Mark and Susan Chapman were true country folk. The two lovebirds were farmers who inhabited a small town with beautiful scenery and people who knew nearly everything about each other.
The couple had been married for decades but had only been able to welcome one child whom they named Karen. Together with their dog, the German shepherd called Spike, they made a happy family, and the farm they cultivated was one that had been passed down from generation to generation for almost 100 years
The Chapmans were proud to continue their ancestors’ business handed down to them.
“We are like royalty among farmers,” Susan would tell Karen each night when she tucked her into bed.
“Does that make me a princess?” the little girl would ask gleefully.
“Of course my little pumpkin, you are the heir to the throne,” Susan would say.
Karen believed her, of course. It was her mother; whom else would she put her faith in?
The girl carried herself like a queen, acted kindly towards others, and was well mannered, even to those beneath her. It was all the result of her attempting to live up to her parent’s standards.
Her mom implored her to act like royalty, while her dad was more callous and strict towards her. He would often impose punishments for each time she disobeyed him until she knew not to cross him like that. She listened to all his instructions, but a desire to do something else besides farming grew within her as she grew older.
It was the one thing she would not compromise for her parents. She did not want the farm after her parents passed it down, for she had her own dreams and ambition.
“I want to live in a big city and make a name for myself,” she decided one day after a particularly nasty discussion with her parents concerning the farm.
The quarrels increased as she grew older, and by the time she clocked 18, they started throwing her out of their home.
“If you won’t listen to us, then you have no business living under our roof,” they would tell her.
She would usually hang around their farm until they let her back in, but she decided that it would be better not to return home one day.
Instead, she followed her boyfriend, a wealthy boy named Puck, to his family house. He had been able to convince her that his parents would like her.
When she came before Puck’s family, she revealed that her parents had kicked her out. “It is either they have their way or they make me see why my choice is wrong but I know it’s not,” she told them.
Her boyfriend’s parents listened to her pour her heart out, and she was able to get their pity.
“I’m sorry you have had to pass through what you did,” Puck’s mother said.
“How would you like to join me in sponsoring her university tuition fees?” Puck’s father asked the woman, who immediately brightened up
“That would be great, let’s do that, you can attend Puck’s university, what do you think?”
Karen was stunned by their kindness, but she accepted their gesture and promised to make the most of it. Later that year, she and her boyfriend went to a big city to study.
Seventeen years later, Karen’s mother was given a severe diagnosis — she had high blood pressure, and it was getting worse.
“I just want to see my daughter again,” she would complain when anyone asked her what was making her blood pressure so high.
After some time, she suffered a stroke, and a tumor was found growing in her body. Without wasting time, she was transported to the city to get operated on.
The operation was a success, and when Karen opened her eyes, her daughter was the first person she saw — she was dressed in a surgeon’s scrubs and looked tired.
“Karen is that you?” the shocked woman asked.
“It is mom,” the doctor said with a slow smile.
Her mother froze in shock as she took in how healthy and prosperous her daughter looked.
“Your operation was successful Mrs. Chapman,” Karen said with tears in her eyes. “My name is Dr. Karen Chapman and I am the surgeon who performed your operation.”
As she finished the statement, her mom extended her hands to her, begging for a hug, and Karen wasted no time in running into her arms.
“I’m very sorry for leaving like that mom,” Karen said, tears flowing down her eyes.
Her mom shushed her and said, “You don’t have to ask for forgiveness from me. We should ask you for it. It took us some time to understand what you fought for but it was too late when we did. We are guilty of almost ruining your life by trying to impose our will on you. And now look, you saved my life.”
“Where’s dad?” Karen asked after she was able to staunch her tears.
At that, her mom started crying again. Then she told Karen that the man had passed away 12 years ago.
“All he wanted before he died was to apologize for everything and say that he was very proud of you. We were always proud of you, we just couldn’t say it. Please forgive us.”
“I do, motm,” Karen said, and she meant it.
She spent as much time as she could with her mother from that day, and they got closer in the subsequent years.
What did we gain from this story?
Don’t try to impose your will on others. Mark and Susan tried to push their farming ambition on their daughter, and it quickly drove a wedge between them as she wanted something different. It resulted in estrangement between them, which lasted for years.
Let the past go. After Karen found her mother again, she could have acted negatively towards her, but she did not, and that paved the way for the rekindling of their relationship. Forgiveness would have been impossible had she remained focused on the past.