I was twenty two and had just given birth to my daughter, my first child. Being two months pregnant, when I married did not go over well with my guardians. In fact, since they had disowned me for other reasons, I'm not sure what I really expected when I called my Aunt that night. They had raised me since I was four and I so wanted to have their love in my life even though it was abusive in so many ways.
She answered the phone.
Happily and enthusiastically, I said, "Auntie Ann, it's me. I wanted to call and tell you that I just had a beautiful baby girl. Her name is Jennifer and she weighed 6 lbs 13 oz. Wait until you see her...she's beautiful!"
Hearing the unpleasantness and sarcasm even before she uttered a sound, I waited patiently for her response. "I'm not interested in you or your little girl," she said before hanging up.
Tears filled my eyes and as they made their way down my young face, I slowly withdrew into my shell under the hospital linens, hidden from sight. I had to hide the tears and the pain because I heard the sound of familiar voices. My husband and in laws were coming down the hall. They were my new family and welcomed me with open arms then and always.
Learning to forgive is one of the most difficult things to do in life. While growing up, my Aunt would tell us stories about "girls in trouble" and how she looked at them saying that "they just couldn't wait until they were married." Thinking that she had a heart of gold, I was so proud that she didn't belittle these young women.
It took me a long time to forgive her for that night. I often wonder if she ever forgave me.