Recently, the Cincinnati Enquirer told a story about a man named David Booth who wanted to make an apology. Years earlier in 1969, Booth tried to hijack a Delta flight. During the attempt, he threatened an 18-year-old girl with a knife.
Eventually Booth surrendered; but for 40 years, his behavior haunted him. After a massive heart attack and several strokes, Booth wanted to apologize to the woman he had threatened. The problem was, the woman had died 13 years earlier of cancer. When told of this, Booth broke down in tears. It was compassionate treatment by a judge that turned Booth around; he managed to get his life together, have a family and live a successful life.
The offended girl's sister is certain her sister would have forgiven Booth, but Booth will not be able to experience the freedom and joy of offering an apology and receiving the grace of forgiveness. He learned a valuable lesson. The time to make amends or do anything noble and good is now.