Your bad day does not define you

Yesterday I listened to a Ted talk on forgiveness. The speaker said we should not define a person by one bad day or one event. That made me think of a day when Jessica, my autistic daughter, was about 5 years old.

Jessica was taking a nap. And she had a poopy nappy. When she woke up, she smeared the poop on the wall and all over her sheets and herself. So I gave her a shower. Then I went to clean her room.

It took some time. When I went to find Jess, she was playing in my living room. She had got some Easter egg dye and sprayed it on the white wallpaper and the white sofa. Do not ask me why I was stupid enough to own a white sofa. It was sprayed with something to resist stains. Probably cancer-causing. She probably did me a favour now that I look back on it! But at that moment I broke. I smelled like poop and my sofa was ruined.

I took the phone and literally locked myself in my bedroom to call my husband to come home. I did not want to harm Jessica.

I tell you this story that happened 22 years ago because I want you to know: You are not your worst day. Your child, husband, and friends are not their worst day. We are the sum of many days. Today Jessica is a sweet and beautiful woman, still autistic but lovely and a treasure. I was not and am not a bad parent for reaching the end of my rope.

I hate to be defined by my mistakes so I am learning not to define others by their mistakes. And this knowledge helps me on my journey to forgive.

Amy Moreno Heymann

Our guest blogger, Amy, is Mentor to a MOPS group in Germany. She is also the global advocate for Teen MOPS Uganda.


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