How many of us can recall a time when our naive childhood or adolescent behavior caused a hurtful situation for our parents? Since human errors are part of childhood, all of us have the opportunity, at one point or another, to choose to embrace the depth of love that is available to us when we decide how we will respond to feelings of hurt or disappointment. Often the hurt is minor, and an understanding perspective is easily found. Other times, the situation elicits more challenging emotions and requires great discipline and perspective so we can process what we feel and still nurture the relationship. We can find great motivation from others who have succeeded in making choices that build their relationships, not allowing painful emotions to inflict damage. The lasting impression left on the individuals involved can be a great source of strength and insight. Karen Rich shares how her mother’s choice to put their relationship first had a powerful impact on her life. In her article entitled “Daisies” she recalls:
“One particular afternoon will be forever etched in my mind…It was a tough job maneuvering the family van out of the garage, but I did it quite well and proceeded self-assuredly down the driveway. And then…crunch! I had driven the van right on top of an entire bush of my mother’s prized Shasta daisies. I remember a scream-I’m not sure if it was Mom’s or mine-and then I froze.”
“…I remember wondering if Mom would ever forgive me. I sheepishly avoided my mother for the rest of the day. I don’t even remember if I came to dinner. I finished my homework and headed upstairs to get ready for bed, that awful feeling of guilt still weighing on my heart. When I opened my bedroom door, I saw a note lying on my pillow…I opened the note to find a simple, thoughtful rhyming poem from my mom…I will never forget, as long as I live, the feeling I had that night as I read that short poem. And at times when I, as a mother, now find myself becoming frustrated with my own children over matters large or small, I remember that the most important thing is that they know how much their mom loves them…”
Thank you Karen for your contribution to Seeing the Everyday. Read more of Karen’s experience in issue no 22.