As a parent there are so many trips to the doctor, middle of the night feedings, parent/teacher conferences, volunteering in the classroom, dressing, bathing, feeding, laundry, loving, reading, singing, teaching, all things we do millions of hours a year! Being a mother is so rewarding, tiring, beautiful, taxing, fulfilling all wrapped into one package. I can't imagine life without this gift!
What would I be if I wasn't a mother? I will tell you what sings to my heart and where I plan to end up someday (with bits and pieces along the way) when this glorious role is fulfilled.
I feel I have been plagued with a curse that won't subside. There is a monkey on my back; an angel (or devil) on my shoulder. Here is a piece of my daily thought process.
"I can't wait to get new furniture in the family room. I want to paint it this color, place the couches here, put a big, new t.v. in this area... etc, etc." My mind wanders and creates the space I want to complete. In an instant my mind escapes elsewhere, to a woman I saw in the streets of Jerusalem some 13 years ago. She was homeless, penniless, dirty, hungry, and had two small children clinging to her sides and an infant in her arms. There she sat on the filthy street on a piece of cardboard.It was all I could do to hold back the tears, feeling helpless, standing there, digesting this site. What I had to give her would only ease her pain but a small moment and her life would then continue in difficulty, pain, and sorrow.
I then make plans to do this or that to the kitchen, the yard, upstairs, downstairs etc. Again, my heart pulls me back to another day when we held a fundraiser/garage sale to raise money for the half marathon we were planning to participate in for our nephews with Muscular Dystrophy.
While watching the slew of people come and go, I wondered about their stories. My eyes fixed on a man looking weathered, tired, defeated. I could tell he had spent many years with heavy burdens. Here he was, asking me, "How much?" for an old ripped towel. I wanted to say, "Take it, take it ALL!" If it hadn't been for our cause I would have. "Ten cents," I responded. He gives me a dime. As he prepares to get back in his car with his wife and son, the child doesn't want to leave the boxes of toys he was now enjoying. One in particular. The parents' look of desperation pains my heart and I tell them to, "Take it, keep it. It's okay." The child, elated, climbs in the car with the new found gift, the parents, with gratitude in their eyes. This was so small, so simple, yet profound to them in that moment; profound to me in that moment, for an entirely different reason.
WHY? Why have I been so blessed? Maybe by the standards of the rich and famous I have nothing. We still have an unfinished driveway, no fence, lots of furniture left to buy, etc. But, we have all we need: Food, clothing, shelter, our health, each other. What more could I ever ask for?
My family (parents/siblings) decided to give up Christmas gifts this year and instead put our efforts into creating relief kits to be sent all around the world. Kits that would aid mothers like this woman in my mind and heart. Kits that would aid men like the one searching through our rummage. I know my efforts may be small, but perhaps over time they will make a dent. Maybe, someday, when I am old and wrinkly, I will feel at peace, knowing that I have done all I could do to help someone in need!
For whatever reason, these and many other people have become part of my life. They are with me daily. Like the children above, whom I have never met. Their eyes, hearts, and smiles have somehow captured my heart and I can't ignore this urge to stand up and make a difference!