Son learns to forgive mother who had father killed

By Travis Loller

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 24 2013 3:33 p.m. MST

Today, at 61, Gaile is nearly unrecognizable. She wears makeup and boot cut jeans, with her gray hair cut short and spiky. It's a far cry from the woman who left prison in baggy clothes, pushing a laundry cart containing a few belongings.

On that day, Gaile issued a brief statement saying she couldn't wait to see her grandchildren and just walk in the park with her family. "I'm looking forward to being a mother and a grandmother."

Now her dream is a reality.

"I get to go to the games, and I get to tousle Joshua's red hair, and they sit on my lap and they hug me and ... it couldn't be any better," she said in an interview in October with Stephen by her side.

Stephen said Gaile tries to come to all of Joshua's basketball and flag football games, where they all hang out as a family. She attends Grandparents Day at school. And when the family took her to dinner for her birthday, the children couldn't wait to have their pictures taken with "G.G."

It took Gaile only two weeks after leaving prison to find a job that she loves and where she is able to mentor women who are victims of prostitution and drug abuse. They tell her she's helped make a difference in their lives.

"But I don't keep a score of all that. It's not about what has Gaile's done, it's about 'How can I help?' because those to whom grace is given, there's much that is required, too," she said, paraphrasing a passage from Luke.

But there are also regrets. Gaile has not reconciled with other family members, including her son Brian and her sister, Carolyn. And she says she never forgets that she was, ultimately, responsible for her husband's death.

"I live with that regret every single day," she said.

Stephen says he wrote the book to help others. He believes most people have someone they need to forgive.

"Forgiveness is a hard thing to maneuver," he said. "It's one of those situations where you look back on it and if you'd known you were going to feel like this, you'd have done it earlier.

"But," he said, "it was in God's timing."

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