Her old hand stroked the sleeping child's smooth cheek. So much time, so many years gone. It made the heart heavy.
All full circle. An ending connecting with a beginning. This child had everything ahead of her. It should have alleviated the woman's sorrow, but it did not. Would she find true happiness, or would she, too, someday stand beside a future of hopes and dreams with regrets and worries.
Two generations separated them. Two generations of wrong choices and sadness, and it came back on her shoulders. That this child did not have her mother was the old woman's burden to bear. Oh, yes, society played a role. There was some consolation in that, on a cheap day, but cheap days were the reason she stood alone beside the sleeping child.
This child, this beautiful child, was her chance to right those wrongs. Her chance to do the things she should have done fifty years ago. She sensed it was her last chance. She would not fail. She owed the child that.
In homes where domestic violence occurs, children are at risk. Regardless of whether children are physically abused or not, the emotional effects of witnessing domestic violence are very similar to the psychological trauma associated with being a victim of child abuse. Each year, an estimated minimum of 3.3 million children witness domestic violence.