Growing up, my parents had stable jobs and a decent income. Yet, despite this, I never had the same luxuries as my peers. Hand-me-down clothes from thrift stores became the norm for me, and my social life was practically non-existent.

My mother, Lydia, seemed to have a strict and frugal mindset when it came to spending money. However, everything changed when I stumbled upon her diary.

My father, Henry, was always my favorite parent. He would bring joy into my life with little surprises and treats. Whether it was secret trips to the movies or buying me cotton candy, he made my childhood a little brighter.

On the other hand, my mother seemed distant and lost in her own thoughts. She was strict about saving money and would often remind me to turn off the lights to save energy.

During high school, I decided to get a part-time job to earn some money for myself. It was a way for me to feel independent and have my own pocket money. While my father supported this decision, my mother dismissed it with an eye roll. However, when I received my first paycheck, she took more than half of it, claiming that she needed it for household expenses.

This pattern continued, and as I neared the end of my high school years and started applying to colleges, I discovered that my mother had taken my entire college fund. She justified her actions by saying that there were bigger priorities than my education. Feeling betrayed and hurt, I moved out and worked tirelessly to support myself.

Years passed, and I thought I had left behind the pain and resentment of my relationship with my mother. But then, a phone call changed everything. My mother had passed away. Despite the strained relationship we had, I found myself attending her funeral. After the service, my mother’s sister, Veronica, asked me to sort through her belongings at our childhood home.

As I sifted through her modest belongings, I stumbled upon something unexpected — her diary. I had no recollection of my mother ever writing in a diary, so I was curious to see what it contained. With trembling hands, I delved into the pages.

In the diary, my mother poured out her struggles and frustrations. She expressed her hatred for our frugal lifestyle and her desire to provide me with a joy-filled childhood. But she felt trapped. It was revealed that my father had taken out a business loan without consulting her, believing it would make a difference in the waste-paper industry. My mother, however, believed it was a mistake.

For all those years, I had painted my mother as the antagonist in my story, unaware of the deeper reasons behind her frugality. She was desperately trying to make ends meet and protect our future. It was a profound realization that shook me to the core.

In that moment, I understood the sacrifices my mother had made and the love she had for me. It was a complex mixture of emotions, as I felt both regret for judging her unfairly and gratitude for her unwavering devotion.

Reading her diary was a turning point in my perspective, and it allowed me to find closure. It taught me the importance of understanding someone’s circumstances before passing judgment. I had carried years of resentment towards my mother, but now I could see her in a different light.

While I couldn’t change the past, I vowed to honor my mother’s memory by carrying forward the lessons she had taught me. I continued to work hard and pursue my education, knowing that she had given up so much for me.

In the end, my mother’s diary became a priceless gift. It was a testament to her struggles, her love, and her unwavering commitment to my well-being.