Archive for July, 2012



Forgiveness is something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. I’m often slow to do it. I think I like to stew in my own agony for a while before I get bored with it and decide to give it up.

I wanted to write some deep thoughts about forgiveness: How we get it, how we find it in our hearts to give it, and what happens when we do. “Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves,” someone once said, and if you do it right, that is absolutely true. But you have to have a willing heart. And it’s not the same as forgetting, because you can’t make yourself forget a wrong, but you can find it in yourself to forgive it and move ahead.

“We all need tougher outsides and softer insides,” Mr Lettman used to say, or words to that effect. He’s right. We all do dumb things. People say and do things that hurt us, and probably most the time didn’t have a clue that they did it. I don’t believe others are out to do us harm, but sometimes it seems like it happens too often. Forgiveness smooths that road. So would an anvil to the head (mine or theirs) but that’s hard to arrange, so Mother Nature gave some of us really bad memory capacities, which can be healing as well. “Faux healing,” I like to call it.

Well, all those deep thoughts will have to wait, because I haven’t formulated them quite yet, and I’m also working on a physical blood and bones project, as opposed to the heart and emotion kind. After 23 years of trying to ignore a dank, dark musty room in my basement, and contemplating hiring someone to repanel the danged thing, I talked to my sister Steff, who just knows how to get home improvement things done, and who gave me fabulous advice.  I’m tearing out the ceiling and the paneling all by myself (with a hammer! Lookit me!) and will paint the basement walls when I’m done. And probably the floor, too. I’m excited about this project because I am not a do-it-yourselfer (more of a hire-it-yourselfer) but she made this sound relatively easy, and so far, so good.

Voila! I am woman.

But I digress.

While thinking about forgiveness today, I was perusing one of my favorite websites,, a brilliantly written blog about books and music that has probably cost me hundreds of dollars in books and music since I fall for his reviews every time. If I were smarter I’d figure out how to link to it, but geez, it’s just headbutler dot com, and you can figure that out for yourself. (You got here, didn’t you?)

In one of his columns he was discussing forgiveness, just at a time when I realize I need to stop being so hot headed and give someone a break. (I’m not quite at the “break” part yet, but moving toward it.) I found this lovely letter he received from one of his readers, and I hope it’s okay that I reprint it here, because that’s what I’m doing. It was so simple; so profound, and it spoke to me. I hope it will speak to you, too, when you are contemplating forgiveness.

Here goes.

“On a Saturday morning in 1987, I went to my law office to get some work done. I started down the hall to make coffee when someone stepped out of an office behind me and shot me twice in the back with a .45 caliber handgun. Both shots got me in the spine, and I’ve been in a wheelchair since. Seems like everybody in the world was offering advice as to how to live out my life. What I learned is that no one is smart enough to tell another how to live his life. By the first of the following year I was back trying cases in a wheelchair. Now retired. No frustrations, no anger or hostility. Enjoying life. Sitting more than I like, but I get good parking.”

Kinda makes my petty resentment seem like a spit in the ocean, I admit.

Still, I’m gonna hang on to it through the weekend, and then I’ll decide. It’s not as drastic as two slugs to the back, but at the moment, it feels like at least that.

So that is that. I’m going back to my hammer and water-spotted ceiling tiles that are laden with dust, rusty hardware and just once, the sad skeletal remains of a tiny mouse.

Happy weekend to you all!

The Cat Whisperer


“I was here first. It’s MY window, and I’m the one with the razor-sharp claws. Think it over, Stripey.”