A middle-aged woman presents to the counselor's office seeking help with forgiveness.
|Petite, slightly plump, Alice Holmes, a 37-year-old, public school teacher sat in the luxuriously furnished offices of Imelda Ramos, licensed professional counselor. She completed the "tell me about yourself" paperwork with ease. If there was anything a school teacher was good at it, it was filling out paperwork. If only she was as accomplished at forgiving deceased relatives.
Alice had been close to her dad growing up, a daddy's girl in fact. He'd died unexpectedly when she was twenty and Alice had mourned for him, but after meeting and marrying, Trey, a wonderful helpmate and provider she'd become increasingly angry and disappointed with her father.
Alice turned to page two of the form, social history:
Alcoholism, check. Dear old dad seemed to be able to quit drinking when he wanted to, but there was the incident when he ran over the mailbox at the post office and passed out at their neighborhood convenience store. Not sure if he was an alcoholic, but he was definitely a mean drunk, Alice recalled.
Violence, check. Not directed at her so much, but she could remember her and her brothers having to vacate their home and stay in a motel when Dad was drunk and on the warpath. She'd watched him strike Mom on more than one occasion.
She also remembered the time when he planned to go back to the bar and shoot someone who had insulted him. She'd been about ten at the time and pleaded with her dad not to retaliate, pointing out that he'd be of no use to anyone in prison.
There was that other incident when he pulled a gun on her brothers at the Marriot. An old family friend, a traveling salesman, was in town. He treated her family to the use of the hotel pool. The relationship between the salesman and her mom seemed innocent to twelve-year-old Alice, but her dad took offense and brandished his weapon.
Food, clothing and shelter, Not really a problem. Thanks to mom they'd always gotten by, but Alice and her brothers figured out early that school clothes came easier when they acquired jobs during the summer and after school.
Dad occasionally threw a hundred-dollar bill my way, but that was just to upset Mom. Alice remembered, thinking she'd hit the jackpot only to have her mother explain that they needed the money for the electricity bill. Alice relented, but a couple of new dresses were a whole lot more appealing to a thirteen-year-old than some boring, old electricity bill.
Alice returned the completed form to the receptionist and looked forward to hearing how her new counselor was going to help her forgive her father.
To be continued....