Sparked by Words


Thou shalt forgive, because one day you will need to be forgiven – the forgotten Eleventh Commandment.

This one was written for me.

I will stop cursing you if you stop killing innocent people.

I will remember those who died as they fled. The ones chewing bubble gum, the ones in their letterman jackets, the ones wearing braces, the ones studying for a test, the ones who stuttered when answering, the ones practicing dance steps.

The ones who were always late, the ones who were always on time, the ones with new haircuts, the ones learning code, the ones who played soccer, the ones who cheered, the ones learning Spanish, the ones learning English, the ones painting in art class.

The ones who forgot their homework, the ones writing an essay, the ones practicing flute, the ones struggling with algebra, the ones struggling with verb tenses, the ones who aced chemistry, the ones who nearly graduated. Oh my God, the ones who nearly graduated.

The ones who were crying and frightened.

The ones who died as they hid.

The ones who will never be twenty.

Who will never be twenty.

I will remember their names.

I will not remember your name.

I will forgive.

But sometimes you bastards make it pretty damned hard to forgive.

We’ve all had enough.

Enough already.



In memory of the students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida


Just a thought 33


Photo courtesy

Comments on: "Forgiveness" (28)

  1. Enough already!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Obviously my heart goes out to the victims, but it’s so hard not to be angry at the vitriol being spewed in every direction on social media. For these events there are no easy fixes. We live in such a broken world. The boy who committed such a heinous act was a victim himself of a broken family, mental illness and who knows what else. If only evil was like the way it’s portrayed in super hero movies and propaganda. Then maybe we could figure out a way to abolish it. So sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you, Adrienne, in some measure. There are no absolute fixes. But easy access to guns, especially to assault rifles, must be ended. Background checks, no mail order purchases without identification, and other limitations are reasonable. No one is allowed to drive a car without getting a license, meaning they’ve learned to drive and know the rules. Owning a gun, a regular gun or hunting rifle, is an American right I defend, but it should not come without regulations. The NRA has far too much monetary influence on politicians at the cost of children’s lives, at the cost of all lives.

      I don’t think the kid who killed 17 other kids in Florida is evil as much as deeply disturbed. But 17 families shouldn’t have to pay the price for his problems. (I save the word evil for Hitler and others of his ilk.)

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Deep emotion write. Yes, we have had enough. And events like these are unforgivable..


  4. Jenna Barwin said:

    Sharon, your words remind me to feel. It’s so hard for me to read the news and feel anything. It’s too overwhelming to let the words penetrate my shell. But your words did. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for your touching comment, Jenna. I don’t see you as having a shell so much as having a delicate veil, vulnerable and gentle.

      The news is often dispassionate and it makes it hard to find the humans cowering under all the numbers, especially as news shows tend to scream at us – “Breaking news.”

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Sharon, thank you for a powerful post. You bring it home with each line, almost putting a face on each victim. Every such tragedy overwhelms us, and I’m hoping this one has finally broken through to the politicians. Maybe now something will be done. Maybe now….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love Jenna Barwin’s comment. My friend, this is why you write ( and do so very well.)


  7. Thanks for focusing in on the core of this issue–the kids whose lives were cut short. So many people seem to be using this to ride their personal hobby horse–not referring to the kids who went through it, of course, but some others who weren’t involved. And that’s okay, I guess, if they really think it may do some good, but to me, the actual victims seem to get lost in the outcry.

    I don’t think there’s any way to calculate the human cost, and no real comfort we can offer. It’s one of those times that I think that all I can really do that’s productive is to pray for them. Thanks for finding something else to offer.


    • Thank you for a thoughtful reply, Cathleen. I’ve felt for a long time that constantly broadcasting the names of those who commit atrocious, violent crimes is one of the factors that make it appealing to copy cats. We should remember the victims and do acts of goodness and mercy in their memory and names. An embracing community is probably the best support for the families, especially their own closest family and friends, but then also to know that a wider community, even of strangers, is there in some way to offer condolences. Even if it’s just a poem.


  8. In these times of anger and vengeance the calls for forgiveness sometimes fall on deaf ears. But I read on another blog saying that you forgive not because the other person deserves it but you forgive so you can let go. Holding onto anger is like poison and you only hurt yourself by remaining bitter. Its hard though. It was a beautiful poem; thank you


    • You are absolutely right about forgiving so we can heal. It’s why the words, “I forgive you,” are easy to see, but the act of truly forgiving is difficult and requires ongoing application. But it is the only way to survive. Thank you for your comment. I’ll be around to read your blog soon.


      • Funny you should have replied at this very moment. I was just writing how this coworker has bullied me and now out of the blue he is being nice. I was writing how to accept it with grace and to forgive because I have wronged people and all i want from them was to understand i was hurting and to forgive me. You replied just at the right time. Thank you.


      • Your insightful attitude is so important to understand – it is precisely because we humans err so often, that we will want to be forgiven in future and for past egregious behavior, that we must forgive others, that we must work at forgiving.

        I gotta tell you, though, there are some for whom I cannot achieve an attitude of forgiveness, proving how short I fall. I hope the situation with your coworker continues to improve. Office politics is a whole other strange land to navigate when all you really want to do is get the job done and then go home for dinner.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Sharon, thank you for your beautifully written evocative words. Making it very personal, as you did, is very important. Otherwise it just becomes statistics. After all, the media talks about how many mass murders since January, or what were the top three most lethal attacks etc. There is surprising courage and clarity of thought emanating from high school survivors who are speaking out. I worry a bit that the medias’ search for facile solutions will now put too much pressure on this group of kids that has chosen to speak out. Already the political backlash has started and the pressure is mounting as high school peers of the murdered are faced with accusations by Republicans of manipulation by the FBI so that by speaking out they are hiding the FBI’s failure to act. This is all nonsense.

    When foreign journalists there to opine on the absolutely crazy situation in the U.S. re the ease of purchase of assault weapons , shields go up by media commentators saying this is an American story and only Americans can opine. Again sheer nonsense.

    In our travels, Americans often ask us, aren’t you scared? The only place we have EVER felt scared, after traveling in over thirty countries, is AMERICA when we return on visits. Just knowing how many people own guns and how many carry them and how many accidents occur and how many innocent die to these guns, is enough to create justifiable fear.

    Just as your beautiful words help personalize the tragedy so do big picture numbers help understand the absurdity of this whole situation. Every year, over 33,000 people die from gunshots in the U.S. That is fifteen numbers the number of dead from the 911 terrorist attack. Since 911, that would mean roughly 500,000 dead. This is roughly 250 times 911 impact. And still politicians say, a real conversation to limit access to guns is “politicizing a tragedy”. SHOCKING SHOCKING SHOCKING.

    Ben & Peta

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Ben and Peta. I hope people will open your blog to read your intelligent observations about the world. I learn a great deal from the insight gained from your travels, especially as you’re supported by a broad and well educated background as well as your ventures into jump starting successful, self-sustaining business opportunities and highlighting others.

      We know what really motivates the NRA – money and power. This country’s founders never anticipated assault rifles at all and certainly never imagined assault rifles being used to attack citizen against citizen, and certainly not against children in school. Politicians choosing money and power over the lives of people, especially children – unconscionable.


  10. Yes we have had enough and you have put it beautifully Sharon.


  11. Some things are not easy to forgive, or even possible.
    Your words expressed This and more very beautiful and touching.
    This madness with easy access to guns must stop! NOW!


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