never had hidden her feelings well, and it was apparent to me that she
was in emotional pain."
Radical Forgiveness, Part 1
As soon as I saw my sister, Jill, emerge into the lobby of Atlanta's
Hartsfield International Airport, I knew something was wrong. She never
had hidden her feelings well, and it was apparent to me that she was in
Jill had flown from England to the United States with my brother, John,
whom I had not seen for 16 years. He emigrated to Australia in 1972 from
England. I emigrated to America in 1984, thus Jill was, and still is,
the only sibling still living in England. John had finally made a trip
home to England, and this trip to Atlanta to visit me represented the
last leg of his journey. Jill accompanied him to Atlanta so she could
visit me and my wife, JoAnna, for a couple of weeks and see John off to
Australia once again.
After the initial hugging and kissing and a certain amount of
awkwardness, we set out for the hotel. I had arranged rooms for one
night so Jo Anna and I could show John and Jill the city of Atlanta the
following day before driving north to my home.
When the first opportunity for serious discussion presented itself, Jill
said, "Colin, things are not good at home. Jeff and I might be
Despite the fact that I had noticed something was wrong with my sister,
this announcement surprised me. I had always thought she and her
husband, Jeff, were happy in their six-year-old marriage. Both Jeff and
Jill had been married before, but this relationship had always seemed a
strong one. Jeff had three kids with his previous wife while Jill had
four. Her youngest son, Paul was the only one still living at home.
"What's going on?" I asked.
"Well, it's all quite bizarre, and I don't quite know where to
begin," she replied. "Jeff is acting really strange, and I
can't stand much more of it. We've gotten to the point where we can't
talk to each other any more, and it's killing me. He has totally turned
away from me and says it's all my fault."
"Tell me about it," I said, glancing at John, who responded by
rolling his eyes. He'd stayed at their house for a week prior to flying
to Atlanta, and I guessed by his demeanor that he'd heard enough of this
subject to last him quite a while.