Hugh Jackman is one of those guys who seems like he has it all. A successful career on Broadway and in the movies. A solid longtime marriage to Deborra-Lee Furness (for those of you who think "cougar" relationships can't work, Deborra-Lee is 13 years older). And two children whom he clearly adores and is often photographed playing with. Yet life hasn't always been so smooth for this multi-talented actor. He got teary telling 60 Minutes about a trauma that happened when he was 8 years old. His mother left the family to return to England, leaving Hugh and his four older siblings to be raised by their father. He says for many years he thought she'd return, and it was only when he was about 13 that he finally accepted that it wouldn't happen.
Hugh recalled how his mother, who reportedly had postpartum depression, abandoned the family one day. He said:
I remember her being in a towel around her head and saying goodbye, must have been the way she said goodbye. As I went off to school, when I came back, there was no one there in the house. The next day there was a telegram from England, Mum was there. And then that was it.
No matter whether his mother had issues, that's still a terrible thing to put a child through, and the feelings of abandonment it can leave never quite go away. Yet today Hugh has a relationship with his mother. The Les Miserables star explains:
There comes a certain point in life when you have to stop blaming other people for how you feel or the misfortunes in your life. You can't go through life obsessing about what might have been. We see each other three or four times a year.
That's an amazing act of grace and forgiveness. Hugh seems to have gotten his strength from his father, whom he says was his "rock."
Forgiving a parent who has done you wrong is no easy task, and it's not for everyone. Especially if that parent continues to do things to hurt you, it might not even be the best choice to continue to have a relationship. But it sounds like for Hugh, this was the best choice for him, and probably gave him a sense of relief and closure. Hugh just sounds like one helluva guy.
Have you ever had to forgive a parent?
Image via CBS