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Your Choices Change Lives

Your Choices Change Lives

You are about to read how one person’s choice impacted a child life into adulthood. The life choices we make influence many others. Therefore, it is so important that we think before we choose.

The year was 1930, a healthy baby girl was delivered to a family in Pennsylvania. Their baby girl arrived a year after the great depression began in the United States and around the world. Many people lost their life’s saving s during those years. The proud young couple named their daughter Hope, as they felt the name was fitting for the times.

She grew up when life was simpler than it is today. People thought and acted differently during such economic hard times. Hope was the youngest of six brothers and sisters. They all stuck together like glue to survive. Each helped one another as often as they could. Their mother and father did the best they could to provide for their family with limited resources as did most folks. Hope often wore hand me down clothing from her older sisters. She said later in her life that she felt fortunate to have warm clothing to wear while growing amid the depression. Kids who grew up in the 1930’s understood that times were tough financially and were humbled as a result. People learned to appreciate things more during those hard times.

This was a time in America when having a place to call home and a warm meal in your stomach was a blessing for a large family like Hope’s. Often, staples such as milk, bread, eggs and sugar were not available to purchase even if you had enough money to pay for them. Food was rationed, war ration books were given to people.

Hope was growing up to be a beautiful smart woman focused on becoming an actress. This is what kept her spirits high. She loved performing in school plays and joined the drama club in high school. She was awarded the lead role in her Junior and Senior years in high school. Hope dreamed of becoming a famous actress, a star! As time passed her brothers and sisters left home one by one. Soon all her siblings were married or had joined the military. Her dream remained the same, to be a professional actress. She joined the local theatre group and felt that she was on her way to becoming a star. Hope wanted to fulfill her dream.

She and her partners had different ideas of what her future looked like. Hope’s parents encouraged her to marry a man who would take care of her. This was the mentality of the day as people’s motivations were influenced by the recent depression. This was not a concern of Hope’s as she was dating a wonderful man from a wealthy family. She adored him and he her. They spent many Sunday afternoons picnicking at her family’s home in the country or visiting the movie theatre in town. His name was William, she called him Billy. He attended all of Hope’s acting performances, the two of them were inseparable. Hope bragged to her friends that he was the love of her life. They dated for a little over a year when Bill’s family forbid him to see her any longer. His parents felt the relationship was getting too serious and did not feel Hope was up to his standards. His parents wanted Billy to marry a girl from their same social class. Billy was heartbroken, yet he had to be honest with Hope about his family wishes. He had no choice but to follow what his parents told him or give up his inheritance they said. Hope is not the girl for you to marry they told him. They said that the two families were from different social circles. He was about to receive quite a large inheritance from his parents. He would receive a large portion of it when he is married. He told her that his family felt that she was a simple country girl and insisted he marry someone who came from a” higher class of wealth” is how he put it, when he gave Hope the news.

The poor girl was heartbroken by Bill’s rejection of her and their relationship. The heartache caused by the betrayal of Bill’s parents and his choice of the inheritance over her was more that she could bare. The shock to her heart and soul was strong. Why had he not stood up for her and their relationship? She was heartbroken, Hope thought Bill loved her. The hurt was so deep inside of her heart and soul that she decided within herself to never open to love. She would never give in to the feelings of love again. It was not worth the pain that she felt deep inside of her heart and soul. She vowed never to allow love in her life for as long as she lived.

Hope knew she still had her acting to look forward to. She would focus on her career, but that decision was not accepted by her parents. They insisted she marry a nice man who would take care of her. They did not support a single girl running off with some theatre company to perform. That was not a proper life for their youngest daughter they told her. “We will not support this life style.” her father had said.

Her father mentioned that there was a nice fellow that stopped by while you were out. His family has the farm up on the hill with the white fencing, not too far from here. His said his name is Paul. The young man looks healthy and strong. He inherited the old farm house when his Grandfather died and is remodeling the place. He said he knew you, so we invited him to supper to get to know him better.

Hope could not believe it! Her world was completely crashing down around her. Her heart was still aching from Billy’s rejection of her and now her parents were not supporting her theatre ambitions. She could not possibly give up her dream to become a famous actress and marry Paul. She had to admit he was a handsome fellow and he seemed nice enough, but she was still in love with Billy. She fought with her father as she wanted to be an actress. Her mother went along with whatever he father said. He said that they would not support her in any way if she left to pursue a theatre career. He told her to marry a nice man and start a family.

Blessed by the parents, Hope and Paul married a year later. Paul adored Hope and she respected her husband. Hope continued to act with the local theatre company when she could. Their daughter Molly arrived a year later. With Hope devoting much of her time to their daughter her dreams of an acting career were again put on the back burner.

When Molly turned four years old Hope took a part in the local theatre productions. Her husband Paul and Molly would come and see her when they could. Paul was going to school at night to obtain his degree but did his best to support her dream. Molly spent much of her time with her Dad or with Grandma. Ten years past quickly and another child was born to the couple. Paul and Hope were blessed with a little boy this time, they named him John. Johnathan Paul, to be proper. Paul had wanted a son to teach all his knowledge to and was grateful for his arrival.

