Forgiveness Is a Part of Friendship
One of the Ames girls, Sally, was kicked out of the group in eleventh grade. Some of the others gathered at a slumber party, told her what they didn't like about her, and sent her home crying. It was devastating and painful for Sally, but at the same time, it was liberating and life-changing. Sally realized she was happy with the person she was, and she wasn't going to let mean girl comments stop her.
The other Ames girls eventually welcomed her back to the group, and have apologized for the incident repeatedly ever since. And Sally, now a teacher, feels that what happened to her at age 16 has made her more empathetic with her children and her students.
Readers of "The Girls from Ames" have written to say they admire Sally for finding it in her heart to forgive her friends. "I've forgiven everything," Sally recently told a crowd at a bookstore in Minnesota. "I mean, it happened such a long time ago. It happened thirty years, six months, five days, and six hours ago, not that I'm keeping track."
It was the perfect laugh line, and a reminder of the role forgiveness must play in our friendships.