Every  birthday, from the time I was very small, I waited at the door for my father, until the candles would burn down almost too small, and he never came. My abuela would tell me he wasn’t coming, that my father didn’t love me, and still I waited, every year.

Flower and I were discussing her childhood yesterday*, and she shared this heartbreaking story with me. She longed for her father, for a relationship that would never materialize, yet she still is open to receiving love, and to giving it. She has been abandoned and mistreated, unheard and ignored. Yet, Flower is an open book. She manages not to hang onto hurts from her life and believe in a bright future. Flower is a great teacher, with a deep faith in the power of forgiveness and the plan that God has for her life. I asked her why she thinks some people are hardened by their bad experiences, by being hurt by others, when some people manage to rise above. She said that she thinks people who are healed and happy are the ones who are able to let go of their anger and move forward, without keeping record of their suffering, they are the ones who are free.

Amen, sweet girl, amen. “Mama Foster” is blessed by your wisdom. Thank you for teaching me.

* Flower has given me permission to use her words and stories in my writing.