God told me that I needed to do something to serve him. I asked him what do you want me to do? He told me to tell people your story, but most importantly tell them about me. So here I am.
To say my life can be a book is an understatement. I have so many stories to share. Once I start writing and get into the flow, it’s hard for me to stop. Basically, I tend to write a lot. I’m not much of a talker, but I sure can write down my feelings and thoughts. Sometimes it can be too much, so forgive me if I get long winded. This is my first time writing and sharing this experience with others. I’ve told a few people about what happened, but other than my husband, no one really cared or believed me. That made me second guess sharing my story, but God said to share no matter what the outcome is. Whatever the outcome, God will get me through it. I was in a fragile state since all of this happened. I am now well enough emotionally to write about it.
Last year in April of 2020, I lost my mother to the pandemic. My mother and I had a tumultuous relationship and we had been estranged foreclose to five years prior to her death. It was a simple falling out. She had a history of not speaking to me for years whenever she was good and ready. So, at the time of her death, she wasn’t speaking to me. I am sure she knew being asthmatic and overweight, there would be a great chance that she was not going to make it. I knew it too. I knew if my mother were to get infected, she probably wouldn’t survive. I wanted to reach out but I knew she was just going to reject me yet again.
My mother had a chance to reach out to me before she died, but she didn’t. She requested that I not be notified of her death, and that I not attend her funeral. I found out of her death 10 days after she died. They could not bury her right away because of the pandemic. My half-brother and stepfather honored her request and refused to let me attend my own mother’s funeral. It broke me into a million pieces that my own mother hated me that much over a simple disagreement, that she would let her 39-year-old daughter spend the rest of her life knowing that her mother didn’t even want to say goodbye to her on her deathbed. It was cold and cruel, but that was who she was towards me.
2020 was a very horrible time in my life. Probably the worst. I should have been celebrating the achievement of finally finishing my degree, instead I was in mourning. I spent the year trying to heal and bounce back from the circumstances of my mother’s death. Before my mom died, she instructed everyone in my family to disown me, which they did. She would tell them lies and say that I would gossip about my cousins and aunts. It wasn’t true. She did that. Every single family member, including my father’s side turned their back on me. I will share details of that in upcoming posts, otherwise this post would be a book!
My mother lived in Queens, New York. In the beginning of the pandemic, NYC was the epicenter of the virus. I knew all of this, but stood firm on not trying to call her again. Every time I did, she rejected me and it would hurt. I spent so much time healing from the blow of each rejection that eventually I just couldn’t do it anymore. I was in my last semester of school and it was a tough one. I decided to just focus on my studies and not reach out. I didn’t have time to get my feelings hurt. Although, I saw on the news how the very hospital I was born in was stacking bodies in refrigerated trucks because they had run out of room in the morgue. Yet, I didn’t call her.
My childhood wasn’t easy. I suffered neglect at the hands of my mother and step-father. I had food and a roof over my head, but it was the basics. I didn’t have my own room growing up and I never got any treats or cereal I liked. I wore my stepfather’s clothes in high school. Oversized clothes were in back in the 90s. I had a hard time making his clothes look cool, though. My mother rarely bought me anything, let alone clothes. I was embarrassed to go to school which was one of the reasons I used to cut class and hang out with my friends who used to cut too.
Her verbal, emotional and physical abuse was constant. I could count on one hand how many times she said she loved me, I can remember being hugged by her once, and never heard her tell me she was proud of me. I was an only child until 16. When my mom had my half- brother, things at home became worse. When her son came along, my mother and step-father wanted the best for him, so they bought a house. I was able to get my own room for about 10 months before I moved out at 17. Before that, we all slept in the same room in a one-bedroom apartment. Imagine being a teenager and sleeping in the same room as your mom and stepfather. I used to hang out in the closet floor just to get some alone time away from them. A 16-year girl old should be hanging out with friends and socializing, not sitting alone in a closet.
I know my mom wanted her new family and I was the 5th wheel. She gave the world to my brother. He talked back to her and stayed out all hours of the night. He didn’t respect her or his father. Yet, they did everything for him. When my half-brother was about 19, my mom and him got into a physical altercation and they both went to jail. Her golden child went to jail for putting his hands on her, and she forgave him. Meanwhile, if I answered the phone wrong, she wouldn’t speak to me for years and I’m not exagerating.