Not long after John’s second birthday, Hope was given the news, she was pregnant for the third time. This new addition to the family was not expected by the couple, yet they were happy to have another child. Their baby girl was born in the winter time. There was a blanket of white as Hope looked out the hospital window onto the parking lot. As she stared out at the blanket of snow covering the landscape, she realized that with the birth of their third child Grace, she would never have a professional acting career. Her dream would be unfulfilled. As she sat in the hospital bed she convinced herself that she would never be able to fulfill her dream of become an actress. She was heartbroken all over again. She picked up the phone next to her hospital bed and dialed one of her friends from the theatre company. She felt she would ask his advice. Should she leave her husband and pursue her career? He advised that she should leave her husband and go on the road with their theatre group. There is a group of us traveling to California soon. I know you will be a success with your beauty and talent out in Hollywood. He let her know that she was welcome to come with them in a couple months. Hope considered his offer, she has chosen not to love again but she would feel guilty if she left her husband with three small children. She chose to stay and be a wife and a mother and forget about her career plans. Hope went home and played the role of mother and wife but there was no love given to her family or received from her.

Her daughter Grace is who tells this story is the youngest of the family as you may recall. Although Grace loves her mother very much Hope often found fault with Grace. She explained that her mother took care of her and taught her proper manners while she was growing up, but she did not spend any time with her. She gave me this example of how her life was.

Their house was painted a dreary grey color. Grace begged her mother to paint her room yellow to brighten up her life a little, but Hope would not have it. All the rooms remained painted dreary colors or off white. Grace played outside by herself most of the time. Grace often wondered where she was. She knew her mother was in the house but why did she not come and out and check on us kids? Our friends were not allowed to sleep over growing up which made relationships awkward sometimes. The hardest thing for Grace to bare, was that her mother did not show any affection towards her. She never hugged her or kissed Grace. She was an intuitive child and could feel that there was no love coming from her mother to anyone in the family but especially her.

Gracie’s intuition told her at an early age that her mother was not an affectionate person and seemed not to like her. The young girl was not clear about the reason why. Her feelings were hurt as she realized that there was no love coming from her mother. Her mother made breakfast, packaged their lunches, and got them off to school on time. But Hope did not provide any love or affection whatsoever to her children. Growing up our home was spotlessly clean, dinners were fabulous, and the laundry was done daily. Her father would hug Gracie every day when he came home from work, but her mother never did. Gracie would wait for her father to pull in the drive way form the living room picture window to receive some affection from another person. She often toyed with the idea that she was adopted. She mentioned that many time she felt that there was no way these people could be related to me. Gracie new she was different, picking up on things that other people did not seem too. She had keen intuition.

Gracie would argue with her mother often as she was extremely bright and strong willed. Reflecting on those times she now realizes that her mother was unhappy with her life. Before she knew her, mother’s story Gracie believed her to be evil and often cruel to her as a child. She was confused by her mother’s behavior. Weren’t all parents supposed to love their children? Grace could not get past not being loved by her mother. She did everything she could do to be the perfect child, from her appearance, her grades in school but her perfection did not matter. Grace became an over achiever in everything she did, but her mother still showed no praise or affection for her. She seemed to love her other siblings but why not Grace?

Gracie looked for love with boyfriends and then adult relationships most of her life. She eventually went to counseling to overcome the hurt. But every time she saw or spoke to her mother the nastiness reared its ugly head and Grace’s feelings were hurt all over again. It wasn’t until several years later when Aunt Diana, her mother’s sister by pure accident told Grace her mother’s story.

She began with, she wanted to be a famous actress you know, but the family would not support that kind of nonsense. She sat for several hours with Grace and explained in detail what had happened to her mother. At that moment in time Gracie realized what had happened to her mom and the choices that she made affected her entire life.

Hopes family not supporting her dreams, taught her not to support Grace and her dreams. Grace was a smart child who seemed to know things. Apparently, her mother did not want an exceptional child. If she could not be famous this child was not going to be. Hope noticed how Grace’s presence would light up the room when she appeared. Other people noticed it also. Hope did not like that she was special. She scolded the girl, she saw herself as Gracie. Gracie was growing up and would become whatever she wanted to be. She felt life had not been unfair to her so the energy that she sent out was that of resentment! This negativity towards her made it difficult for Gracie to know how give or accept love. She had taken on her mother’s issues without even knowing it or why.

Now that Gracie is older and knows the truth and realizes that she was looking for her mother’s approval, then she would feel worthy of her love. Unfortunately, Grace’s mother would never love or approve of her. She has taken on a narcissistic personality. She thinks she is great and everything is fine.

Crazy as it may seem, her mother did not want her child to do well in life and succeed. Now that Grace knows the truth behind what happened she feels sorry for her mother. She does not excuse her bad behavior; her words don’t bother her any longer as Grace has made peace within herself. She has learned to love herself. Grace attributes her success with this difficult situation to God. She learned how to release the past with her mother and her father by forgiving all involved mentally and spiritually. Now she is free!

A New Mindset: The energy of forgiveness is freeing to the soul. You must release the past to forgive. Here is the biggest lesson learned by Grace that most people miss. Grace did nothing wrong as a child but by taking responsibility for the events that occurred in her child hood shifted the energy. It was the act of forgiveness that changed the situation. This is the only way for it to shift her subconscious mind and change things for Grace. When Grace forgave her parents, everything shifted, and she was able to move forward in her life. This negative experience that happened in her child hood had affected her entire life. The act of forgiveness made it possible for her to release any resentment or anger that she held inside other. the feelings of anger and resentment she had held onto were gone. Her parents were never going to change but she changed. She has released what was preventing her from moving forward in her life.

The Eden Magazine

September 2020

“The choices that we make determine our destiny”

-Nancy Yearout

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