In life, I am absolutely positive that we all face challenges at a certain point. In fact, life itself has always been a challenge to many, and I will not deny that fact. However, it is the various challenges and how you overcome them that make each challenge a special part in your life. I have been through good times and bad times. Yet all my life, I have never backed down from an obstacle in my life, yet this time, I wanted to fall asleep and never open my eyes again. This was a challenge that in my opinion was virtually impossible to overcome. It had all happened to quickly…
It had been just another lazy Sunday morning. The sun shone brightly through my bedroom window. The smell of burnt toast wafted into my room, as I groaned and rolled out of bed. I slowly climbed into the shower, turned it on cold then let the water drip down my body. I emerged just a few minutes later, put on my clothes and headed downstairs for breakfast. My father greeted me with a half smile, half frown.
“Not again!” I exclaimed. My father shrugged absent-mindedly as he took a bite of the charred toast. All I needed was to see my mother’s deadly stare to prevent me from saying anymore. It was yet another day, and everything seemed so normal then, but what I did not realize was that in a matter of minutes, my life was going to make a complete change. As soon as my mother turned away, I surreptitiously emptied my plate into the wastepaper basket, cringing at the thought of me having to actually consume that pile of burnt toast.
“Ding Dong!” the doorbell rang. We stopped in our tracks as we looked at each other in surprise. It was indeed unusual for anyone to visit us on Sunday mornings, considering the fact that majority of the community were still in church. My mother put down the plate she was washing, as we headed to the door to find out who the ‘mysterious guest’ was.
As the door creaked open, we could see the silhouette of a frail middle-aged woman standing outside the gate. She looked vaguely familiar, and beared a striking resemblance to someone I knew, but I could not pinpoint who exactly. I quickly dismissed the thought as I saw my parents’ jaws drop wide open, as they stared at the woman in recognition. A sense of foreboding eased its way to the pit of my stomach as I wondered who the woman was, and why did my parents have such a strong reaction upon seeing her? Something was amiss, but I was not sure what.
“Can I come in?” the woman queried in a surprisingly loud voice. After recovering from their initial shock, my parents looked uncertainly at each other, before nodding their heads reluctantly. From the way my parents were looking at each other, then at me, I was positive that something was definitely wrong. As my mother’s voiced boomed with amazing similarity to that of the woman’s, I was ordered to go up to my room. And from the worried yet serious look in her eyes, I knew my mother was not joking. This was something serious. Daring not to defy her, I made my way up to my room, racking my brain, with only one question in my mind – ‘Who was she?’ As I tried to concentrate on tidying my room, my mind refused to focus as I was still questioning the identity of the women. Hushed tones and whispers could barely be heard, as I pressed my ear against the door, trying to hear what was being said.
“We know you’re listening. Come down now…” my mother’s voice trailed off, as I smiled to myself, knowing how close I was to my mother. However, the smile was immediately swept off my face, upon seeing the look of seriousness on my parent’s faces. I bit my lower lip in uncertainty and suspicion, as I my mother signaled for me to sit down. My mother’s face grew stern and she inhaled deeply.
“There’s something we’ve been meaning to tell you,” I nodded in understanding. However, as my mother continued, my excitement turned to shock then anger, as I finally found out who that woman was – my biological mother. It turns out that she had put me up for adoption when I was only five months old as a result of an illegitimate relationship with my biological father. She claimed that unable to financially and emotionally support me, she decided to put me up for adoption for my own good. She wanted to let me have a good life, a bright future, but she could not give it to me. So as luck would have it, my ‘parents’ decided to adopt me, as they were unable to have children of their own due to certain medical conditions.
This unexpected news tore me up inside, as I learnt that the main purpose of this visit was that she wanted me to acknowledge her. As simple as that sounded, it was one of the most difficult challenges in my life.
The more I thought about it, the more angered I felt. My mother, my own biological mother, dumps me with a pair of strangers, and expects them to bring me up for her. She was not there when I needed her the most, she was not there to watch me grow up and she did not even bother to visit me all these past thirteen years. And suddenly she turns up at the doorstep and expects me to acknowledge her? If she could choose to disown me then, could I not do it to her now? That would only be fair.
My face blackened, as the veins on my neck started appearing. A million questions raced through my mind as I thought about the information I had just received, but was unable to digest. Rage tore through me, as I raced up to my bedroom. I just did not understand why. Why did my biological mother do this to me? Why did my parents not mention a single word about this? Why did I have to acknowledge her now? Tears flowed down my cheeks uncontrollably, as I a mixture of negative emotions welled up inside me – anger, frustration, and disappointment.
Now that my biological mother wanted me to acknowledge her, it was more of a personal challenge. The challenge to forgive, the challenge to forget, the challenge to understand. This was one of the, if not the most challenging point in my life. Was I going to give up so easily? Was I going to let my emotions take charge of my life?
Within me, a debate was in session. Half of me wanted to step up to the challenge and prepare myself to acknowledge my mother, to forgive her. The other half of me wanted to go back down and lash out at my ‘parents’ and mother. It was almost as if an angel and demon were in my thoughts, battling each other. This was no doubt the most difficult challenge in my life. Was I going to let my emotions take charge of me, or was I going to overcome this challenge of forgiving, forgetting and understanding. Was I going to achieve personal growth and step up to the challenge, or was I going to let my world crash down on me?
This challenge sounded simple, yet, it was so complex and behind it so complicated. I could hear the gentle tapping on the door, followed by my ‘parents’ and mother’s voices. They wanted me to know that I they were sorry, and that they were begging for my forgiveness. They wanted me to know that they wanted me to understand their difficulties. They wanted me to go out so that they could explain things to me. I wanted to step up to this challenge. But was I emotionally prepared to do this?
I sat in my room, lying on my bed, thinking. I sat there as I sorted out my thoughts on the bed. It was too much for me to handle. I just could not take it and broke down yet again. Downstairs, I heard the door slam, and my ‘parents’ notified me of my mother’s departure.
This was a challenge that I was unable to overcome. This was a challenge that I had failed to conquer. This was a challenge that I would remember for the rest of my life.