My Mother's Fault

Many years ago, my husband and I took a giant leap in our lives and made the decision to open our hearts and our home to children. We became foster parents, and later adoptive parents, we participated in church youth groups, bus ministries, and girl scout troops. We created an environment in our home that welcomed and invited children from all aspects of life. Our front door became a revolving entrance to a safe haven; a place where there was always comfort, laughter and the important necessitates of life such as food and clothing.

It was during this time that I found myself reflecting on my own childhood; the difficulties I faced when I was young and the example my mother displayed in her own life during those times. It inspired me to write this poem; it is one of my favorites and the closest to my heart.  


My Mother’s Fault

I ran into my mother while
I was out the other day.
We stood and talked awhile
about the time that’s gone astray,

About the choices that she’d made
and the effects that they had caused.
I thought about her words,
and for a moment had to pause.

She said she blamed herself
for the many pains I’ve felt,
Carries all the burdens
for the things that life has dealt.

I could see it in her eyes,
and feel her grief as I stood near,
Sensing her anguished heart,
though she never shed a tear.

After talking for a while,
we both went on our way.
Her words still lingered on
as I went about my day.

I tried to finish up my business
and my day as I had dared,
but I kept thinking of my mother
and the words that she had shared.

I thought about my life
and heart aches through the years.
I wondered if I too blamed her
for the many painful tears.

In the midst of my confusion
God made it all so clear,
The children in my life,
he has placed them here.

With compassion, love, and faith
I will be a light unto their life,
And help them overcome
their own sorrow, pain and strife.

I knew, if I were to point a finger
and a stone I’d cast her way,
I’d have to blame her for my character
and the strength I have today.

You see, my mother taught me
all about compassion, faith and love,
As she sacrificed unselfishly,
and prayed to God above.

She always made us girls
go to church and say our prayers,
And taught us all about Him,
how He loves and how He cares.

So I guess I have to blame her
for the example that she set,
And I never will forgive her,
for to her I am in debt.

I hope the children in my life
can too someday exalt,
“Look at who I am today,
yes, it’s all her fault!”

Written by Shelly Test

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