A secret so big

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 7, 2014

A family emergency led me to learn our family’s secret this week.
Some secrets are so big and terrible that they tear entire families apart. I’m not sure this quantifies as that, but it is bad enough that my mom has kept it hidden for nearly 42 years.
As she lay in a hospital bed she was unsure that she would leave the hospital and began to examine her life and things that were unresolved. She has been carrying the burden of this secret for so long that it has become a source of bitterness for her.
After recovering enough from a blood clot in her lung she was able to leave the hospital and come home. It was then that she shared this secret with me Sunday morning as we prepared to leave for church. She was a little reluctant at first but as she shared it with me I could see the pain she has carried.
The thing she shared with me was devastating to her and has caused her much grief. It did however shed some light and help me to understand some things that occurred during my childhood. I promised her that I wouldn’t share her secret with either of my brothers as it has the potential to change the course of their lives.
I shared my feelings about the secret with her and told her that part of the healing process is forgiving. I didn’t think it was as bad as she has feared all these years but told her that I understand her position. It’s not been an easy burden to bear and has weighed heavily on her for over half her life.
Secrets are heavy and weigh us down as we journey through life. They make life less enjoyable and grow bigger the longer we carry them. What was once a tiny secret becomes a huge monster that we carry with us through every relationship. Finally it breaks us down and we are forced to confront it.
My family will survive this secret and time heals all wounds and hopefully just letting it out and sharing it will help my mom overcome the bitterness. Forty-two years is a long time and I know now that she sure can keep a secret.

Paul Barry is the managing editor and can be reached by email at paul.barry@vicksburgpost.com or by phone at 601-636-4545.

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