for the good they have done, for trying their best, even if things don't always work out the way they would like to be. Suddenly, everything looks different. The offenses and lapses appear understandable, and the happy moments are refreshed and new again. All of a sudden, I am struck by the beauty of their love.
On this side of heaven, this is the closest one can get to agape love. Thanks Papa, and thanks Mama. I mean it. Thank you for working so hard your whole life to help me with mine.