Friday, December 13, 2013
I spent four hours yesterday volunteering at a church in The Woodlands. Most of the time I shy away from writing about the individual act of service I perform. However, this one struck a little too close to home.
I signed up for gift distribution, thinking that it was like an "Adopt-a-Family" type of program. What I didn't realize was that it was for a Women's shelter and all the customers picking up their Christmas gifts were either physically or sexually abused. Let this sit with you a minute.......
The women I saw were all very thankful and had this look of shock and disbelief that they would actually be having a Christmas this year and most of all they all commented on how their children would be so excited on the toys they were to get. All moved to tears and all gave soulful hugs that felt like liquid sunshine. With everything going on in my life this year, this was by far the most rewarding thing I have ever done. And it was only a small gesture on my part.
Going back to how this hit close to home, I am sure some of you are wondering what in the world am I referring to. You see, the reason I lived in Chicago was because my mother was on the run from my father. He had kidnapped us and had us locked up in his apartment (alone, three kids under the age of 6) for six months and when my mom "kidnapped" us back she left San Antonio and headed north.
I don't ever remember her telling me why we left or what happen to my father, I found out as an adult of his abuse and mistreatment of my mother.
The point of this story is that I wish that my mother had an organization like the Women's Shelter that could have lessened her struggles on her first Christmas alone. We forget about others struggles and what some of our fellow brothers and sisters may be going through. We should never forget. I am ashamed to say that I try so very hard to forget about the sacrifices my mother made for us. It was a very painful time for me. I lost my mother as a child and then got her back and that has NEVER left me.
So this season be a little kinder to the woman wrestling with her children to make them behave in a grocery store, be kind to the women who looks like she is wearing the weight of the world on her shoulders, and be kind to the women you see in the mirror because more than likely you are standing on the shoulders of another stronger women.
I can't say these things to my mother because I know one day she will be taken away from me again. So I live my life as a testament to the life she deserved and I try to spread her kindness through my acts. All is done in an attempt to live up to the women she is...... Faults and all.
For information on how you can help with Women's Shelter, you can visit: http://www.mcwcthewoodlands.org/how-you-can-help.html