“Do you think Cinderella really forgave her stepsisters and stepmother, Daadi?” little Sruthi asked.
“Yes, she did” I told my little granddaughter with conviction. I tucked her to sleep, gave her a kiss and switched off the light.
As I walked away, the question haunted me.
Does forgiveness come that easily? Did not Cinderella resent even a little bit for all the horrible things said and done to her? Is it that simple?
Have I forgiven my husband? Can I ever forget that day when Rajiv left me with nothing and broke my trust and went away with his girl friend?
I carried that resentment for a long time in my heart even as I became a single mother to Sruthi’s father, my only son Srikanth. Those days of struggle haunt me sometimes even today.
I remember the day as clear as yesterday when Rajiv came to visit us on Srikanth’s 18th birthday. None of us were expecting him. How can Rajiv claim any right to be a father and come now after all the struggle is over and Srikanth is an adult?
Without my knowledge, Srikanth had kept in touch with his father. I was furious. How can Srikanth do this to me, I thought. Did I not sacrifice my whole life to make sure Sri was taken care of? Did I not make sure Sri’s education was the best? Did I not do this all by myself?
After the party, Srikanth took my hand in his and said, “Ma, you know I love you. You have been there with me through thick and thin. I cannot imagine my life without you. I am aware of all the hardships you have been through all these years. I have been with you through them and we both are out of the woods now.
Please don’t misunderstand me Ma, your resentment towards Dad has soured you from inside. It has made you a victim of sorts. Why do you give your resentment so much power over you that you can’t enjoy your successes? You have achieved so much in life after Dad went away. And all that on your own capabilities.
This feeling inside you is eating you alive. Please let it go. It has been 17 years now. There is so much to look forward to. Dad is a part of my life, because I want him in mine. I will not make him a part of yours, if you don’t want to.
It is time to let go, Ma.”
I realised I had no right to keep a son away from a father. After that I had tried hard. It was tough to let go. But now after Sruthi was born, I feel much more at peace.
So, yeah, forgiveness is tough and takes a lot of work.