Be the Cause

One Walker’s Experience

Inspiring email sent in by Julie Nguyen, a 2008 Walk for Hope participant.

I want to share something with you that I wrote a while ago for English class. It needed to be a narrative of something significant in our lives. It’s not well written, but it’s about walk for hope

Walk for hope really changed my life and impacted me with all the inspirational quotes. Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of this event

“Be Unrestricted”

A Walk for Hope Narrative

Be bold. Be in awe. Be passionate. It was one day of the year where baggage was completely thrown off your shoulders, where no one focuses on negativity, where nothing molds itself into the dark and harsh corners of the world. One day of the year, one day to be true to yourself. One day to Walk for Hope, one day to Be the Cause.

Picket signs were set up among this three mile peace walk. Inspirational quotes splattered with hundreds of different colors, hand drawn pictures, and styles of creativity were put out on display telling me to “speak your mind even if your voice shakes.” Telling me “the only thing that’s worst than being blind, is having sight but no vision.” I took pictures of the quotes I liked the most. After about a mile, there was an activity. I saw strips of white paper fluttering from a tree, all with words I could not quite make out. I was approached by several volunteers. “Can you write the name of someone you want to forgive? If not, you can write your definition of forgiveness on it.”

I thought about this for a long time. What is there for me to forgive? Isn’t it just, acknowledging someone and caring for them after you’ve had disputes or being appreciative of them after prolonging fights and arguments? It really isn’t that simple. Forgiveness is not a word commonly thrown around.

My mother walked out on my family, for, I guess you can say a better one. I once had a grip on everything, planned my own pavement towards success. When she left, I saw my grades slip and everything I once had so much control and order over fall flat out of my hands. I’ve seen her cause endless tears to my sister. I’ve seen my dad get sick and weary over her with a new struggle on his plate, trying to keep this family together. But it was far too late. Our family fell apart, shattered to pieces. Life was not as easy as it once was. I was now in second priority to my mother, compared to when I was the focus of her world. I’ve hated her for so long, felt so frustrated and neglected that my own mother left me. It was as though I was no longer important. Still today I know I am not important. It took me endless tears to finally realize it was time to move on.

I stared back onto this fresh strip of white paper. I grabbed a sharpie from the table and closed my eyes. Swiftly bringing my sharpie to my paper, I opened my eyes and wrote down four words—four words that changed my life forever.

I forgive you mother.

She abandoned me. I understand that, and I cannot stress it enough how much anger I have towards her. But she was never a bad mother. Upon bringing me up, I’ve learned hard work and sacrifice through her. I’ve learned right from wrong, high morals and standings, and for that I have thanks to give. I’ve learned to not let two years of pain overshadow all of this. “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in our own sunshine.” My wounds will heal if I let it. And I did.