I believe in the healing powers of love and forgiveness. When I was in my early teens, I was raped, raped by my cousin. Then I forgot about it, burying the events away somewhere deep and hidden. Ten years later, when the events of my incest resurfaced into my consciousness, I hurled angry words at my mother, who I thought had failed me terribly. My mother, who felt deeply responsible for my suffering, never attacked my cousin for his misdeeds but simply held me through my pain. Over the course of years, she forgave him and continued to be my best friend, my guide and my anchor. Somewhere deep inside my heart, though, I remained angry at her because I desperately wanted her to be angry – angry at her nephew and at his mother and father. I wanted her to wreak devastation on him and his family, as he had done to me and mine. When I was 30, my mother was diagnosed with a grade IV glioblastoma – a cruel disease that took her away in seven short months. As she left us, first in mind and then in body, she continued to be my teacher in the healing powers of love and forgiveness. In the last weeks of her life, she asked me to call my cousin and requested him to come to her side. He did. As many family members came together to witness her passing, I wondered why him? Now I know. As the mother of two young children myself, I realize that her love for me was deep and her pain at my incest even deeper. My mother’s life was love in action. She had abiding love for me and in forgiving her nephew and asking him to be at her bedside as she passed on; she opened the way for me to heal. She was an extraordinary woman and I a blessed daughter.
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