I’m bringing you on a personal journey: mine. I strongly believe we can all learn from one another and I hope by sharing this story, it will make you ask yourself some questions. This is the goal of making you rethink your current situation.
You see, like many of you, I come from a broken family. There was a lot of violence in my daily life. No child should ever grow up in that kind of dark atmosphere, but sadly a lot of them, do!
I am an only child and I learned very quickly what “hate” felt like.
My dad was a hard-working man who spent more than 80 hours a week at work while my mom stayed home with me. I realised pretty young that I wasn’t wanted and nothing would ever be good enough, no matter how hard I tried.
She beat me every single day. Put me in diapers and made me parade in front of the big window in the living room when friends would walk by. She would scream and swear, shout for everything and nothing at all. She would pick up the phone and act as if she was talking to the police, saying I had been a very bad girl, then made my suitcase and put me in front of the door. We were “waiting” for the police car to come and get me. I was going to jail. That’s what she told me many times and every single time, I was certain I was going to jail forever!
I spent many days in my teens wishing her dead! No, I wasn’t a Christian at that time and knew nothing about God. And the fact that my dad wasn’t present didn’t help at all. He was trying to escape the madness so he stayed at work as much as he could. And when he came back, he drank himself into a coma accompanied by my mom.
That’s why I learned to drive at around 12 or 13 years old. I could drive them back at our house all the while my dad passed out in the back and mom sitting in front. At 16, I was already a very experienced driver!
Life eventually went on, and I moved out at around 20. I had a nice job and a decent apartment apart from the fact that the bathroom ceiling in the shower fell on my head! But that’s another story…
I was at least finally away from the beast! Through the years, she remained an angry and frustrated woman. But still, she could show some love on some occasions and it felt good when she did. Surprisingly, when I was sick, she was the best mom ever! But she went back to her old self as soon as I started to feel better.
Things changed and fast
In my forties, my dad got sick. The first time, I was on the road with my then boyfriend (we were driving tractor trailers in the United States), and my dad told me, over the phone, he had prostate cancer. I was in Las Vegas, very far from home.
After being operated on, dad beat cancer only to get some more bad news a few years later, that he had stage IV colon cancer. My dear father stayed strong during the battle. He fought so hard because he didn’t want to leave my mom behind. He knew she was very dependent on him. She didn’t even walk 20 feet outside to go get the newspaper. She knew nothing about paying bills, could not drive and was afraid of her shadow. Dad knew all that, and the more death’s door was knocking the more he became very angry and frustrated.
They eventually spoke frankly to one another and forgave each other. One morning dad asked mom to call the ambulance, he knew it was time for him to leave home. Mom could no longer take care of him.
She told me, it was the hardest thing she ever had to go through. They embraced each other very hard, dad was put on a stretcher and outside, he waved saying with all his strength, that he loved her very much. That was the last time they spoke. A few hours later, I went to the hospital and he could no longer recognize me or her.
My mom found herself all alone for the first time in her life! She fell into a deep depression and started to change. She went from a strong and very intimidating woman to a frail and very scared one. Everything changed so fast. I didn’t have time to deal with my dad’s passing that my mom was transforming herself into someone I didn’t know.
Five years later, she was diagnosed with dementia and had to go to the hospital emergency because of liver cirrhosis. She stayed in the hospital almost 2 months and came very close to dying. Even the doctor thought it was a miracle she had not.
That’s where the story changes and you see the greatness of God. In 2011, I was a believer, so every time, I went to see mom, I would pray with her. Pray at home, in my car, everywhere and constantly. I asked God to please help me forgive her so I could have a few moments with her before he decided to come and get her.
I was able to have one year with my mom. One day, I spoke to her in her hospital bed and told her how I felt about her old self. She didn’t remember how she was, to the point that she was now a new woman. She spoke differently, she laughed always and was loved by everyone at the hospital. She was an extremely loving person.
After I was done talking to her, I promised her I would never abandon her. She asked for forgiveness and accepted my apologies. That day, we stood there in that hospital room hugging for hours. I was blessed enough to spend one year with that new mom. Even if she forgot things and could not remember where she lived or who my husband was, I didn’t care. I had been blessed by God in a big way, and I was able to have one full year with the loving woman. I know if I had not been keen on forgiving her, I would have missed the boat and would probably live with a lot of regrets.
The day she died, I was with her, alone in the room. The Holy Spirit told me to go to her quick. I took her hand, she squeezed it very hard, smiled and I stroke her hair, telling her how much I loved her. She let out 3 breaths and she was gone.
I drove one hour to go back home and I was crying all the way back. Not just because she was gone, rather for the privilege I had to be with her that last year.
The act of forgiveness had made it possible for me to love my mom again. Love her dearly and sincerely. Plus, it made it also possible to give her pure love, while she was on her way home.
Love waved goodbye, and love reached out to welcome her.