Forgiving The Unforgivable

Forgiving The Unforgivable

It's not about you, it's about me.
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Every year on November 4th, several family members of mine celebrate the life of a woman they loved. She had 42 years to leave lasting impressions on everyone she crossed paths with. Most will say that she was a phenomenal woman with the sincerest smile. Others will say there was only one like her, that they’ve never met anyone since that could compare. Three would say she was the best mom they could have asked for. I would say she was the worst mom I could have asked for.

There are very few things I actually remember about her. Being a disappointment time after time is what she did best. Several holidays went by before I gave up on having her as an active participant in my life. I remember wondering why she didn’t love me. I remember wondering what in her life was more important than me. In reality, none of her life was about me, but she was great at pretending. And for the longest time I was too.

Year after year I see my brothers uploading pictures on the web of the newest flowers or trinkets they’ve laid at her grave. They’ve brought their children to talk to their nanna, they pass on stories of the random things she did with her life and just like that, November 4th is over. The only thing I’ve ever done at her grave is scream with anger and cry with frustration. I’m still distraught over this woman who had nothing to do with me except give birth. The only remanence of her in me is my round face and button nose, the genetic game clearly has a sense of humor.

I told everyone that I forgave her years ago. I remember the day when I thought I had forgiven her. There were a million tears that day spent on her. Just like the million hours I spent trying to figure her out. To me, she will always remain this beautiful mystery, but not all beautiful things are great. She was this rare kind of beautiful, like once in a life time kind of beautiful. I see a lot of her in my youngest and sometimes in fleeting moments, I see her in me too.

At the end of the day, she had more influence on me than most active people in my life. She taught me so many lessons that only an absent mother could teach. She taught me a lot about personal relationships and the importance of communication. She taught me how to be a better mom. She taught me how to be a better person. Most of all, she taught me about forgiveness.

Forgiveness is not about the person you’re forgiving. Forgiveness is about yourself. It’s about being able to walk away and say that life goes on. It’s about letting go of all the awful things that were done to you. It’s not about saying that these awful things were okay or about condoning future occurrences, but it’s about being able to walk away with a different outlook. It’s about growing as a person. Today I have grown, tremendously grown, as person, as a mom, as a daughter. Until next year, happy birthday.

Cover Image Credit: Tiffany R

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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10 Father's Day Quotes To Share With Your Dad

"Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad."
— Anne Geddes
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Fathers are peculiar figures in our lives. They lack the frantic affection of mothers, yet display a certain tenderness of their own toward their children. They've done some crazy stunts of their own, yet fuss over their kids' tiniest mishaps. They're there for the ride of child-rearing no shorter than mothers, and yet their emotional experience isn't exactly the same.

Fathers are our parents, teachers, and providers. It only seems right to take a day out of each year to honor all that they do for us. And so in the spirit of the holiday, I've listed ten Father's Day quotes below for you to share with your own dads.

“The power of a dad in a child’s life is unmatched.” —Justin Ricklefs

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It's true: a father's emotional presence in his relationship with his children can make all the difference in how the child turns out as an adult, for better or worse. A dad receives his parenting "report card," so to say, once the child reaches adulthood and either chooses to continue visiting home or stay away.

However, for a large portion of a child's youth, a dad has most of the power over his relationship with his children. The development of the relationship is entirely dependent on how he chooses to treat his children.

“It is a wise father that knows his own child.” —William Shakespeare

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You can't deny this one, either. Most good fathers know their children better than they know themselves. My own dad frequently knows what I'm feeling before I do. The best fathers are tuned in to their children's emotions, and they certainly try their best to help you when problems arise.

“A father’s smile has been known to light up a child’s entire day.” —Susan Gale

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Remember way back when the most exciting part of your day was when your dad came home from work? It's a magical feeling to reflect on those days and recall that the simplest things our fathers do can bring smiles to our faces. It's healthy to retain a bit of that childlike wonder as an adult, and we can't ever forget that.

“Fathers just have a way of putting everything together.” —Erika Cosby

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Although it may be somewhat begrudgingly, you'll admit that you're almost never disappointed when you seek advice from your dad. Your dad is truly great at piecing together puzzles that you can't solve yourself, and you're grateful for his invaluable input. You wouldn't be where you are now if it weren't for his words.

“A father carries pictures where his money used to be.” —Steve Martin

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For the father who has what it takes to be a dad, children teach him that there's much more to life than money. Matters of the heart exceed the value of money, and wallet photographs most likely serve as a reminder of the children for whom he must provide.

After having kids, a man no longer works for his own livelihood, but for that of his own family. And for this, your father certainly deserves much more recognition than he may receive at times.

“Dad: A son’s first hero, a daughter’s first love.” —Unknown

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From the moment a child sees his or her father for the first time, a heavy responsibility is placed upon his shoulders. A dad must be a role model for how his son is to behave and a standard to which a daughter sets herself to seek out a partner. Hence, a father is a son's first idol and a daughter's first love, as the saying goes.

“A father doesn’t tell you that he loves you. He shows you.” —Dimitri the Stoneheart

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Oftentimes, a father uses his actions rather than his to show you that he loves you. He works to put food on the table because he loves you. He teaches you how to drive because he wants you to stay safe. He shows you how to change a tire so that you aren't stranded anywhere. Everything he does, he does with love.

“My father didn’t do anything unusual. He only did what dads are supposed to do—be there.” —Max Lucado

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And what more can you ask of a good dad?

"I'll never forget how I felt at that moment. I felt that my father was a great man." —Kevin Arnold

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Every child has a moment when he or she realizes that the sacrifices that a father makes are all for their children's benefit. Every child has a moment at which he or she understands that a father is only human, makes mistakes and has more aspirations than meets the eye. It's eye-opening to comprehend that our father is a normal people like you but somehow makes him all the more of an inspiration.

“A dad is someone who wants to catch you when you fall. Instead he picks you up, brushes you off and lets you try again.” —Unknown

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If there's one thing your fathers teaches you, it's perseverance. And you couldn't love him more so for it.

Father's Day is one of our greatest holidays, so this father's day, remember to thank him for all he's done for you.

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