A Lesson in Forgiveness

Enjoy this post, written by Ashley Williams, a student whom I mentor and fondly ‘mother’. Shared with her permission.

A heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness” – Honore de Balzac
Growing up, I never knew how people would look at me after I answered their questions about this lady whom I have never seen. I didn’t know whether to lie about her or tell them the truth. If I told them the truth would they feel sorry for me? I wanted to hate this lady because I had no idea who she was and I never liked hearing about this stranger. It’s not easy talking about a woman whom you’ve never seen before. There were times where I referred to her as the lady who birthed me, meaning my dad just picked her to have his baby. Although, I knew it was not true, I convinced myself that it was. Everyone made it seem like her absence was hurting me, and maybe it was.
When I was younger I asked my dad who she was. The look on his face told me that I had no business asking. I figured that maybe he wasn’t prepared for this question. That day he just looked at me but eventually he explained to me the situation. At the time, I didn’t quite understand, but recently it came to me. I wondered how I was going to explain my situation to people when they asked. Would they accept me for me, and the issues that come along with me? There is a whole group of people who would look down on me just because I finally figured out who this lady was.
November 16, 2013 I spent the day thinking about this stranger, who should have meant so much to me. I asked myself why I hated her. The only reason I came up with was that I didn’t know who she was. As I tried to understand why she wasn’t here with me, I thought to myself, “Hate is a strong word, I don’t hate her. I’m just misunderstanding the reasons for her absence.” Deep down I continued to pray that this lady would show herself. Looking back, I’m kind of glad she’s not here because it’s helping me understand the absence of certain people who were never in my life.
I am a 16 old year girl with just one parent and that’s my dad. In Camden, statistics show that more dads walk out of their children’s life than moms do, I became the “chosen one” whose mom decided to leave. It’s rare that you hear about a mom leaving her kids, and when you do there are many questions you ask as you try to understand why she left. My mom’s absence made me realize that you may never really know a person’s situation, so you shouldn’t judge others. But, then again, a mother leaving her kids, just doesn’t sound quite right to me. Though, it made me realize that it doesn’t matter what the situation is, you should never leave your kids. However, I believe you should try to understand the situation of mothers who have left their kids. As a young lady without a mother, I choose to forgive this lady because she made me a better person. My life gave me the passion to want to work with kids when I get older. Especially, kids who are missing a parent, or maybe don’t have any parents. This will give me a chance to show kids that just because they don’t have the ideal home life, that there are people who are still going to love them. This situation made me realize how real and strong my passion is for kids.

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