My great-grandmother was abandoned by her husband in 1902.
He left the house one morning, and boarded a ship that was going to Australia.
He had said nothing, he just left, and his wife was left with 3 small children,
of which my grandfather was the youngest; he was 1 year of age.
She never heard a word from him, she did not know where he was.
This took place in Norway, and like in most other countries at the time, state
assisted social financial support did not exist.
She literally had to go and beg for money, she went to her brother-in-laws, who
were running a successful timber business, then she got work in a herring factory,
while her 2 eldest; both girls, helped out in a house where they found lodging.
While I know that life was tough for many people at the time, it must have been
very hard for her, also because of the social stigma of having children but no husband
while not being a widow either.
Anyway, after 35 years absence, he came back, in much the same manner as he
had disappeared; he just turned up some day at her doorstep.
And she was overjoyed to see him! She wanted him to move right back in with her!
Not an ounce of anger or bitterness, nothing, just happiness.
This might sound strange to many people, almost unnatural, but it wasn't.
She was a deeply religious woman, I do not know if she had been religious before
her husband had left her, but her faith in the Almighty was solid by the time
he came back.
The level of fear and difficulties of the situation she had found herself in, had caused an
internal surrender to God for everything, for the very survival of her children and herself.
In this internal state, there can be no anger, bitterness, revenge, etc, only the light of love
that comes from God remains. That is why she reacted as she did when he came back.
But this was not the case with her daughters, they, on the contrary, were angry and
refused to allow him access to their mother, so they actually prevented her from possibly
having a second chance of some happiness with the man that she still loved, at this later
stage in her life.
I only met her once that I can remember, but in spite of being at that time
very old and in a nursing home, I remember that she was jolly, happy,
smiling. I'm proud to have her as an ancestor.