Day 04 – Something you have to forgive someone for.

Double Yikes!!

When it comes to forgiveness, I’m more of an Old Testament eye-for-an-eye type than the New Testament give-the-other-cheek type. And yes, I know that an eye-for-an-eye soon makes the whole world blind . . .

While trying to pinpoint why I hurt so easily and why I find it so hard to forgive easily, I went back, way back. I won’t say that I have a chip on my shoulder about it but my childhood could have been made easier if the people who went ahead of me made more responsible choices.

My paternal grandfather left his wife and family when his firstborn (my Dad) was three. Dad’s two sisters were two and one. He went on to find himself another wife and had another four children with her and they had a lovely life. All went to grand schools, got to go to varsity and have held down cushy jobs but all live at home now and live off the old people.

My dad, his sisters and their mother, in contrast, had a hard life. They were left to fend for themselves in a little backyard shack in Goodwood and when the Group Areas Act came along, they were sent to Bonteheuwel on the Cape Flats and just tried to exist. Dad luckily did not get involved in gangs and such stuff as he was too busy being the man of the house and having to care for and protect the girls.  I won’t tell you what kind of jobs dad and his mom had to do to keep their heads above water. The two sisters went on to have have torrid lives with various husbands/boyfriends and to this day still live in poverty.

Dad worked as a carpenter for most of my childhood. When Mom died he decided to get his matric as he had his JC. He got his matric and finished a Diploma in Education and became a teacher (Woodwork and Maths). He’s worked himself up to a nice job in the private sector and I’m so proud of him.

Dad broke his back to send us to good schools. School was about the only thing we had that was grand. For the rest we had a pretty rough time of it too. Not quite Angela’s Ashes, but rough. Two of us four children managed to get bursaries for tertiary education.

I have so much anger towards my grandfather for robbing my dad and his sisters of a carefree childhood and starting a vicious cycle of poverty and poor education for our family. My dad is the only one from his siblings and cousins that actually got anywhere. The rest are stuck in a horrid cycle of violence, abuse, neglect and poverty. They’re not entirely blameless, of course, but having the kack childhood they had definitely did not help.

This while my grandfather’s second family is living it up with cushy jobs and never having to worry about where their next meal will come from.

Forgive? Sounds good. Forget? I don’t think I could.

Advertisements

26 thoughts on “Day 04 – Something you have to forgive someone for.

  1. ludditelass

    That’s a fascinating story and I can understand your resentment of your paternal grandfather. Your Dad sounds amazing for having pulled himself out of all that. Tania’s right, you can forgive (and move forward yourself) but you don’t ever need to forget.

    Reply
  2. ludditelass

    That’s a fascinating story and I can understand your resentment of your paternal grandfather. Your Dad sounds amazing for having pulled himself out of all that. Tania’s right, you can forgive (and move forward yourself) but you don’t ever need to forget.

    Reply
  3. rebeccav

    You know what? I’m a firm believer of everything happens for a reason. In your grandfather doing this to your dad (and his siblings) he made your dad even more determined to ensure you got a good education, so you would have a better life than he did. Shows what an amazing father you have! That he was able to pick himself up and make a better life for himself and you guys!I can also understand the resentment you feel. I don’t know if I’d be able to forgive, and I know I’d never forget!

    Reply
  4. rebeccav

    You know what? I’m a firm believer of everything happens for a reason. In your grandfather doing this to your dad (and his siblings) he made your dad even more determined to ensure you got a good education, so you would have a better life than he did. Shows what an amazing father you have! That he was able to pick himself up and make a better life for himself and you guys!I can also understand the resentment you feel. I don’t know if I’d be able to forgive, and I know I’d never forget!

    Reply
  5. AyDee

    What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Your Dad was obviously determined to turn his luck around due to his past which is aomething to admire & be proud of

    Reply
  6. AyDee

    What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Your Dad was obviously determined to turn his luck around due to his past which is aomething to admire & be proud of

    Reply
  7. shazdart

    Wow, what a wonderful father you have! I am always immensely impressed with men who step up and are examples to their own families and others. He has certainly done the very best he can to stop that circle of poverty.Forgiveness makes your load lighter and does not let the other party off the hook. Hugs. xx

    Reply
  8. shazdart

    Wow, what a wonderful father you have! I am always immensely impressed with men who step up and are examples to their own families and others. He has certainly done the very best he can to stop that circle of poverty.Forgiveness makes your load lighter and does not let the other party off the hook. Hugs. xx

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s