Friday, March 29, 2013

A Grim Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there was a mother who had three beautiful children – two handsome boys and one beautiful girl.  They were everything to her.  The rising sun and setting moon could not measure up to the love she had in her heart for her children.  She made everyday an adventure. Although she had little money, she always came up with creative ideas to make each day fun and special. 

One day, the children didn't see her.  Their father had appeared and introduced them to a new house belonging to a new woman he said would be a better mother than the one they would no longer see.  The children were bewildered because this new woman was unpleasant.  She yelled at them all the time.  She never took them on outings.  She never sang to them or read them stories.  But, she was all they had, so in time they accepted her as a mother.  They clamored for their father's attention, but when he was there, most of his conversation centered on what a terrible person their own mother was and how lucky they were to be away from that terrible person.  In time, they started to believe it as well. 

There came a day when they finally were able to see their mother.  In the time they were apart, the mother had a baby.  They were so excited to see her and meet their new little sister.  Her hugs were as warm as ever, and she spoke to them in loving tones.  The fog that had grown through the years slowly dissipated as the children began to remember.  But their happiness was soon shattered by their father who daily told them that she only loved her youngest daughter and gave her all her love and possessions, while denying them with her lies.

Saddened, the children began to draw away from their mother.  Seeking a maternal figure, they grew closer to the woman who was now their father's wife.  In time, they did not ask about their mother and eventually they did not want to see her at all.  They coldly turned away when their mother tried to see them.  When their grandmother died, their mother again reached out to them, but they cruelly refused to attend their grandmother’s funeral. 

It was then that the mother had to make a difficult decision.  She could not think about her three older children any longer.  All of her attempts to talk to them were futile.  They were too frightened by their father to ask the details of their childhood, and and terrified to learn the truth, thus exposing their father as the liar.  So the mother devoted her life only to her youngest child, promising her she would no longer try to contact the older children because it made her sad, and her daughter did not like to see her mother unhappy. 

Years went by and the children went off to their own lives and families.  One day the three oldest children learned that their mother had died.   They went to the funeral and approached their younger sister who was standing there, her grief visible.  Approaching her, they briefly murmured condolences, and then turned to leave.  "Wait!" their sister spoke.  "I have a copy of Mom's will."  The three turned back, each remembering suddenly how much their mother had loved them.  Emotions welled up as the pain of all those lost years came rushing back.  She was their mother and they abandoned her. They asked no questions.  They never stood up to their father; and instead cried confused tears into their pillows.  "We're sorry," they cried.  "We loved Mom!  We're sorry we left you too!" 

As their tears flowed, their sister read from their mother's will: "To my two sons and oldest daughter- I loved you more than my own life, but you turned from me and never returned.  It made me sad that you chose to ignore your mother.  However, I did not want to leave you out of my will.  I want to give you something so you will always remember me....therefore, I leave to each of you one dollar.  This is so you will never forget that you only have one mother.”

The youngest daughter folded the will.  “She left me everything else.  But I would give it all away if she could have died knowing that you loved her as much as I did.”  She turned and walked away as one.  She would strongly stand as the one person who was fortunate to have her mother's love, which she knew would always be there.  

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