My sappy story with a lesson

Ok, so I am not big on sappy sad stories of my childhood, but here it goes.  Read to the end, it actually has a positive and possibly life changing lesson. So here it goes.  I grew up poor.  Not exactly World-Vision kinda poor but more like Santa-Claus-could-never-find-his-way-to-our-village poor in a small village in Mexico.  We had love and family and a childhood I am so damn proud of and that's all that matters.  Growing up poor has taught me a million life lessons you can't get these days and helped shape who I am today, so I am very grateful for this.

Back to my sappy story.  So one year my godmother bought me a baby doll, maybe for my birthday or something, I can't remember.  It had to be a major event for such a glorious gift.  I loved it like my baby! I made it baby clothes from left over rags and everything. The other baby doll came from a church event with sponsors that had come to us from the US.  Now I had two dolls to play with.  OMG, life was good!  I just felt like the Lord had blessed me with two dolls and I was the happiest girl in the world.  I never thought this was excessive, but there were those around me who did. 
My grandmother would watch my dolls for me because my mom didn't like clutter.  She kept them safe and put away in her home and when my parents and I moved to the city, I had to leave them behind. This was not an easy thing to do, but I had no choice.  I also left my rooster and my bike behind.  I never saw either of them again but my brother told me my rooster had grown up very pretty, and probably ended up into a delicious soup.

So one year I lived with my grandma and my aunts would see me playing with my dolls when they would stop by to visit her and they would make comments like: "You should give one of those dolls to another kid who is less fortunate than you".   Less fortunate than me?  I wondered.  Are you kidding me?!  I AM less fortunate than me!  My grandmother would make faces at them to have them go away.  I loved my grandmother, she always had my back.  So what was so wrong with a girl having two dolls, you might wonder?  Nothing really, they were all I had, aside from that rock over there and that pile of dirt I had turned into a doodoo pie.  I'm telling you, they made me doubt my sense of greed back then.  Was I really a greedy child to not want to hand over one of my children to another less fortunate child?  Up to this day I have to remind myself I am not greedy, just grateful.

Then that dreadful day happened when my grandmother passed away. A truly sad day in my life. This was the perfect time for my aunts to find my treasures and run off with them.  They pillaged and plundered my grandmother's home soon after her passing and off they went with her things and the only toys I had.  By the time we made it to her home for the funeral, they were gone.  I looked where my grandma had them hidden and were gone.  They were never heard of or seen since.  So obviously I grew up resenting my aunts.  I missed my dolls for years.  They were like my babies and then they were gone. I asked them for them and they told me they had give them to "more needy children."  That never made any sense.  I felt robbed.  They had robbed a child of the only possession she had.

Ok, so I'm over the whole doll thing by now, but not the fact that this lady stole from a kid.
Fast forward to a few years ago, I actually saw my aunt again.  She could barely walk of old age and when she reached out to me, I helped her walk by holding her arm.  She is very old now and when I saw her so changed, so weak, everything made sense to me.  As a child I didn't know the real message of this story but I do now.  It took this many years to learn it and here it is:  Be careful what you do to children because one day they will grow up and you will need their help and if you were mean to them they might just let you fall on your face.

To all truthfulness, this doll story was the first thing that came to my mind the moment I saw her.  But when I saw her there all feeble, stumbling and barely able to stand, I immediately forgave.  I knew there was no point in keeping this grudge in me because it was doing more harm than good.  So now I move on and I take my sappy story as a lesson learned.  I will not dare do something evil-like to a child because one day she or he will be big and I will be small.  The roles will reverse so be careful who you are mean to.  I already treat my children as little-adults.  They are this tiny now, they won't be later.  I never had an adult to talk to as a child so I guess that's why this lingered in my mind.

Now as a mother, I never want my children to grow up with unresolved issues or grudges against anyone.  Feelings that you were taken advantage of or bullied in any way tend to linger on forever.  These issues need to be talked about, discussed, cried over and eventually got over.  We should not carry sad childhood issues with us to adulthood.  They only scar our soul and cloud our minds and they become filters to our life situations.  Don't let the past consume your future.  Find those moments that caused you harm or caused you pain and finally once and for all discard them from our minds.  They are no longer important.  What seemed great then are not anymore.  Forgive and then move on.

Lorena Frith

Lifestyle Photographer in Houston, Texas

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