“Mother is a verb, not a noun.” ~ Proverb
I’m proud to be supporting the Heart of Haiti campaign once again. But I’m also excited to share a story that feels appropriate with Mother’s Day coming up.
Mothers and daughters – we have a complicated relationship, don’t we? I’ll never know how it feels to be on the mothering side of that relationship. I have a son. Just one child and he’s a boy. All boy. He loves his mommy and I’m often told that mothers and sons have a special bond. But mothers and daughters?
Growing up, my mother was the one that made me laugh, made me cry, carried out the discipline (always swift and immediate), and instilled in me the values that I carry with me today. But she also drove me nuts. We fought like cats and dogs. We yelled and screamed and I was pretty sure this would be the course our relationship would always take.
As we’ve both aged, we mellowed. Or maybe matured. Or maybe grown a little more alike. Scary, I know. We spend half of our lives not wanting to end up just like our mother and we spend the other half wondering how we ended up just like her. But our relationship really took a turn about four years ago.
It was January 2008, a year after my son was born. The first year for any mother isn’t easy but it seemed especially hard for me. I tend to take on stress, especially in situations I can’t control, and bottle it up until I reach a melting point. That point came in January (you can read the full journey here). After a few weeks after worsening insomnia, I felt on the brink of a breakdown. I called my mother not knowing what to do and she was on a plane that afternoon.
She came with no return ticket and stayed for a full month helping me with Evan, taking care of the house, and generally keeping me company as I battled through depression and insomnia. I never needed my mother so much in my adult life and regardless of our past, it meant a lot to know that she would drop everything to help me if I needed her to. And trust me, for a person like me, it’s very hard for me to admit I need someone.
But my mother’s support reached out beyond the walls of my house and it was evident to me the day a card arrived in the mail from a woman I didn’t know.
Because my mother used to live in Raleigh, she had some friends that she tried to get out and visit when I would allow her to leave my side. She especially loved visiting her friend Betty, an older woman who was a minister and ran a weekly Bible study of sorts. My mother attended one Friday and had shared some of the struggles I was going through. The women took on my burden and prayed for me, hoping that I would heal.
One woman, in particular, though, asked my mother for my address because she wanted to send me a little something.
As I was packing up my house this week preparing to move, I came across that card and was still touched that someone who didn’t know me would reach out to me is such a loving way.
She sent a beautiful card with a little book of devotionals and a message that still lives in my heart:
You don’t know me but I go to the little prayer house “Refuge” on Friday noons that Betty has services as. Your mother comes some time when she is in town. Maybe you can come one Friday. It is a very warm, loving, and friendly astomsphere, sharing the love of Jesus and eating food afterwards. Praying for you and your mother.
In His Love,
I don’t know Sharon and have never met her. I’m not even sure my mother knew her very well. But the kind words of a stranger reminded me of how a mother’s love is universal. When one of our daughters hurts, we all want to help her heal.
I hope you take the time next weekend to acknowledge the women in your life who have mothered you in ways you might not have realized.
As part of this campaign, I’ve received two beautifully handcrafted necklaces from the artisans in Haiti. This Mother’s Day, I plan to proudly wear mine as I give the other to my mother and remind her how much I appreciate her.
What is Macy’s Heart of Haiti? Heart of Haiti is a “Trade, Not Aid” initiative launched by artist and social entrepreneur, Willa Shalit, The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and Macy’s. Already, Heart of Haiti has led to employment of 750 artists in Haiti, providing financial benefits for an estimated 8,500 people in the country.
Each item is a one-of-a-kind design and handmade by a Haitian master artisan from raw materials such as recycled oil drums, wrought iron, papier-mâché and stone. The collection features more than 40 home decor items including quilts, metalwork, ceramics, jewelry and paintings and is made almost entirely from recycled and sustainable items such as old cement bags, cardboard, oil drums and local gommier wood.
Heart of Haiti products are available online at Macy’s.com.