At 17, I left my mothers house. She pretty much kicked me out. I came home from school one day and my things were on the porch. She was mad that I didn’t tell her I was going to school that day which was so senseless. I met an older man and had a child at 19. I became a single mom at 21. I moved from Queens where I grew up, to The Bronx where I spent a few years and then went to NJ when I was 21 for a new start. There just was too much pain back in NYC to stay there any longer. It was a struggle to raise a child all alone with absolutely no help from my family. My son’s father was a deadbeat also. Thankfully, when my son was 7, I met my now husband. With his help, he got me on my feet. I was able to get a high school equivalency diploma and start community college. It took me 5 years to get a 2-year degree. After work for 5 years, I took evening and weekend classes. I then went on to a four year university to get my B.A. I finally finished last year May of 2020 at 39 years old!
Up until 4 years ago, I was working as a lunch lady. I did that for 13 years. I was never a school person, but with God’s grace, he got me through it all. I always thought I was too stupid to do anything really. I also hated sitting in a classroom all day. I didn’t get past the 9th grade. I was just going to school to get away from the abuse going on at home, but I used to cut every single class in high school. I guess disliked being a lunch lady more than I disliked school. I wanted to work in TV, so why not try? I tried and succeeded and I was on top of the world until the death of my mother.
The day my mom died; I experienced something I would like to share with you. The early morning of the April 26th, before I knew my mother had passed, a series of events occurred within just a few minutes. I was laying in bed, depressed because I was finally about to graduate after 8 1/2 years of hard work and sacrifice. My mom wasn’t speaking to me, but I wanted her there. She was a stubborn woman who would let countless birthdays pass without calling me. That used to hurt me so much because it was a hurtful reminder that I meant nothing to her, or anyone else for that matter. I remember having many birthdays where not a single soul acknowledged my birthday. She didn’t come to my first graduation from community college and it hurt really bad. I knew she wasn’t coming to this one either and it was getting to me. I felt like no one loved me and I was feeling sorry for myself. Little did I know she was in a hospital bed dying.
As I was lying in bed staring at the ceiling, I remember looking at the clock and it said 12:12am. I closed my eyes and saw what looked like a bunch of nuns standing in a row. It could have been about a hundred or so of them. I remember thinking “This isn’t real. There are no black nuns. This isn’t realistic. I need to see some black and brown nuns. Someone who looks like me!” Then the nuns started chanting. “Forgive us for our sins, let us do right by you Lord. Forgive us for our sins.” Although I didn’t see her, I sensed that they were being instructed by an older nun who oversaw them. I then felt as if the nun was telling me to chant too. It was a strong feeling, so I went with it, and I started repeating “Forgive us for our sins, let us do right by you, Lord. Forgive us for our sins.” After chanting that in my head, the nuns disappeared and I started to see older women dressed in white, but they looked somewhat dingy. It was like looking at them through a sepia effect. They looked like they could have been my ancestors. I have a picture of my grandmother’s mother dressed the same way they were dressed. They were all wearing A line dresses. The type they would sew themselves back in my mother’s country. They all had a white hankerchief wrapped around their head and were standing in a circle. Their faces looked distorted. It looked square like. I felt like I was in the middle of that circle spinning around and around. As I spun, I remember seeing each of their faces, but they were all the same. They were asking rapid fire questions like “Why did you lie? Why did you steal?” and other questions to that nature. It felt like someone was being judged, and I got a glimpse of it.
I felt so overwhelmed I couldn’t take it anymore and opened my eyes. I remember feeling relieved that I was out of that but felt like the person who was being judged couldn’t leave. I remember feeling grateful and relieved that it wasn’t me and also feeling sorry for whoever that was in whatever that was. I laid in bed trying to process what just happened, a question popped into my mind. I knew it was God asking this to me. He said, “Do you forgive your mother for all she has done to you?” I took a deep breath and said, “I’m sorry, I cannot answer that right now.”
