Katie and I talked a little about what to do after the ceremony and the same old problem raised its ugly head: she's got too many separate families to accommodate. Since we have so little time together, she wanted to hang with me but it wouldn't be fair to leave her dad out. I fretted for a couple hours, then picked up the phone and suggested Bill and his wife and I take Katie and Craig and Craig's folks out to dinner.
After 16 years of enmity, we're working it out. It was the engagement party that did it. I took the first step to creating peace for the celebrations surrounding Katie's wedding. Not easy, but doable.
When her wedding day comes, Katie will walk down the aisle with Bill on one side and me on the other. My goal is for that to be entirely joyous for her. The only way that can happen is for me to be comfortable, and I'm working on it.
This, then, is genuine forgiveness. It's not forgetting. It's not accepting unacceptable behavior. It's simply no longer needing the story to be different. And it's loving my daughter more than I dislike them.
That, I can do. Every day, and twice on Sunday. Twice this Sunday, as a matter of fact--once at the ceremony and again at dinner.
Wish me luck.