There once was a small girl, who was to young to go to school like her older brothers and sister, she waited every day for them to return in early afternoon. Her dad had not lived with them in quite a while and her mom seemed to be really busy.
One day her mother had a friend come over to help her butcher rabbits in the back yard, the little girl so wanted to help and do something with her mom, but her mother said she must stay in the house and wait, they would be done in a little while. So the little girl got out her toy horses and played until the friend came back in the house with fresh carcasses that she tenderly washed in the sink before wrapping them up to put in the ice box. The little girl watched silently.
The mother told her friend to leave them on the counter and she would put them in the ice box later, but the friend figured since she already had them in her hand and opened the refrigerator.
“Oh my goodness! Oh my Goodness!” The friend said as the mother had walked into the house.
The little girl stood and stared as she watched her mother panic.
“Please don’t say anything! Please! They will take away my babies!”
The friend and mother walked back out side to clean up.
The little girl cautiously walked up to the refrigerator and carefully opened the door. Curious of what the friend had seen. It was empty. There was nothing different from yesterday. The little girl closed the refrigerator and went back to get her horses.
That night as her eldest brother stood on a chair, cooking rabbit, the little girl asked why their mom was in the bathroom throwing up. Her eldest brother said, ” Oh, mommy hasn’t eaten in a long time.”
“Oh” Was the little girls reply.
The next day a woman with a be-hive hair style came to the house and the little girl answered the door. She came in with two of the biggest bags of colorful groceries the little girl had ever seen, she went back out to her car and brought two more bags in and set them on the counter.
The little girl saw water come out of her mommies eyes. It couldn’t be tears because mommies don’t cry.
Now, forty five years later I remember that day like yesterday.I was three, I look at my mother with admiration and no judgment, for now I realize what I had learned from her, what she had to give up, and what she had accomplished. I also learned from that experience, the gift of a friend, or friends. After she raised six of us kids, all of us successful adults. I see what she sacrificed and what she taught. For me in that experience I realized, my mother had given me faith, courage, commitment and unconditional love. She had taught a little girl who watched silently how to overcome, be self reliant, be scared but do it anyway. She taught me to accept gifts and appreciate what was given. Her friends quietly taught me how to give with no ego or judgment, they taught me to give unconditionally.
I share this story for those who might be struggling, for those who have went without, and to those who feel like they have hit bottom. All I can say, is this is not your life, it is only a moment in your life. It may be a long moment but, deep within you have the strength to pull through. At your weakest moment something will click and you will survive, you will get up from the ashes, and there will be someone who reaches out to help, to guide, to comfort, not save but support. Accept it with grace and dignity, believe there is more than this moment. If you have children, know they are watching you, learning from you and will remember your courage and your struggles. They will learn from your strength and your mistakes. Maybe not today, but someday, they will say “I remember when.” And tears will streak your face.
I was that little girl, and I am so proud to have had a young woman who tried her best by working two jobs as a single mom keep her family together the best she knew how, and sacrificed her youth because of the choices she made.
My hero is my mom.
Blessing to you.