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September 15 , 2010

Choosing to Forgive

Growing Up with an Alcoholic Parent


Growing up in Upstate New York during the 1940s and 1950s was idyllic in many ways, with wintertime sledding and summer days spent on the shores of Lake Ontario. But even though she was involved in school activities and had friends, Diane harbored a painful secret: her father was an alcoholic. Often out of work, he might explode with rage at the dinner table because someone chewed too loudly, or accuse Diane’s mother of infidelity, or pass out naked, sprawled across his bed, within sight of anyone who came to the front door. Not surprisingly, Diane learned to fear, resent, and mistrust her father.

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Unfortunately, there are many stories like Diane’s, in which families are traumatized by abuse. Hers could have ended there, but thanks to a loving God, it did not. What makes Diane’s story different is that she learned about the power of forgiveness. In Choosing to Forgive she shares her insights into this most precious but sometimes mysterious gift from God. How do we forgive people when they have deeply wronged us? What if we don’t want to? What does forgiveness look like in everyday life?

Diane has asked these questions and others in her journey toward forgiving the man who caused her such pain. Intended for both those whose circumstances are similar to Diane’s and those simply want to learn more about forgiveness, this moving memoir tells the story of how forgiveness freed her to have a rich and happy life.

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