When I was still a child, I took piano lessons from this teacher, who is a daughter of my mom’s friend. Every weekend, I dreaded to go to class. Not only because I lacked practice or rather not talented at all, I simply couldn’t tolerate the way she always shouting at her fragile grandmother. Heck! She treated Freeway, the dog even better!
I went home and complained to my mother on how my piano teacher shouted at her old grandmother. Whenever I was waiting for my sister’s turn at the piano, I would try to make small talk with the grandmother. I think she’s already senile. She would look at me with her cataract infested eyes and smiled. But I could see her eyes were sad and bewildered.
My mom told me a story. When the grandmother was younger, my mom’s friend married her son. This younger grandmother then gave her new daughter in law hell. She would beat her with a mop or broom for no apparent reason. After the daughter in law gave birth to her children, her children grew up seeing their mother beaten by this grandmother. So, it’s understood that, the children do not feel any love for the grandmother.
My mom also told me about her younger days. When she was living with her siblings in her aunt’s coffee shop, her aunt too likes to nag a lot. They were given nothing more than plain porridge to eat while the aunt’s children feast on fishes and meat. The aunt didn’t treat them all that well even when my mom and her sisters were always at their best behavior. They helped around the house and stayed out of trouble. But that didn’t even win approval from this aunt. Since my grandfather (brother to this aunt) was too lazy for his own good, this aunt forced him to sign off his rights to the coffee shop and left him penniless. His family was forced to move out and fend for themselves.
When my mom and her siblings became adults and bought their first home, they invited the aunt to stay over. They still treated her with so much respect that, the aunt felt so bad for treating them badly when they were children. They even invited her to our home in KL for holidays.
Our grandaunt was remorse to the core in the way she treated my mother and her sisters when they were young. She kept asking herself, why was she ill-treating my mom and sisters when they didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, they were so good and lovely, and helped around the house. My mom and aunts assured her that, all things had happened in the past should remain in the past. There is no point bringing it up again. All is forgiven. What’s more important is make things right now and look to the future.
When my grandaunt passed on, she was forgiven and learn to forgive herself. She left the world with no regrets.
“Sincere forgiveness isn’t colored with expectations that the other person apologize or change. Don’t worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time.” Sara Paddison.
It was always good to see such love and forgiveness within the family.