At the time I was in too much pain. I hated her at that moment. I used to constantly wish death on her so I could finally heal! I just wanted to heal! Why wouldn’t she let me heal? I never healed from all the trauma of my childhood, and trust me, there are so many. My mother would continuously hurt me, opening old wounds over, and over, and over again. I felt like I was spending so much energy trying to recover from the things she had done. I felt weary, I needed her to stop, and death was my solution. If she was dead, she could not continue to hurt me. I wasn’t ready to forgive her at that moment. At that moment I was still angry. I rolled over and tried to forget what just happened.
All of a sudden, my phone starts to play music. Sade’s song “Kiss of life” came on out of nowhere. I wasn’t listening to music, but it started playing on my phone all on its own. I didn’t turn it off, I listened. I never really listen to words when I listen to music. My mind is always too busy thinking about other things to pay attention to lyrics, but I heard them that day. I listened to the lyrics and cried a cry I have never cried before in my life. I felt like Jesus himself was not only speaking to me through the words of the song, but I felt his physical embrace hug me. It was like he was giving me the warmest, most loving hug. It felt what I imagined a mother’s love would be, except a million times better. It felt like all the love that wasn’t given to me from my childhood, all the love I was deprived of from my mother, he gave back to me in that moment. He was telling me that he loved me. He was telling me I am worthy and I mattered.
I always get emotional when I think back of that night. I wish I could feel that love forever, but If I do right by God and do what he tells me to do, I can in my afterlife. I knew in that moment of Jesus visiting me that he was real and he was always there for me, protecting me, guiding me since I was a child. He got me through every difficult, suicidal, sad, lonely moment. He even sent me my husband who was the one who thought me about Jesus. When I thought I was alone, Jesus was there! He was there for me even though my family were not believers of Christ. He showed me he was real. How can I ever doubt his existence after that experience? I knew nothing about Jesus growing up, but as an adult, I leaned towards Christianity but still had questions about him. Who was this guy? Should I really worship him? Yea, I should. Especially after what just happened and learning more about his story.
I remember laying in bed processing what happened. It felt like time was moving extremely slow. A minute felt like an hour because when I looked at the time it was 12:13. How was that possible? I listened to a whole Sade song. I wasn’t dreaming, I was awake. When my husband (Fiancé at the time) came to bed, I told him what just happened to me. I cried as I told him the story because I was so overwhelmed with emotion. He told me that was for sure Jesus. At the time, I did not know anything about my mother being sick. 10 days after that incident, I found out my mother had pass. She died on April 26th, 2020. The same night Jesus visited me. Imagine what I felt. I was blown away. That visit from Jesus, became even more real.
What I experienced that night was probably me witnessing my mother being judged. What I felt was probably what she felt when she had to answer for her sins. Little had I known, all of this happening was the beginning of my journey towards healing. I turned to Christ and started to speak to him. God gave me a wake up call and I’m glad he did.
I started to pray more and more. I downloaded the Bible app and started watching the daily stories every single day. When I miss a day, I would cheat and set my phone settings back a day because I don’t want to miss a single story. If what I felt that night was what it feels like to be with God, I want to do whatever it takes to be with him in his Kingdom.
My mother passed away right at the tail end of my final and most difficult semester due to the pandemic. Little did I know what was in store for me. After my mom died, everyone turned on me. My father was never in my life but at the tail end of his life, he made a very lackluster attempt to reconnect. He had a bad heart and was in bad shape. I gave him a chance but he continued to disappoint me. His new family, especially his daughter didn’t want him talking to me and I saw it. After my mom died, he started gossiping about me to his family, along with my mother’s family as well. They’ve been divorced since I was 3, but he kept in contact with her family.
It was too much for me. I decided to walk away from every single person, including my grandmother who I love dearly. I knew that there was no hope for a relationship with my father. Everyone was hurting me too much and I couldn’t allow it. I grieved my grandmother. I said goodbye to her while she is alive, she just doesn’t know it. I will never see my grandmother again. Not even at her funeral because I don’t plan to attend. That hurts me so bad. I don’t deserve this. I’ve always been good to my grandmother, so I never understood why she always put me down. I tried to buy my grandmother’s love but she never appreciated it. I did the same for my mom. She definitely didn’t appreciate it. Although not as bad, my grandmother contributed to my emotional abuse too. I still love her, because she showed the most love ( in her own way) to me out of everyone as a child. She would put me down and call me names, but she never hit me. She was literally all I had.
