the crack in the darkness

what if

as we sit in the darkness,

trying to figure out how to piece it all back together

again

each time we feel the pain of the losing

 

what if,

as the darkness threatens to envelop us,

and all the light that we cannot see

is just out of our reach

 

what if

the one good thing we can do

the smile we can give

the hand we can hold

the love we can share–

 

what if

that is how the Light gets in?

 

IMG_6378

 

love, lightning bugs, laughter, and light

Tonight I am thankful for the freedom to sit back and enjoy time with family

watching littles chasing lightning bugs–nature’s fireworks show, and

seeing how they catch them, rushing over to show me with gentle amazement,

and then, just as gently,

they let them go

their sweet faces reflecting the goodbye flicker of light

from the tail of the ascending fairy-like bug

For laughter in the circle of stories and joy

in the shared memories

of those not there

For food that is plentiful and oh so good

and for the honor of joining in the simple act of

the washing, drying, and putting away,

elbow to elbow, more shared moments to tuck away

for when the winter comes

For bare feet and the smell of citronella

For children, big and small, swinging on a tire,

hung on the tree planted when I was only a teen

and sat under its stick-like shadow, dreaming dreams

and writing, even then

Tonight I give thanks for all of these things,

for flickering lights of fireworks in the yard where I grew up

and continue to grow

For the voices and sighs of my children who will

continue to make their own memories there,

as they watched fireworks sparkling and bright

THANKFUL

JOYFUL

PEACEFUL

In this world where children are kidnapped simply for wanting to learn

and parents don’t love the ones trusted to them as they should

Where animals are treated unkindly

and the stories of folks are filled with pain and brokenness

and darkness

Tonight I give thanks for the light–the lights,

and for a chance to get up again tomorrow,

another day to live and love and scatter rays of freedom

for all

with each step and in all that I do

For until we are all free

the lights are not bright enough

to show the ones who follow the way

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Love to all–

#bethefeather

 

Thankful That It Makes No Sense to Them

The littles and I were heading back home this morning from our OutsandAbouts, when our Princess noticed the street sign.

“Mama, they have named a street after Mr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Look.”

I nodded.  “I see that.”  Interesting that after the years of Sundays travelling the street of that same name in Macon, she finally noticed the one we are rarely on in our own town.

“Martin Luther King.  Is he the one who stopped slavery?” Cooter asked.

“No, he’s the one who stopped ‘For Whites Only,'” she replied.

“Why would anyone want to do that.  For whites only.  Why?”

They both were quiet then.  I guess I was up to bat.

I sighed and focused on the traffic on the road.  “Well, I guess some people didn’t care for folks who were different from them, maybe they were scared.  So they didn’t believe that everyone had equal rights.  And they tried to keep them separate, away from them.”  I paused.  “But everyone was created by God and is loved by God–so everyone is equal, right?”

A check in the rearview mirror showed their nodding heads in agreement.

“That just doesn’t make sense.  For whites only.” Our Princess got very quiet.

But not Cooter.  He only gets louder the more excited he becomes.  “YEAH!  That doesn’t make ANY SENSE AT ALL!”  And he flung his arms out dramatically and then folded them to his chest in certain indignation.

Wow.

I’m not quite sure where they learned about Dr. King.  I’m replaying shows we’ve watched and books they’ve read in my memory bank files, and I can’t pinpoint where.  I will ask them tomorrow.  This morning I was so surprised by the turn of the conversation that I forgot to inquire how they knew who he was.

Tonight I’m thankful that things like this make no sense to my children.  I’m thankful that they have conversations like this one, every now and then, where I can see straight through to their hearts, beyond the bickering and drama of siblingship, straight through to what really matters.  I give thanks that they are indignant about injustices such as these.  Because I know, and one day they will too, that the struggle for true equality is far from over.  They will need their caring and indignant spirits to carry them through hard times and brokenness so they can make a difference, and maybe one day their children will find all that is happening today so far-fetched they will think their Mama or Daddy is making it up.

Fingers crossed.  And toes too.

Love to all.

 

Giving Thanks for Echoed Fears

Today when I was driving, making time to get things done, checking things off my list, I heard an old song by Pam Tillis–“Land of the Living,” written by Tia Sillers and Wayland Patton.  I have her Greatest Hits CD, and this was one of my favorites on that CD back when I was transitioning from my previous life into the new one I could barely fathom.

