Forgiving isn't something you do for someone else. It's something you do for yourself. It's saying, 'You're not important enough to have a stranglehold on me.' It's saying, 'You don't get to trap me in the past. I am worthy of a future.
That the sum of a man's life was not where he wound up but in the details that brought him there.
That we made mistakes.
I closed my eyes, sick of the riddles, and to my surprise all I could see were dandelions-as if they had been painted on the fields of my imagination, a hundred thousand suns. And I remembered something else that makes us human: faith, the only weapon in our arsenal to battle doubt.
You know it's never fifty-fifty in a marriage. It's always seventy-thirty, or sixty-forty. Someone falls in love first. Someone puts someone else up on a pedestal. Someone works very hard to keep things rolling smoothly; someone else sails along for the ride.
What I mean is that those thoughts, they're human. And just because you turn out differently than everyone's imagined you would doesn't mean that you've failed in some way. A kid who gets teased in one school might move to a different one, and be the most popular girl there, just because no one has any other expectations of her. Or a person who goes to med school because his entire family is full of doctors might find out that what he really wants to be is an artist instead.
She has never been a pretty crier. She sobbed the way she did everything else - with passion and excess. That she had managed to keep it inside her this long was astounding to James. He thought of pushing open the half-closed door and kneeling before his wife, wrapping his arms around her shoulders and helping her upstairs. He raised his hand, stroking the wood of the door, planning to say something to calm her. But what wisdom could he offer Gus, when he could not even heed it himself? James walked upstairs again, got into bed, covered his head with a pillow. And hours later, when Gus crept beneath the sheets, he tried to pretend that he did not feel the weight of her grief, lying between them like a fitful child, so solid that he could not reach past it to touch her.
It was a strange thing, to still be in love with your wife and to not know if you liked her. What would happen when this was all over? Could you forgive someone if she hurt you and the people you love, if she truly believed she was only trying to help?
I had filed for divorce, but that wasn't what I really wanted. What I really wanted was for all of us to go back two years, and start over.