Whenever I hear someone speaking ill about their parents, I would always feel my blood boiling. I would have this great urge to chastise them. Everyone on this earth will definitely have a mother and a father. Parents would always love their children in good times and in bad times. My story is a rather different one however, whenever I think back about what happened that very day, I would always break down and cry. Even till now, I can still remember that incident vividly. This was how it all begun…
The afternoon was cold and chilling. It was a little cloudy and a cool light breeze was blowing against my cheeks. It was the fifth of August and the year was nineteen twenty-nine. I was with my siblings and father looking for a suitable coffin. I know it sounds totally insane but I actually felt extremely jubilant about buying a coffin! Just the evening before, my stepmother had lost the battle to cancer and I was unexpectedly gleeful.
To tell you the truth, I hated my stepmother. She was a total embarrassment to me. She possessed only one eye! The other was just an empty hollow socket! It was like a dark void with its depth unknown. When I started to learn how to walk, talk, eat and play, I noticed how my stepmom had only one eye. She was totally hideous. The sight of her was sickening. After school, my stepmother would always wait for me at the school gate and when my friends saw her, they would always make fun of me. They would start saying nasty things like: “Ha-ha! Tommy has a one-eyed alien mother!” That was also the point when I would yell words of contempt and hostility at my stepmom warning her never to wait for me ever again. Whenever I go out with my stepmom, it was a taboo letting my mom walk beside me. It was just, impossible. To put it simply, she was just someone who humiliates me and also someone who brought shame to me.
“Hey dad, I feel really sick and do not wish to attend the funeral,” I acted like I was extremely ill and conveyed my message in a very feeble manner. My dad, being a reasonable person, agreed. On the day of the funeral, the house was no different than it was before and after my siblings and dad left. The house was totally silent and all I could hear was the wind howling in my ears. I was on the way to the kitchen when I noticed a big brown broken cupboard box in the living room. No doubt I was curious as that was my first time seeing a dusty brown cupboard box. When I opened it, I was baffled as to find stacks of paper in a dirty yellow file. Right on top, there was a picture. As I got a closer look at it, I was struck dazed and my entire being just froze on the spot. In the picture, was a photo of my father and my stepmother. However, in that photo, my stepmother had eyes. She was the most beautiful women I had ever seen!
There was also a letter attached to the picture written by my stepmom. It said “After many days of tough decision, I have already decided and this would be my final decision. I had decided to give my one eye to my son, Tommy, who is born with only one eye. I also wish that I be called his stepmother so that he would not feel depress when people make fun of him. I have already used this eye to see great things and I hope that my son would see through my eyes and see things far greater than I have. I hope that one day my son would understand why I gave my eye to him.” As I saw those words unfolding before my eyes, my heart tightened and contracted involuntarily. My eyes became redder and redder. Only at that point did I realize that after all these years, I had been extremely rude and crude to my mother who had helped me see by sacrificing her own eye. Without her, I would only have one eye. I felt like punching myself. Even torturing could not allow me to forgive myself. Without any moment to lose, I quickly rushed out of the house to see my mom one last time. As I ran down the road to church, tears whisked past my face.
Till today, when I think back upon the moment when I read that note, I feel as if I was being transported back to the day when I told my mom I hated her. Those words in the letter that unfolded before me was not only a surprise discovery but it also helped me change my perspective towards the way I saw things. I regretted my cruelty towards my mother, but it was too late to atone and make amends.