A line from the song today struck a chord with me, a different one from the many that did back then.  It was–

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One of the things taught about good listening is focus so you can repeat the problem or concern back to the person who just shared it.  If you can rephrase it, the person you are listening to knows he or she is being heard.

I think this lyric has a double meaning.  First, we all need to know we aren’t alone–that someone else struggles along the same path we are on.  They get it.  Second, when someone “echoes” our anxieties, worries, fears back to us, we know we are heard.  And maybe even understood.  Someone cares enough to really hear what our heart is trying to say.

Tonight I am thankful for the one who heard my fears today and echoed them and even had me laughing over them before it was over with.  That’s good stuff for sure, and I’m glad I can call her mine.

When I see someone who seems sad and struggling, I worry if they are alone in this world–if they have someone to listen and to help them over the bumps in the road.  Or to splash through the puddles with.  And laugh out loud.

As I give thanks, maybe I also feel challenged to be that someone for another.

As Mama used to say, “Pay it forward.” By, well, being the feather.  #bethefeather

Wishing you all someone to echo your fears, someone to listen–because your story matters too.  Love to all.

 

on going back

going back

to the person whose heart you hurt

oh so long ago

and saying “I’m sorry,

it was my brokenness,

not yours”

courage

going back

to the person whom you

might have offended

and saying, “I’m sorry,

for the words that came

without thought”

humility

going back

to the person you’ve

been so angry with,

listening

and then saying, “It’s okay,

it’s over, my heart just let it go”

grace

peace

hope

it is in the going back

that we can move forward

and beyond

lighter

and with a full

and thankful

heart

love

 

 

Those Days That Leave Folks Out

Dear Hallmark,

Thanks.

Sincerely,

Girl Who’s Tired of Being Reminded

 

Okay, this one probably isn’t going to make me very popular.  If you are one who has always and will always love the “day” celebrations honoring this one and that one in your life–then okay.  No offense meant.  Personally, I’m over these days.  Valentine’s.  Mother’s Day.  Father’s Day.  Grandparent’s Day.

Why can’t we honor and love and be kind to these folks everyday?  In the words of Miss N from my Sister Circle, “Why’s it gotta be just one day?”

I’m thinking it’s because you won’t buy a card if you’re doing it everyday.  Right?

All right, in all seriousness, here’s my problem with the “day” thing.  It excludes people.  It leaves folks out.  And that was in my Mama’s top three rules.  “Don’t leave anyone out.”  I’m not placing all the blame at the foot of the card companies, but they are the ones whose displays and tear-jerking commercials remind us we must do something for the day.  Them and the sales on things that are not related at all–like grey tissue boxes and size H crochet hooks made from rosewood.  And 20% one item coupons from Bed, Bath, and Beyond in the mailbox in honor of the day.  (They never expire you know, despite what they say.)  And then there’s some pastors and church folks who decide to honor those special people that day.  *sigh*  What a relief it is to be in church on one of those Sundays and get through the whole service without mention or reminder.  So thankful when that happens.

Sure, it’s wonderful to honor your parents.  Or your grandparents.  Or the love of your life.  I’m all for it.  I grew up doing it, making cards, cooking waffles for a special supper, making a cake with so much blue dye in the icing it almost took my Daddy out–yeah, I was full of the love and the spirit.

But now…..

I see it a little differently than I did back then.  I see my friends who have no roof over their heads, remembering children who long ago stopped searching for them.  Or parents who did the same.  I see the Mama who had to do what no Mama should do–go through a day all about Mamas when she, for the first time in years, had no child to hug her or treat her to dinner.  I see a child in adult’s clothing, gripping tight the tissue hidden in her hand, so she can wipe the tears quickly so her own children won’t notice her pain.  I see the young woman bemoaning another Valentine’s without someone special to share it with.  I see a child torn as she tries to honor one while grieving another.  And then there are those who are estranged from the one the day calls us to love and honor.  It’s painful and private and suddenly a spotlight is on the relationship that isn’t.  And all of these precious people put smiles on their faces and try to carry on as though nothing is out of sorts as best they can.  So those who are having a wonderful time celebrating maybe won’t know.

