A young woman finds her father’s 33-year-old diary and is inspired by the story to help a young boy who is suffering.
Melissa Justin was raised by a loving, committed father and had to grow up without a mother. When Melissa grew up, she found herself determined to help children and nurture them.
Naturally, she was a primary-school teacher. Her proud father praised her decision and encouraged it. Melissa was then thirty-five when her father died. This light shed a light on Melissa’s past and would revolutionize her connection to her children.
Melissa was stunned to discover her father’s diary. | Source: Shutterstock.com
Melissa was left alone after her father died from a massive heart attack in her seventies. Her mother had also died when Melissa was three. Melissa, who was only three years old, couldn’t recall her mother Leanne.
When she was a teenager, her grandparents died. Since her parents were only children, there weren’t any aunts or uncles for her. She also didn’t have any happy tribe of cousins.
Fathers and mothers put the well-being of their children above their own.
All of her memories of her mother came from second-hand. These memories were based on photographs and stories from her mother and father’s friends. Melissa’s father had always loved Leanne and never considered another woman.
Melissa was raised by her dad after her mother passed away.Source: Unsplash | Source: Unsplash
Melissa was very close to her father, so she had to continue without him. Two days after the funeral, she had to go to her father’s house and pack up his belongings. She would be forever changed by what she discovered there.
In the drawer of her father’s bedside table, she found an old journal. She discovered that the journal was from just weeks prior to her mother’s passing. She looked through her father’s memories of her as a 2-year-old, and the plans he had for Leanne’s romantic getaway.
“Melissa will be staying with mom. I want this time with Leanne, just the two of us, like it was before…”Melissa glanced up at her diary. Her father wanted to run from her. She continued to read.
Melissa’s father didn’t get over the death of his wife.Source: Unsplash | Source: Unsplash
“The doctors told me there is no hope, but I don’t want Leanne to know. I want her to enjoy these last few months to the fullest, without fears or worries…”Her mother was ill? Dying? Melissa thought she was drowning when the cruise ship she was on sank.
The mystery was finally solved after a few pages. Her father related the horrible story of the shipwreck to her. He told of passengers running for their lives, screaming, and Leanne sitting in his arms until a berserk passenger took her away and tossed her back onto the tilting platform.
He’d struggled and screamed trying to get to his wife to switch places with them, but Leanne had held on to the ship’s railings and smiled. “My love,”She said: “Our baby needs you, and we both know I’m living on borrowed time. Look after our Melissa, love her for me!”
Melissa found the diary of her father after the funeral. Source: Unsplash | Source: Unsplash
Melissa’s father revealed that he had lived with guilt for his wife’s suicide for thirty-three years, trying to live to ensure their daughter was happy and healthy.
His last entry was just days before his passing, and read: “Soon I’ll be with my love, and my heart will finally be at peace.”Melissa closed the diary as tears ran down her cheeks.
Melissa told her class the story a year later. Melissa asked them to think of what the woman who was on the sinking vessel would have said. Each child shouted out its ideas louder than the last.
Melissa shared the sad story with her class.Source: Pexels | Source: Pexels
“I should have divorced you!”One. “I hate you,”Another one. “You’re going to burn in hell!”
But Melissa noticed that one little boy at the back of the class was quiet and had tears in his eyes. She approached him and asked. “Freddy, what do YOU think? What did the mother say?”
Freddy looked at Freddy and softly said, “I think she said ‘Look after the baby,’ cause that’s what my mom said to my dad when she died last year…”
Melissa wrapped Freddy around her and they both cried for each other.
Freddy’s loss was comforted by Melissa.Source: Unsplash | Source: Unsplash
Melissa then informed the class Freddy was wrong. “Mothers and fathers put their children’s well-being above their own, that is what being a parent is all about, and one day you too will be parents. On that day, I want you to look into your newborn son or daughter’s face and remember this story, and know that is what unconditional love is all about.”
Many of Melissa’s students returned home that night and wrapped their arms around their parents. They began to see the power of mother’s love and the difficult decisions parents face.
What can we take away from this story?
- Fathers and mothers put the well-being of their children above their own.Leanne knew she was dying, and her daughter needed her husband so she gave her life.
- A shared grief is a grief that’s half.Freddy felt comforted knowing that Melissa, his teacher, was the only person who truly understood what he was going through.
This story is worth sharing with friends. It may brighten their day or inspire them.
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This account is inspired by our reader’s story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance with actual names or locations is just coincidental. Images are used only for illustration. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to [email protected]