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Senior Correspondent

Call it serendipity. Call it coincidence. Call it cosmic intervention. I think I’ll just call it a miracle.

Eight years ago, in the spring, I had a falling out with someone I had been close friends with for two decades. There were misunderstandings, hurt feelings, anger and perceived betrayal on both sides. After a final exchange of emails and phone calls, communication ceased.

I missed this friendship so much. Over the years, the sharp pain became a dull ache but never went away. Every spring I would think about what happened, and the hurt and grief would be stirred up again.

A few weeks ago, as we celebrated my son’s 25th birthday, he and I were reminiscing about his childhood. He was remembering some of the friends he played with and to my surprise, he mentioned my friend’s daughter, although they had only seen each other a couple of times when he was very young. Then, last week, out of the blue, I received two computer generated emails from my friend’s company. It was odd since I had never been on their email list before, but these seemingly random occurrences got me thinking. I took a chance yesterday and sent an email. I said that I missed our friendship and that I was sorry for whatever mistakes I made that contributed to our estrangement. I did not ask for a response. I simply sent my best wishes.

I didn’t expect a response at all and certainly not a favorable one, so I was truly surprised to get an almost immediate reply, echoing my sadness over our lost friendship and wishing to reconnect. And so, this morning, we spent an hour on the phone, catching up on family news and describing our current lives. Neither of us brought up the issue that had split us apart. It didn’t seem important, and we were enjoying each other’s voices and laughter too much.

I don’t know what will happen. I don’t know if we will stay in communication and if so, what that will be like. I don’t know if we will feel the need to go back over what happened and listen to each other’s heart. But I know I’m glad that I listened to that gentle inner nudge to reach out. I know that today’s conversation lightened my spirit and released the regret that I have carried all these years.

Without ever speaking the words, I forgave and I felt forgiven. It just happened. It was so amazing and so generous.

"To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you." — Lewis B. Smedes

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