Fredrick Zydek

Letter to Grangitano a Few Years Later

Dear Michael: I'm writing to apologize for having
a large blown-up photograph of your face printed
on the pinata they filled with candy and money
on my 65th birthday. I did my best to smash it.
I figured I had earned the booty. Nothing I did
broke the damn thing open. Not even David
Shurter, a much younger man than I, could crack
open your skull so the candy and money would
spill to the floor. Retired General Jim Murphy
(his wife Rita was once a greeter at our church)
was unable to smash the papier-mache globe of

booty that hung from the living room ceiling,
and he's had the best military training available.
In the end, it was a nun, the head of the local
Gandhi Peace Foundation, who cracked the pinata
open. When I asked her how an old lady like
her ended up with more muscle than the rest of
us, she said, "Honey, you can't hit knuckles with
a ruler for twenty-five years in the classroom
without developing some pretty worthy biceps."
She finally turned to a life of peace. I sat in
rapture the night she took me to listen to Gandhi's

grandson talk about his life as a child with the
great man. It was his talk that helped me under-
stand it was time for me to forgive the money
changers and return to the temple. I went back
ready and willing to forgive any of the trouble
makers still on the property. To my amazement,
I didn't have to forgive anyone that day. They
were all gone. I went to a burning-bowl ceremony
anyway. Instead of writing each of their names
on a piece of paper, I just wrote, "Lord, forgive all
those assholes, and help me do the same someday."

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