I love my children and Fella.  I appreciate their efforts to honor me and make me feel special on that day.  Hey, I appreciate it any day that happens.  And I want to honor my Fella as a good person and Daddy.  But we tend to keep it low-key.  The Fella says he’s just happy to be home.  I usually have help making his favorite dessert and we hang out and call it a day.  And it’s good.  And I’m thankful he’s okay with low-key because anything else would send me on another spin on the grief wheel pretty quick.  As it is, when I’m by myself I say a quiet thank you to the man who loved and raised me, and I try to move beyond.  That’s hard to do sometimes.  I don’t know how my Mama did it all those years.  She made us feel special that we were honoring her, all the while she was grieving the relationship she never had with her own mother.  And we didn’t know until we were much older.

If you love these days and really get into them, that is great.  I think it’s wonderful the ones who go all out with teas for their Mamas or big barbeques for their Dads (and vice versa), big candlelit dinners and a night out on the town with their Valentine, or a picnic with their grandparents.  Love it.  Keep on loving those precious ones you treasure.  In your own special way.  What I’m asking is for a little patience and understanding when I seem less than enthusiastic.  I’m all about loving on folks, but sometimes that looks a little different than what many might expect, I guess.   I struggle with days and things that make people feel left out or like an “odd man out.”  Fitting in is a good feeling, and that’s hard to do when you’re not a part of the celebration through no fault of your own.

All I’m asking is the next time one of these days rolls around, maybe take a look around and think about how someone else might be feeling.  And be okay with wherever he or she is.  Maybe, if you are so inclined, be a safe place for them to be, away from the hoopla and festivities.  #bethefeather

Happy Everyday and love to all.

 

 

 

 

 

On Being Asked, “What Are You Afraid of?”

Last week my friend Michelle who writes over at Correct and Continue posed the question–

What are you afraid of? 

In the moments of quiet that find their way into my days and rapidly disappear, I have thought about this question.

And I have worked on my answer to that.

Spiders.  Definitely.  No doubt.  I don’t play about that.

I have finally decided to find it quirky and embrace it rather than work through it.  Family lore has it that when I was maybe four and Sister was nearly one, I started losing it over a spider I saw on the floor.  Sister reached over and smashed it with her hand.  She may or may not have then licked said hand.  That bit’s a little fuzzy.  Needless to say, I spent all my years after that, when I was living at home, calling her to my rescue.  One of the reasons our front porch and front flower bed needs so much attention now is my arachnophobia.  I’m done.  My Fella knows, and he says we will do it together.  I’m good with that.  Spiders.  Just. No.

Boogie Man.  Well, who’s not, really?  Am I right?  The embodiment of all evil and darkness in the world.  Don’t need him around either.

Something bad happening to someone I love.  Been there, done that.  But I don’t think that exempts me from a future without any more of this.  When the littles get sick, like Cooter has been since last night, if I don’t block the door so Anxiety Girl can’t get in, I have to deal with her and all of her what if’s and panic-laden thoughts.  I’m trying though.  She and I really aren’t good for each other.  At all.

Oh I could go on and on.  Odd stuff.  Thanks to the Tylenol tampering and subsequent deaths of 1982, I have a moment of stress when I open a new bottle/bag/container of something.  I want to make sure that joker is SEALED.  I unplug things that my Daddy taught me could be fire hazards before I leave my house.  I double-check the locks at night.  And when I’m leaving.  I worry that I will lose my wallet.  Or my phone.  I’ve tried to do both a time or two.

But none of those can touch what I think is my greatest fear.

I am afraid of becoming comfortable.

I could, you know.  I have the potential to do just that.

I could stay at home and hang out in my little world of times tables, Harry Potter reading, Lego building, cleaning up, cooking and feeding, and teaching and healing and kissing boo boos.  I could do that, and it would be okay.  It would be comfortable and the right thing and I would be taking care of business in my home, in my own part of the world.

But here’s a thought.  One that speaks to my heart and calls me out.  Something that I saw today on the Facebook page of Love Wins Ministries, which “shares unconditional love and friendship with the homeless and poor population of Raleigh, North Carolina.”

