Asking Forgiveness


My Grandma whom we all called Nanny was a solid, first-generation, Italian immigrant. She came to this country with her family on a tiny ship during World War I when she was only 8 years old. During the trip she survived stormy seas, little food, and an attack by a German U-boat. After getting here her large family worked hard to build a new life in America. They never had much money but were rich in love. Nanny grew up, married, and raised 4 sons of her own. And then when my parents moved back into her home she helped to raise me too.

One day when I was about 5 or 6 years old my parents and brothers went on a trip. It was just me and Nanny in the house for the weekend. Nanny seemed so happy to be taking care of me all by herself. She made me a special breakfast that first morning. I was too young, selfish, and foolish to see that then, however. All I could do was complain about how the food was not how Mom always made it. Nanny quietly put down the plate and went into the living room. I followed a minute later and saw that she had tears in her eyes. It was the first time I had ever seen my strong, rugged, and proud Grandmother cry and I was the one who had caused it.

I walked over to Nanny, climbed on her lap, and for the first time in my short life I did something else too: I apologized without being told too and asked Nanny to forgive me. She smiled, rubbed my head, and told me I was a good boy even though I didnít feel like one then.

That memory just like my Nannyís love will stay in my heart forever. It is strange that so many people think it shows weakness to admit your mistakes and say you are sorry. In truth, it is a sign of both strength and wisdom. Asking forgiveness helps us to learn, to grow, and to love. It brings us closer to Heaven and blesses us with Godís love. It helps us to become the people we were meant to be. It is those who never say theyíre sorry who end up living sorry lives.

Joseph J. Mazzella

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