The older I get, the more grateful I become for the things my mother has taught me: how to give, say thank you, work hard and treat people with equal respect. And, most recently, how to forgive.
Although my parents were not a good match, they stayed together for 21 years and had six children. When my father finally left, my mother turned to her friends for support, particularly one close friend, Peggy, a widow whom she had supported through the death of her own husband.
What she couldn't know was that Peggy would marry my father less than a year later.
The new marriage was a terrible blow, but even more difficult was that for three decades my father and Peggy shunned my mother wherever they encountered her; parties, the bank, the grocery store. Divorce was uncommon in our small Midwestern town, and there were many social ripples. It was a painful time.
Five years ago my father died. My mother could have handled this any number of ways, but surprised everyone when she reached out to her old friend, Peggy. Many people were dumbfounded.