Thursday, June 24, 2010


Good morning, everyone.  It's awfully hot here in the city...the kind of hot that makes you yearn for the cold of winter.  Heat and I have just never gotten along.  I lose interest in doing anything when it's really hot and humid.  Unfortunately, unlike many, my appetite does remain the same so the hot weather doesn't even benefit my diet.  

"The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the world"--Marianne Williamson

Today, I would like to introduce you to a little girl.  She was about nine years old at the time.  The heat of the summer months did not affect her; all she liked to do was play with all of her little friends.  From early morning until darkness fell, the little girl would swing, ride her bike, run, play tag, play hopscotch...all of the fun things that children do.  Mother and dad were both working, but that was okay for the little girl had her friends.  

Now, it never really bothered the little girl that mom would come home, eat dinner, and rush out to 'babysit' another little girl...every night of the week...and dad, well, dad would take his six-pack and retire in front of the television...on the nights that he came home.  No, that didn't bother her; the world was different then...or, perhaps I should say 'she' saw the world differently.  To her, that was the way things were supposed to be.  Or, perhaps that is what she 'wanted' to believe.  Children are so innocent; they view the world through rose-colored glasses.

Then, one day when it was least expected, the little girl's world fell apart.  It was after dinner, and the little girl was riding her bike with her 'bestest' friend.  Suddenly, her friend says, "Follow me.  I want to show you something."  So, the little girl innocently followed her friend out onto the main road; they came to a stop in front of a store.  The little girl looked around, bewildered;  there was nothing out of the ordinary, nothing worth seeing.  "Just wait," her friend said.  And then she spotted it...her mother's car...ever so slowly pulling to a stop...and then a man came out and slid into the front seat.  The little girl was devastated; she didn't know what to say.  Actually, she didn't quite understand the concept of cheating, of adultery. All she knew was that her mom had lied to her...and her little heart was broken.  

That little girl was me and that was the day I found out that my mother had a boyfriend.  I've never understood why my friend did what she did; I don't think she understood 'cheating' either.  Times were different then; I don't really think she meant to hurt me.  At least, that's what I like to think.  I know I was in shock, but cannot remember my thoughts. I don't think I confronted my mom although the memory of those days thereafter are locked some place in my subconscious mind.  

The next memories I have of my mom and this man come in my teenage years where I was introduced to him.  I remember it was Christmas, and mom told me she wanted to take me some place, that I was 'old enough' now...and she took me to his house and introduced me to him...and gradually I learned the story of their love...a great love that spans a lifetime....although I cannot say I was very accepting at the time. I was evil to the two of them; I felt betrayed by my mom who had lied to me for so many years.  

It seems that my mom and this man had been in love since they were teenagers...the age I was when I was first introduced to him.  Then, came World War II, and he was stationed in the Phillipines.  There he met and married a Phillipino woman who he brought back to the United States.  My mom, devastated, married my dad on the rebound and got pregnant with me. It was a sad situation.  My dad was an alcoholic, and the other man's wife turned tricks while he was at work.  It wasn't long before they divorced, but my mom, for the sake of the child, remained with my father. 

Today, I sit back and wonder what life would have been like had she left my dad and married the love of her life.  Would she have said such cruel things to me?  I think not.  And, what would it had been like to have had a mother who was always there for you, not one who belittled or ignored you?  Those answers I will never know, but what I do know is that the years I spent hating her were such wasted years.  Actually, I think 'hate' is too strong a word; she was my mother and no matter what she did, deep down I always loved her...and always will.  Forgiveness took a long time, perhaps too long, too many wasted years.  I know I have mentioned my mom several times since I began blogging; now you know the whole story. Nearly everyone has been hurt by the actions or words of another...and clinging to these wounds lead one to years of anger and bitterness.  Forgiving and letting go, as I have with my mother, can lead us down the path of healing and peace.  

"He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love"--Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King


  1. I could almost mirror your history with your relationship with your mother. My mother didn't cheat and my father wasn't an alcoholic, just not able to be fully present. When my parents divorced and my mom started dating and really sewing her oats as she had married her first love (big mistake) she never really knew who she was and I was neglected in the process. It's taken me a long time like yourself to know that forgiveness does not mean forgetting, but it's a way to let go of our pain so we don't end up bitter and a victim. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  2. My mother got ovarian cancer and didn't tell anyone...we all got angry with her for a while...they we realized she was dying and we decided it was better to let it go and just enjoy the time we had left with her...she died on June 28, 1986...I miss her...

  3. The problem with having kids is that our decisions (both good and bad) no longer affect just us or another adult. But, as a kid, what are you gonna do? Just live through it.

  4. Thank you for sharing such a painful and life altering story. You are brave to be so vulnerable, and that is why I read your every post.

  5. a beautiful story... through time and understanding that is... thank you for sharing such a personal part of yourself. It shows so much of you and your loving way

  6. Just the fact that you did forgive all that happened and the way you were treated, shows what a beautiful soul you are Mary. It's not an easy thing to do.

  7. It's hard to forgive but it's even harder to go through life full of anger. My mother never cheated, she was always home, my Dad was not an alcoholic, he was a wonderful man, but my mother was hard and cold, no matter how many times I try to analyze why she was like this, whatever reason I find, does not erase my resentment. I will never know what it is to have had a loving mother who was supportive, who'd take my side no matter what. A mother who'd let me breathe! and that has filled me with deep resentment for many years. I am not sure if I have "really" forgiven her but I no longer dwell on it. Mary, this was a powerful post. Thank you for opening your heart!

  8. In my life, the only person harmed by anger and resentment was me. Forgiveness, certainly rids that kind of poison from our lives. But is sometimes hard to do.
    Thanks for sharing that part of your life. It has a powerful message. X.

  9. I find it easier to forgive than to harbor feelings that eat at me. Wishing you a beautiful day!