I Teach My Daughter Forgiveness by Demi Richardson

My daughter recently had a birthday,
but I couldn’t tell you how old she is.

Here’s what I can tell you.
When she was ten I told my daughter that she was never something I could want.
She was not something planned or expected or desirable,
and when she was born I took one look at her and
gave her away.

I have never wanted her back.

I said all those things to her.

A few years later my daughter stood in the shower and opened up her wrist.  She was too young to know what she was doing, she just knew that she could not breathe with everything inside of her.  Something had to come out.

I’ve watched her grow up on social media.  I’ve seen pictures of her on Facebook, and I
really,
………..really
………………….love
…………………………..her smile.

I don’t know my daughter.  Don’t know her favorite color, the sound of her voice, whether she’s a morning person, how she takes her coffee…

I don’t know the feel of her head in my lap. I’ve put countries and borders between us, but
the first time a boy broke her heart
I heard it snap ten thousand miles away.

Because she is still my daughter
and that heart was formed just under mine.

I didn’t teach her this, but she has learned that her heart doesn’t need that boy,
……….doesn’t need anything or anyone out there,
…………………it needs her, it needs her to want it,
……………………………..to fight for it, to cradle it and kiss it and
………………………………………..love it fearless, love it inexhaustible.

………………………………………..It doesn’t need anything
………………………………………..or anyone else.

Every act of love is an act of forgiveness.
My daughter reminds me of this when she writes.

In the space between my inhale and her exhale she writes,

I forgive you, and

I am proud
………….to be all of the things you are not,
………………………and some of the things that you are.

I forgive, I forgive, I forgive.

I am forgiver.
I am forgiven.

I am the hardest thing
my daughter has ever learned
to love.

 

 

 

demi-richardsonDemi Richardson studies writing at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she is forever misplacing hair ties, pens, and her favorite poems.

Germ Magazine guest author
… is a contributing guest author for Germ, which means the following criteria (and then some) have been met: possessor of a fresh, original voice; creator of fresh, original content; genius storyteller; superlative speller; fantastic dancer; expert joke teller; handy with a toolbox; brilliant at parties; loves us as much as we love them.

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