A Forgiving at Assisi: A Memoir
The news came at 4:29 a.m. My father had just died at the age of 102. Then came the real shock. This man, who always kept his family at a poverty level and who never earned more than $4,000 in any year, had secretly accumulated an estate of two million dollars. The bulk of this was left to a university for scholarships. My being virtually disinherited was the final rejection in a lifetime full of rejections.
How does one survive and surmount any rejection? My long emotional journey ultimately led me to read again my father's amazingly detailed personal diary that he had kept for over eighty years. I discovered that the writings of Benjamin Franklin had enormous influence on him from a very early age. He carried Ben's ideas on food, family, and finances to exaggerated extremes, becoming a true and miserable miser, living like a pauper. His life paralleled Ben's life in many uncanny ways, even to the final act of disinheriting his only son.
Within this book are some clues and guidelines to dealing with life's hurts and disappointments, whether they are major crises or just small annoyances. First, we have to find ways to understand the situation. Second, we must accept the situation as it is, and go on from there. And finally, peace can only come when we forgive the people involved. This three-stage process, though very difficult, can truly bring about healing.
"Thank you for sharing your story on how you overcame and learned to Forgive. Keep On, Keeping On! Life's not fair but God is good! Look at your accomplishments."
Pastor Robert H. Schuller, Crystal Cathedral
"I think you're a hero—a brave and honorable man."
Jane Berentson, Senior Editor, Worth
"I feel proud to know you, and to know that you have persevered in wrestling down this mystery so that it wouldn't have to be an unknown which would haunt you for all the rest of your days."
Dr. Paul G. Watermulder, Senior Pastor,
First Presbyterian Church, Burlingame, California