This I Believe

Tokunboh - Takoma Park, Maryland
Entered on April 25, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: forgiveness

I believe in forgiveness. I believe forgiveness is a passport that permits us to move onward on our path of destiny, so that we may be where we need to be and be who we need to become. On March 3rd 2007 my father passed away. He was 74 and lived a good life. Raised by my mother alone for 29 years, I was kept a secret from my father’s family. They had no idea I existed. I learned of this from a discussion on one of his many secret visits to me a month before my 20th birthday. I was both disconcerted and hurt. Why would he want to keep me a secret? Was I not as beautiful, healthy, intelligent and as deserving as his other children? This was his last visit. For 10 years I felt as if I half belonged to a family, that of my mother’s and half disowned by my mystery family on my father’s side. A month after he passed away, I read his eulogy off the internet. This was the way I learned of his death. I was completely devastated; precisely heartbroken. All this time had passed without a word, however with numerous thoughts about his whereabouts and his wellbeing as well as hopes of seeing him again, hoping next time not as a secret. Now I would definitely not see him again in this lifetime, no opportunity to be introduced to my siblings. The news hit me hard, so I closed my eyes for a moment of silence and spoke a prayer. I prayed that wherever my father was, he would know that he was forgiven. Truly forgiven from the core of my very being. The 10 years of brewed anger I felt dissipated and led me to a space of peaceful forgiveness. For me this moment was about allowing his spirit to be released from a cage of his guilt, and my spirit lifted from the heaviness of neglect. Within a period of 7 days I contacted several siblings and relatives. Evidently I was a secret to them because they were quizzical. They asked me various questions to prove that I was indeed his child. Daddy had really locked me in his heart and threw the key into the lake of forgiveness. Because it is out forgiveness the secret, me, has been revealed to my siblings and family. And through forgiveness I spend nights dreaming of my father and I together having sweet conversations and being together with his family. I feel whole again; it is forgiveness I believe. Forgiving a parent is like forgiving yourself, once its done all obstacles suddenly dissolve.