As I offered the listening ear and the "smile and nod," I just thought about how sad that all was. It was clearly something that she, and perhaps my grandfather when he was still alive, was still upset over, still went over and over in their heads, drumming up new anguish and indignation over. I don't know enough about the situation to know who's right and who's wrong, but in the end... I'm not sure it really mattered 20 years later.
In fact... I'm sure it didn't, and it just seemed so unfortunate that it was still something that needed venting so long after it happened.
But don't a lot of us do the same thing? Someone wrongs us, someone's mean to us, someone does something that is so heinous that we don't think we can forgive it... and we don't ever let it go. Every time the pain or the anger of it starts to fade, we do something, think something, say something that stirs it all back up again. That kind of thing can eat away at your soul... eat away who you are, erode the good parts of you until you're just left with a shell of bitterness where a person with a good heart used to reside.
Sometimes we just have to let things go. Otherwise, they will strangle and drown us.