“To do a great right do a little wrong.”
– William Shakespeare –
In the last few months of my Mom’s life, I had but one question. A question from long ago that nagged at me.
My Mom was dying from a form of leukemia called Multiple Myeloma. This once vibrant lady lost her ability to take on the smallest tasks and do the things that she loved the most. It was the hardest thing that I hope to ever experience in my life.
She and my father came to live with my husband and children about 10 months after her diagnosis. Her care was taking it’s toll on my Dad and his health began to decline. To have them move in, was a decision that was easy to make.
During the next two years, we spent 24/7 together. At first, we did everything she loved…..shopping, pampering (manicures and pedicures), visiting friends and neighbors, enjoying her grandchildren’s activities. As her disease progressed, she began to slow down tremendously….her treatments were taking their toll. We spent more time at home and at the hospital – watching movies, soap operas, and talking. She was the best mother a daughter could ever hope for – she was my best friend and an angel on earth.
So why was this question so difficult to ask?
When I was 16, my first boss was trying to cross the line between employer/employee. The lingering hand on the shoulder or the physical distance between us closing in was beginning to feel inappropriate. In my head, I remember thinking holy crap. I am 16 and, yikes, he’s about 30 with a family.
A voice would scream in my head, “get the hell away from me you old fart”. Gosh, he was my elder, I had to respect him. No, I didn’t. I challenged him. I told him he had to admit to the other co-workers and his wife what he was trying to do to me. He flatly denied it in front of everyone so I quit.
I was lucky that he never achieved his ultimate goal. In the back of my mind, I always knew that I won.
I confided in my brother and my mother. My mother didn’t react, she didn’t support me, she didn’t give me advice, she just brushed it off like it never happened.
Up until about a month ago, I wondered and pondered that small lingering question that would never go away.
Why didn’t my Mom stick up for me?
Why? Why? Why?
She loved my sister more. She didn’t care. He didn’t really do anything – it was implied – so what was she to do.
I allowed this one incident to change my path. The incident wasn’t what he attempted to do to me but what my Mother didn’t do for me.
My teacher/mentor wanted me to go to her alma mater. With her help, I planned to go to Rider College (now Rider University), I was the New Jersey Secretary for the Future Business Leaders of America, and I was going to be the first one in my family to get a Bachelor’s degree.
I quit everything.
Why should I bother anymore?
I worked full time right out of high school and attended the local community college at night. That was good enough. I allowed my plans and my path to change because of one incident.
Here were are more than 30 years later and guess what…..my eyes are open. I have new insight. It came to me in a dream….a vision….a visitation…..whatever you believe.
My Mom didn’t walk into that retail shop because of one thing.
She was protecting me. My father had a very difficult childhood – foster care, neglect, abuse, etc. She feared his reaction. If he found out what this pervert attempted, imagine the outcome.
Imagine what path my life would have taken – a young girl with a father in prison – now that’s a path changer.
Thanks, Mom and I mean that sincerely. No need to elaborate any further.
What my Mom did a few short months later was invite me to have a spiritual relationship with Jesus. She had been attending a prayer group at our church. She wanted me and my best friend to drive her and asked us to stay. We didn’t want to even walk in. We thought these ladies were a bunch of nuts.
We never stopped going after that night. Two 16 years old girls hanging with a bunch of ladies reading the Bible and praying. We loved it!
This was the path changer.
In this group, was a woman that I became close to. She was older than I was. She was beautiful – a model, a dancer and a stewardess. My friend and I were awestruck. We became friends with this beautiful lady. She was my husband’s sister.
Well, you know how that ended.
If I didn’t go to this prayer group, I wouldn’t have met my beautiful friend. If I didn’t meet my beautiful friend, I wouldn’t have fallen in love with my best friend’s brother!
My Mom’s actions were not out of cowardice but bravery and love. I wish it didn’t take me so long to figure it out. She was an earth angel guiding me to the Lord. Her love made me the person I am today.
Thanks, Mom for doing a great right!