Yep.  See, if I become comfortable in my own little world, oblivious and unaware and indifferent to the suffering and heartbreak and loneliness and brokenness of those who share this world with me, I’ve missed out.  That is my fear.  That I will become comfortable and unaware and indifferent.  And if I do, an important part of living, of being on this journey will be gone.

I’ve learned this, through watching my parents and the example they set:

Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. 

Fill in the blank with almost anything.

Just because you can–

eat the whole pizza at one sitting…..

get a new credit card…..

speak your mind to the one who cut you off in traffic…..

buy yourself a new purse, a new car, a new pair of boots……

doesn’t mean you should.

We are all connected.  I can become comfortable and indifferent and think that any one of those things won’t affect someone else.  In my own little world, I might think that what happens to “them” “elsewhere” doesn’t have one iota of anything to do with me.

And I’d be lying to myself, wouldn’t I?  Because, as Martin Luther King, Jr. said:

It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly.”

What is my greatest fear?

Losing that sense of connectedness, however painful as it may be to be aware, connected.  And living in my own little world, unaware and indifferent to the stories of those around me.

It could happen.  It would be so easy to go there.

But for me, I can’t let it.

Because while I’d be comfortable, I wouldn’t be living the life I was meant to live.

And that’s what I’m most afraid of.  Not living as I was meant to.  Made to.

Love and a beautiful, uncomfortable moment or two to all.

 

First Lady, Prolific Writer, Amazing Thinker

My Fella got a free magazine subscription for signing up for a discount card.  Just a few issues, but he could take his pick.  And he chose “Real Simple” for me.  Very sweet and I appreciate it.  Unfortunately, I don’t make a lot of time for sitting down and skimming through it.  But today I did.  I sat down with the latest issue and instead of turning on the computer, I read through about half of the magazine.  Turns out I really like this one.

There was a quote in there from Eleanor Roosevelt.  It gave credit to “My Day” in 1938.  I was not aware of what they were referring to, so I did a little digging.  I discovered here what this column actually was.  They describe it as:

“Eleanor Roosevelt’s “My Day” was a syndicated newspaper column published from 1935 to 1962. During those years, Eleanor wrote the column consistently six days a week, the only interruption being when her husband died, and even then she missed only four days. The column allowed Eleanor to reach millions of Americans with her views on social and political issues, current and historical events, and her private and public life. Dealing with subjects far out of the range of the conventional first lady’s concerns, “My Day” is an outstanding example of the breadth of issues and activities which occupied Eleanor Roosevelt’s life.”

Wow.  She wrote six days a week for over 27 years.  Amazing.  (I have a long way to go.)

What an interesting representation of life through those years.  I’m excited to learn that there is a compilation of her most memorable columns available.  They can also be read on-line here.  Mrs. Roosevelt was a “blogger” before such a thing even existed, I’m thinking.

I love this quote I found tonight as I was searching around on the web.

“NOVEMBER 5, 1958 – If the use of leisure time is confined to looking at TV for a few extra hours every day, we will deteriorate as a people.”

A woman ahead of her time in this line of thinking.  Yes ma’am.

But I digress. (No surprise there, I’m sure.  I seem to be chasing rabbit trails this evening.)

This is the quote from the magazine, and it has intrigued me much of today.

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I’ve thought about this, and I am wondering if I agree or disagree.  I’ve been talking about “just love each other” and “#bethefeather,” but maybe I should consider dosing out a bit of Miss Manners or Emily Post for myself and those I’m supposed to be teaching?

Mama instructed us over and over throughout the years, “Act like you are somebody.”  This did NOT mean act like you are better than others, just act like you had good raisin’s (which we did) and carry on as such.  We were not seven course, all kinds of silverware at each meal kind of folks, but we were raised to ma’am and sir and respect our elders.  Speak when spoken to.  Look folks in the eyes.  Show respect. Please and thank you and open the doors.  Be good stewards of our things and our relationships.  All of that sounds like good manners to me, but sometimes I see the line between the two–loving others and good manners–as being a bit blurred. But then you don’t have to love someone to treat them kindly and with respect.  Mama taught me that too.

Before I close, two more quotes from Mrs. Roosevelt–I swanee she and my Mama were kindred spirits.  Mama has shared similar words over the years.

“You must do the things you think you cannot do.” –E. Roosevelt

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” –E. