Forgiveness Grace and Love.byPTBzzzz©
My name is Norman --- Norman Deere. I work as a network Administrator for a small division of a large, multi-national company. My days are spent doing boring, mundane things: until someone pokes a hole in the dam. Then the world goes wild.
My wife Kelly works in a department store across town. She was promoted to department manager of the clothing section.
We do not need the money she makes; she works to keep herself busy. She stayed at home for about a year after we got married. She was bored, started to put on weight and was not a lot of fun to be around.
She started out as a sales associate on a register, moved on to stocking shelves and setting up displays. She does a great job with the displays. The store manager says sales have increased in her department by 25 percent; most other stores in the chain clothing sales are down.
The only bad thing about her new position is the change in her hours. She is not top dog in the sales force any more, now she is the low peg in management. This means she gets some pretty rotten hours at times.
At home we try to keep things as they were before the promotion; but sometimes things get a little out of hand and the words fly. We try to never go to bed angry.
Last week I was told I had to go to Chicago for a training session at our headquarters, I would be gone all week. She was not happy about it; the week I was to be away she had a good schedule for a change.
The night before I left was great, we went out to dinner and then back home to bed. We were insatiable.
When I checked into my hotel room I called to let her know I had arrived safely, and how to reach me. I knew she was working at the time and could not take the phone call if she was on the floor. When it went to her mailbox I just left the message. When she called back I was in a welcome reception and could not answer. We finally talked late in the evening.
I found out that evening that she was no longer the low peg on the management chain. There was a new manager in hardware; her hours would soon get a little better. Kelly had a chance to talk to him during her lunch break. She said he was nice enough, but a little rough around the edges. We talked about the sights from my room and then went to bed.
We talked each evening about nothing and everything. She mentioned that she and the new guy, his name is Ron, had eaten lunch together most of those days. She seemed to be a little happier, almost giggly, as the week wore on.
She closed the store on Thursday evening and we did not get to talk, I left her a message saying the seminar was ending early, at noon, on Friday and I would be home late that afternoon.
When she did not come home on time on Friday evening I called her. She answered, her words were slurred. We talked for a few minutes; she was at The Famous Steakhouse for dinner with Ron and another manager and would be home before I was back from Chicago. She must have missed the message I left.
I did not like the way she sounded so I drove over to see what was happening. When I got there I saw a large man walking the other manager out to her car. I went inside and looked for Kelly, I found her rather out of it. She was barely able to hold a conversation. As I was trying to help her out of her seat, the large man came back and asked what I thought I was doing to his date. I turned to speak to him and he hit me hard.
I was down and out.
The next afternoon, when I came too I was in the hospital with a broken nose and a concussion. Kelly was beside me crying. She said it was all a mistake, Ron told her he was concerned that someone was trying to harm me and overreacted. She was tired the night before and had missed my message. She still seemed to be a little out of it, but I kept quiet about that.
They held me in the hospital until the next morning because of the concussion. Kelly took the next 2 days off to be with me. The phone rang on 3 occasions those days, she kept the conversations short. One of the times she said it was a wrong number, another she told me Ron had called to be sure I was OK. I told her if he called again that she should tell him not to call our house again, the next day she did. Life was very tense around the house, neither one of us was acting like ourselves. I was angry and she was just not thinking clearly, and very jumpy and irritable.
On Wednesday we both went back to work. Things were quiet around the house that evening. Thursday she closed the store again.
Friday she called me as I was leaving work; she was going to stop off for a light meal with Ron. She needed to straighten a few things out with him. I told her I did not think that was a good idea, she bit my head off. She was a big girl, she could handle her own problems, and she would be home by 8. I stopped by the house to change and get a few things, including something to eat and drink. I also started a program that made it look like I was on the internet working.
Kelly can get lost walking from our bedroom to the bathroom; we have GPS activated on her phone so I can help her when she gets lost in places she is not familiar with. I waited until her phone stopped moving and headed in that direction, I left my cell phone at the house. She was at a little tavern on the far side of town. Her car was parked on the side of the place toward the back. I parked where I could see her car. I went inside and saw her in a booth with Ron. Then I went back outside and waited. It was well after 8 when I used a throw-away phone to call and see where she was, she never answered. When I called her later the phone was shut off.
About 11:00 they came out the side door, she was giggling and hanging all over him. He had one hand under her skirt, she didn't seem to care. The lot was dark and I had been sitting on the back of my car. I crossed the lot as fast as I could; they were making enough noise they never knew what happened. I was dressed in dark clothing and gloves.
As they approached his car I hit: first I used the taser on Ron, he dropped like a sack of rocks landing on top of Kelly. It took all I had to roll him off of her. Then I took the baseball bat and beat him a bunch of times. To finish my revenge I spread his legs and used the bat on his balls. I put the taser in Kelly's hands and made sure her prints were all over it. I made her use it to taser herself. I did the fingerprint thing with the bat. I walked over to my car and called the police on the throw-away phone to report a fight in the parking lot.
Kelly was starting to come around as I heard the sirens in the distance. I drove off slowly and went home. About 3 in the morning the doorbell started to ring. When I answered it there were 2 policemen. They asked if I was married to Kelly Deere, I confirmed that I was.
They asked where I had been all evening.
I told them I was at home on the computer.
One of them asked if I knew where Kelly was.
She was out with an associate from work. She was way overdue, and was not answering her phone.
The other asked me if she had been with a Ronald White.
His name was Ron but I did not know his last name.
Well, she was in the hospital, she had been found at the scene of a bar fight. She was very intoxicated and under the influence of drugs. They offered to take me to see her; I should not be driving at a time like this.
I went up to change.
The doctors told me she had consumed something they called Redbirds and a lot of alcohol. They were treating her; it looked like she would make it.
The next day she was sent to the detox ward and was held on suicide watch. I was allowed to visit her once a day for 10 minutes. I only went a few times, she was constantly watched and we were not allowed to touch. She did not have much to say, it must be her guilt showing. A week later Ron died.
She was charged with manslaughter and they continued the suicide watch until her trial.
I was still angry with her, for having an affair, but really thought she would be found not guilty. I never went to the trial or her sentencing and avoided reading about them in the paper.
She was found guilty of manslaughter; sentence was 1 to 3 years. The only defense she offered was that she did not remember anything. At sentencing it was reveled that he was alleged to have used the same technique to seduce other women and blackmail them. Several of those women came forward and testified about their ordeals.
I could not visit her in jail. Life was pretty much hell. I still did not want to know the details from court. Her affair was wrong and she would be punished, even if it was for different crime.
About 5 months into her sentence the prison psychiatrist called and asked to visit me at the house. He told me Kelly was severely depressed over having killed someone, but even more so because I would not visit her. He gave me a letter.
Writing this letter is the hardest thing I have ever needed to do.
Please forgive me for what I have done. They say I was so high on a cocktail of drugs and alcohol that I did not know what I was doing. That is not a good enough reason to have done these things.
I should have listened to you that evening and not gone to see him. The drugs I was high on were in his pockets when he died. I can only guess he was putting them in my drinks, or food. They say I was addicted to them, which means I had to have been taking them for a time. He may have started them when we were eating lunches together. I did find there were times when I did not feel well after eating at work.
The doctors have hypnotized me and feel sure that they can state that I was never unfaithful to you. If I was unfaithful I can never forgive myself. I have been checked for STD's and I am clean of those.
Please, I need you in my life. You are my life blood and soul mate.
I will understand if you choose to leave me, but I need to set things straight between us.
Please come to see me. I wish this had never happened and love you with all my heart.
As I finished reading the letter tears were streaming down my face.
He asked me to reconsider visiting. She needed to talk to me in order to fully recover. If I would visit her it was necessary for them to see me and talk before I saw her.
I told him I would consider it.
It was 3 weeks later that I walked into the prison. The doctor and I sat down and talked about her vulnerability and loss of self esteem. He said she had lost a great deal of weight, but since I had agreed to see her she was eating again. We had 3 different sessions before they allowed us to see each other. I first saw her at one of her counseling sessions, we were asked to sit apart. The doctor talked about how far Kelly had come since she started. He asked us a lot of different questions, looking for answers from both of us. At the end of the session he asked if we had anything we wanted to say.
I spoke first, responding to her letter. I told her that I felt I still loved her, that she her actions with Ron had pushed that love and strained it to the breaking point. I understood that it might have not been her fault but that I was not sure I was convinced she did not have an affair. I needed to think, reflect and pray on these matters and come to a decision. She cried.
Then Kelly told me that she spoke the truth to the best of her knowledge. If I were to forgive her she would remain faithful to me, even if we separated. Being apart from me was the worst thing she had ever been through. We were allowed a brief hug before we parted.
It was Holy Week, on Maundy Thursday; I went to church and prayed for guidance. Easter Sunday the minister said his sermon was going to be about how without Easter there was no meaning to Christmas. But he changed his mind on Thursday evening because he needed to talk about Forgiveness and Grace. He spoke about how they can happen separately, but it is better when they work together.
The next week Kelly and I, and the doctor, met again. I talked about how being separated from her was like being in prison to me also, it was a punishment to me for sins I had committed. I told her about how we needed to both forgive the other. More importantly we needed to extend grace to each other. I explained that grace was a freely given, unmerited favor and love for each other. If we could do that we had a chance. I told her that I knew she was not responsible for Ron's death.
She wanted to know what sins I needed to be forgiven for.
I told her how I had not understood what was happening with Ron and how angry and full of hatred I was over the incident. There was more but we needed to talk about those things in private.
I continued to attend her counseling sessions when asked, and visited her at least once a week.
After serving 13 months Kelly was released on parole. Her employer offered to let her have her job back, Kelly politely declined. She chose to go back to school.
I took 2 weeks of vacation to start the day of her release. I picked Kelly up at the prison; we had a nice lunch and went home. She wanted to make love; I told her that we needed to wait for a while because we needed to get to know each other again and work on forgiveness and grace.
While she was in prison I moved into another bedroom, I could not sleep there without dreaming about her. She could have the master bedroom until such time as we were sure we would be OK. We set a time that evening when we would talk.
When we got together she tried to apologize. I stopped her and said that I was the one who should apologize. I laid out all the details of that night. I explained how consumed with rage I was over their actions and carried it too far. I saw it as her blatantly having an affair, not as her being drugged and being taken advantage of. I only found out about her being drugged from her letter, I thought she took them on her own. I was crying as I told her that she should turn me in and we would clear her name. We sat there for a long time without speaking. She got up and went to bed.
For the next 2 days every time I passed her bedroom door she was crying. She came out for meals and went back.
On the 3rd day I awoke to find Kelly sitting in the living room waiting for me. I sat across from her and waited for her to speak.
She told me that I should have spoken before she went to prison; but it was too late to change things now. She loved me and would be devastated if I had to serve time for the crime when she had already done so. Kelly understood when I said that I was also in prison when we were separated; she believes I punished myself far worse than anything I would have gotten in prison. She forgave me and offered me her grace, with the understanding that we would never be apart again. If at any time we were to cheat or separate we would be rejecting the grace bestowed upon each other.
That evening we began our new life together. We never speak about that terrible night, but it is never far from our thoughts. We know when the other is thinking about it, we only need to hug to get over those thoughts. We still hug a lot but not nearly as often over that night.
Kelly completed her bachelor degree in 3 years, graduating Summa Cum Laude in spite of having 2 babies along the way. She never worked again, preferring to stay home with our children. We get along fine on what I make, if we don't have the money to buy something we do without. Life revolves around our family.
A very long time later
Our new love is now 45 years young, we have been together for 52 years now. Over the years we have created 4 wonderful children, we now have 18 grand children and 2 great grandchildren. When people ask us how we stayed in love for so long we respond through forgiveness, grace and love.