(This awesome artwork is created by Sandy Mastroni.)
There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was surely seeing into the future to the little girl that I used to be. Unfortunately, I didn’t stop being horrid until my mid-20’s.
My parents divorced when I turned 14, and I bore a personal vendetta not only against the whole world but against my mother as well. I was not very nice to her. For a long time, I was very unnice to her. My father, living in his own house of pain, was more than happy to lay the blame at her feet. I was easily reeled in, and I was not the type to let go. The bitterness ate away at me, and I was very hateful and spiteful to most of the people around me. But my mother got the brunt of it. Unfairly. Trust me when I tell you that I said and did horrible things to my mother. My goal was to hurt her back.
Thankfully, my mother never stopped loving me.
It wasn’t until I surrendered to Christ 10 years ago that I began the deep forgiving and healing process. And it is a process, only achievable through Christ. It’s more about taking a long, hard look at yourself and taking the focus off of others. I am accountable for my own actions and reactions. I wasn’t a hormonally charged teenager any longer. I had to go back and reprocess things as an adult.
Having my own daughter really softened me toward my mom. I’m not discounting my beautiful boy in any way, but when I gave birth to my Sweet Gigi, it changed me. It softened me. And it scared me : ) I sure hope that the “parents’ curse” of having children “just like you one day” aren’t real. I don’t think I could bear dealing with my Sweet Gigi turning against me as vehemently as I turned against my own mother.
No, my mother isn’t perfect, and I no longer expect her to be or want her to be. She is a human woman who is capable of making mistakes and also capable of extending grace to other humans who also make mistakes, especially if those humans are her children. She is her own individual, unique self and she loves me for being the individual, unique self that I am : ) She never turned against me. She never shut me out. She gives me good advice. She listens to me. She loves me. And she can’t help but laugh when Sweet Gigi is being a bit unsweet.
Thank you, Mom, for loving me and for never giving up on me. (And all the rest us!)