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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Thank You, Mom And Dad, For Staying Together Through It All

I hope one day I can find a love as strong as my parents so that my kids will never have to experience a broken home.

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Growing up, I always dreamt of finding my true love and having my fairy tale wedding when I was older. My parents gave me such faith from their relationship. They have been together since they were in high school and have never left each others' sides since. I have idolized their marriage since the day I was born and still continue to. I could not imagine going through life without both of them together. Many people in my hometown have divorced parents. It is not uncommon from where I come from, but I recognize how lucky I am. Sure my parents have their fights, even the one time they almost did get a divorce, but they didn't. And I am so grateful for that to this day.

Holidays are amazing. I don't mean to brag for the people who do have separated parents, but it is a privilege to be able to spend it together as a family. I don't have to choose where to spend the holidays or feel bad if I have to pick someone over the other. It isn't fair, and no one should have to do that. My parents have always and will continue to always put my sister and me first. I respect them for that. Even through all their issues, they manage to do whatever is in our best interest--even if that means staying together during hard times. No matter what, they always manage to work it out.

I get to experience life with both of them together. I know people who haven't talked to their dads or moms in years. They didn't go to their graduations— watch them walk across the stage and get their diploma. Their parents are missing out on so many important milestones in their life. I am so fortunate that my parents have always been by my side rooting for me. I couldn't even fathom the thought of them not being at such events or not even being remotely a part of my life. My parents are everything, and they are stronger together.

I have two opinions. I have two people in charge. When one says no, the other will say yes. I have two people to go to with problems at all times. They are accessible, they are there for me, they protect me. I may not agree with everything my dad says, but my mom will have my back on certain points and vice versa. We can work out our problems together. Nothing ever turns out biased when I have them both together. I wouldn't be able to do have the stuff I do with the support of just one parent.

With my parents together, I don't have to feel like I am a toy. I don't have to feel like I need to be shared or guilty I am spending more time with one and not the other. With my parents together, our family is whole. I know it is a privilege, and I am so grateful and lucky. I hope one day I can find a love as strong as my parents so that my kids will never have to experience a broken home. It isn't fair to put kids through something so stressful and saddening. My parents are amazing and I am beyond blessed to have parents that love each other and their kids immensely. Everything they do is for us. Thank you.

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