For My Parents: A Testimony of Family Reconciliation after Thirty-five Years
Turin, Italy, October 22, 2014
FFWPU Italy (by Jane Pridgeon Evaristo): I love my parents. When I was a child they were the center of my world. They taught me the most important things in life, to love God, to love people and the value of purity. I have an immense debt of gratitude towards them for all that they did for me.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Jane (Pridgeon) Evaristo and I joined the Unification Movement in 1979 in England, when I was 17 years old. Until that point my life had been quite peaceful, secure in the love of God and the love of my parents. However the revolution that took place in my heart when I heard the Principle changed my life completely and also my relationship with my parents, who simply couldn’t understand what had happened to me. They thought I had lost my faith and perhaps my ability to reason clearly. A series of unfortunate circumstances together with bad publicity at that time created in their minds a very negative image of the movement so that I was forbidden to have anything to do with it. However, I couldn’t ignore the call of True Parents and so I became an “undercover” member and I disobeyed my parents for the first time.
This was the beginning of a very difficult period, a period of misunderstanding, heartache and separation. I was disowned, disinherited and eventually kidnapped to try and force me to leave the movement, which left a deep scar for many years. Our relationship was so difficult that I asked God, “Why was I born, if my parents treat me like this?” It is not my purpose here to tell this story in detail. What I missed the most in all of those years was the love and support of my parents in the most important moments of my life. When I left home to continue my studies, when I went to America, when I was engaged and blessed, when we began our family, they simply weren’t there. In all of that time I felt an aching inside because a part of me was missing.
My desire had always been to make peace with them, to embrace them, to love them. I had long since forgiven them for all of the pain they had caused me, but we were still not able to understand and love each other. As they grew older and their health started failing, this desire was stronger than ever.
My father became ill with Alzheimer’s disease and so any real dialogue became impossible. During my mother’s last illness (cancer) I went to take care of her, hoping that in some way it would have been possible to say those things which we had never been able to say, but it didn’t happen. And so they both passed to the spirit world without any reconciliation coming about. The real tragedy was not their death but the waste of so many years in which we could have loved each other but we were not able to.
I thought, “Perhaps when I go to the spirit world we will be able to make peace and truly love each other. It remained my hope for the future. Thinking of their situation in the spirit world I took the necessary steps for them to be liberated and blessed. Afterwards I sometimes wondered what their situation might be and if perhaps they understood more now.
Recently something much unexpected happened which answered this question for me. I was faced with a particularly difficult decision to make regarding a request that I had received and I really doubted whether I would be able to do what was asked of me. With a heavy heart I prayed to God, “if I am the problem, let me do something to try and resolve it” and I felt inspired to use the Emotion
Code. (For those of you who are not familiar with this method, it is a means of identifying and liberating “trapped” emotions connected with past experiences, which may influence our feelings, thoughts and behaviour. It is also a means of identifying our ancestors’ problems.)
As I began I was aware of a certain spiritual activity as though somebody wanted to come. As I asked a series of questions, what emerged was the emotion of heartache, not once, but repeatedly but it was not my heartache. I discovered it was my parents’ heartache. I asked them, “do you have heartache because I’ve hurt you?” and their answer was no. Their heartache was because they felt they had not been able to love me enough. In particular, they were sorry for having kidnapped me and for all the painful consequences afterwards. I was totally unprepared for this and I couldn’t stop crying. I wanted to comfort them telling them that everything was alright now, that I forgave them, that I loved them and that I just wanted to be with them. As we shared freely together amidst the tears, so many years of pain and misunderstanding melted away and what remained was a deep love which bound us together. I asked them to stay with me because I needed them and I know they will.
This experience has changed me profoundly. I feel as though a piece of my heart which was missing has been given back to me. I feel whole again. It’s something I’m still getting used to. My parents are close to me, supporting me in my daily activities and lifting me up and the future will be different now because of this. My hope in writing this testimony is that it might encourage those who have passed through similar difficulties. Try to keep a loving heart and God, in His time and in His way will bring about a solution, perhaps when you least expect it.