My mother had only one eye. When I was growing up, I hated her for it. I hated the uninvited attention it got me at school. I hated how the other children stared at her and looked away in disgust. My mother worked two jobs to provide for the family, but I was just embarrassed by her and didn’t want to be seen with her.
Every time my mother came to visit me at school, I wanted her to disappear. I felt a surge of hatred towards the woman who made me the laughing stock of the school. In a moment of extreme anger, I even once told my mother I wanted her to die. I was completely unconcerned about her feelings.
As I grew up, I did whatever was in my power to distance myself from my mother. I studied hard and got a job overseas so I wouldn’t have to meet her. I got married and started raising a family of my own. I got busy with my job and family and with providing a comfortable life for my beloved children. I didn’t even think about my mother anymore.
Out of the blue, my mother came to visit one day. Her one-eyed face scared my young children and they started crying. I was angry at my mother for showing up unannounced and I forbid her to ever return to my home and new family life. I yelled and screamed, but my mother quietly apologized and left without saying another word.
An invitation to a high school reunion took me back to my hometown after decades. I could not resist driving past my childhood home and stopping by the old shack. My neighbors told me my mother had passed away and left a letter for me.
“My dear child:
I must begin by apologizing for visiting your home unannounced and frightening your beautiful children. I am also deeply sorry that I was such an embarrassment and source of humiliation to you when you were growing up.
I have learned that you may be coming back to town for your reunion. I may no longer be there when you come, and I think it is time to tell you an incident that happened when you were a young child. You see, my dear child, you were involved in an accident and lost one eye. I was devastated at the thought of my beloved child growing up with only one eye. I wanted you to see the beautiful world in all its glory, so I gave you my eye.
My dear child, I always have and always will love you from the bottom of my heart. I have never regretted my decision to give you my eye, and I am at peace that I was able to give you the ability to enjoy a complete life.
Your loving mother.”