I changed my number and was in the process of moving 1,200 miles away looking for a fresh start when I get a message on 23andme. It was of a woman claiming to be my sister. I knew immediately it was true, I mean not only was the DNA staring me in the face, but my mother told me about her for years. She told me that my father had a child with a woman he was unfaithful with. I asked my father about it twice and he lied to me both times saying it was not true. My mom even told me her name, so I knew this wasn’t a joke even though that was my immediate response and the first thing I said to her was “Is this a joke?” I questioned the timing. I had just changed my number. Was this a way for my father to get in contact with me? That wasn’t the case. He had abandoned her, the same way he did me, except he didn’t claim her at all. She grew up not knowing who her father was. I felt bad for her and gave her all the info she needed to reach him.
My new sister and her husband decided to trick our “bio dad”, as she put it, into the meeting. I didn’t see anything wrong with it. If he had known he truth, he wouldn’t have met up with them. Her husband promised him a job, and he met with him thinking it was a job interview. I must admit, I did feel bad. I was told he showed up with a colostomy bag. How pathetic? He’s trying to work while his grown children he did not abandon, were living their lives carefree. Yea, even though he was a horrible father to me, and disappointed me countless times, but showed love to his two other children, I felt bad for him. However, I wanted my other half-sister to meet her biological father so she could have closure. She deserved that much.
The day they met, she called me and told me what had happened with their meeting. He told her that he had a fling with her mom, and it wasn’t serious. He told my half sister that he told her mom to get an abortion, but she didn’t. I apologized on his behalf. That was cruel, but it seemed like she was taking out all her anger she had for him on me. She made it seem as if I had it easier because at least I knew who my father was growing up. I understand that she may or may not have had it worse, but it wasn’t my fault. I’m here trying to heal from my own trauma, but she didn’t even care to listen about my life like I listened to hers. I really didn’t need this. I just cut every single family member on both sides completely off, why in the world would I let this stranger in my life? I don’t care if she is biologically related to me, I didn’t owe her anything. Her father did.
I told her that it would be best that her and I didn’t meet at this time. I told her maybe sometime in the future we can try for a relationship, but at this time I wasn’t interested in meeting her. I know it must have hurt her to be rejected by me. The truth was she was too angry, and my spirt couldn’t handle it. It was disappointing, because I thought we could have been actual sisters and help each other heal, but that wasn’t the case and it felt like another blow. I am pretty sure my father went back home that day and did not tell his family about his meeting with his long-lost daughter and acted as if nothing happened. Yea, that sounds like him.
On June 4th, 2021 he passed away. I didn’t find out about his death until a week and a half later as well. I didn’t attend his funeral either because I found out too late, but I had already grieved him months before. I came to terms that I will never have a father, so his death did not impact me much. How can I mourn someone I had no connection with? I think my husband thought that I was cruel for not shedding a single tear, but I had to explain to him that it might be hard for him to know what it’s like not to have an emotional connection to a parent, because both of his parents are and always were in his life. I had no connection to my father. We never hung out. He never spent time with me, nor did he try to. It’s hard for me to cry over someone who has done nothing for me and has caused so much pain in my life.
I decided to text my half sister to let her know her “bio dad” had died. “I’m not sure if you know or not, but he died on June 4th.”, I texted. She said that he never reached out to her after their meeting and she wasn’t going to force a relationship so she never bothered him again. Understandable. That was the end of that. I am pretty sure his children and widow have no idea she exsists. Maybe one of them will take a DNA test and find out. Maybe they won’t. Who knows?
When my half sister reached out to me I thought it was God sending me an angel, but it was the other way around. I was meant to take that DNA test and she was meant to find me just in time to meet him before he left this earth. She needed closure. I didn’t get that in the beginning, but I see it now.
I forgive my mother and father. I hope the Lord has mercy on both of their souls. I wouldn’t want them to be in hell. I pray that God gives them another chance to make things right. If I could go back to that moment to answer God’s question, my answer would be “Yes! I forgive my mom.” I love my mom and thank her for giving me life. What I learned after this experience is that God is real! I also learned that our words and thoughts are very powerful. If you wish for something, it can very well come true. Proceed with love and let God do the rest. God bless you. ❤️