She realized that if she kept her anger and resentment bottled up inside of her, she would never find true happiness. She looked into the eyes of her newborn daughter and promised that she would be nothing like her parents but she knew that in order to make good on that promise she was going to have to forgive her parents. Forgive them for abandoning her; forgive them for taking advantage of her and putting her in situations no child should ever be in.
She looked at the address that a private investigator had given her. She’d been looking for her parents ever since she aged out of the system and now at age 30, she’d finally been able to locate them.
Strapping her daughter in her car seat, her husband drove to the location as she sat in silence, milling through her thoughts, trying to figure out what she wanted to say. She finally gave up and decided that she would just speak from her heart. Once at the gate her husband gave her hand a gentle squeeze, gazing up into his eyes she took a deep breath and pushed it open.
An eerie feeling crept over her, as did nervousness. It would be the first time seeing her parents in over 20 years.
They sat side by side. They didn’t say a word to her but she was sure they could see her.
“I forgive you. I realized a little while ago that I needed to forgive you, not for you but for me; for my family…my daughter. They deserve to have all of me, the real me, who I am inside” tears streamed down her face, she took a deep breath and continued, “what you did to me was not right at all, it broke my spirit, it broke me and it took me years to find and gather all of my pieces again and in finding my pieces I realized there was still one piece missing–the piece where you two should have been. I hated life because of you, I wanted to die but then I met this wonderful man right here and he showed me that my past didn’t have to define my future and you know what? He was right. I’m not going to let my past keep me down any longer. I refuse to be bitter all because you two were monsters, my family doesn’t deserve that, I don’t deserve that. So this will be the last time you see me but I just wanted you to know that you are forgiven, I have no space in my heart to hate you anymore. Goodbye”
She turned around, walked away and never looked back. She walked out of the cemetery feeling empowered, there was a lightness that washed over her, she felt anew. She had a new outlook on life. She’d finally filled that void, she was finally wholesomely happy and she couldn’t wait to pour all of that happiness into her daughter.
When faced with the decision to choose between happiness and bitterness she felt she made the right choice. Before getting back into their car, she kissed her husband deeply and thanked him for being there for her.