In my novel, The Storekeeper’s Daughter, Naomi Fisher made a promise to her dying mother. At her mother’s request, Naomi agreed to take care of her younger siblings, if her mother did not survive.
After Naomi’s mother passed away, Naomi did her best to keep that promise. Then one tragic day, Naomi’s baby brother, Zach, was kidnapped. From that moment on, Naomi lived with the guilt she felt for not watching the baby close enough. In addition to feeling responsible for her little brother’s disappearance, Naomi became convinced that she had not kept the promise she’d made to her mother. As Naomi continued to help her father oversee the care of his other children, she persisted in berating herself for not living up to the promise she had made to her mother.
Have you ever made a promise to someone and been unable to keep it? Did you feel guilty about it? Was there a legitimate reason you were not able to keep the promise?
Is there ever a time when we should not make a promise to someone? If we are unable to keep a promise, what should we do about it? Why is it important to put our promises into perspective and not blame ourselves if we’re not able to keep the promise, due to extenuating circumstances?