It was 11.20 pm when I dropped you at the train station. I was running on an empty tank; never-ending work and then an hour-long wait for your “super fast express” train clearly isn’t the best combination to keep your energy levels high. While you settled in your berth ready to go to this place which I could hardly pronounce, I turned around one last time to say good-bye. You didn’t notice, I wonder why, apart from the fact that it was the 100th goodbye in the last 5 minutes? I thought I was ready to die from exhaustion. But did you realise that you looked tired too, haggard; can I say that without sounding rude?
I have looked at you so many times in a day, but then there are moments like this when I think I really look at you. I was never an ideal child, but I always thought you were never an ideal mother. I would watch the other parents come to cheer their kids at the volleyball matches. Did you know I was one of the best in my team? I thought your work was more important because you never came. The money from your work was helping pay the bills, which I thought didn’t exist at that time. Years later you said, “Those were the hard times. I would wait for my next salary for we could barely make ends meet.” You hid the ugly and I saw what I wanted to see and blamed the rest on you. Easy-breezy, if you ask me.
I crib when you ask me to do the dishes, forgetting the thousands you have already washed while I was growing up. I still am growing up, I might not look like a child, but I sure do behave like a spoilt one around you. There were days we hardly spoke. I blamed you for the fights; for making me angry, for scaring the life out of me, for making decisions which you thought were right for me… If my ego was to be piled up in a single column, Eiffel Tower would look like a Lego house.
F-O-R-G-I-V-E-N-E-S-S is an 11-letter word; but it took me 24 years to learn it. In a book Forgiving Our Fathers and Mothers, the author (Leslie Leyland Fields) talks about how people blame their parents in some or the other way.
“Every one of us leaves childhood wounded, in large or small ways, by our parents. We are born into family systems that bring with them blessings and curses, usually both. How do we forgive our parents, who themselves carry wounds from their own childhoods?” wrote a reader online when describing Leslie’s book.
I didn’t want to see your wounds that you carried from your childhood. I was blind and, truth be told, I was never there for you either. Thus failing to see that you did your best to keep the family together. Taking care of two monster children, didn’t you ever feel like giving up? I am glad you didn’t. I have heard such horrible stories about what parents do their kids, that right now I am only thankful and grateful for you.
While I looked at you one last time, I hope you realised how fortunate I am to have you as my mother. Or should I just say that when you get back? Or should I show that to you with my actions?
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
For more information on the book: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18103506-forgiving-our-fathers-and-mothers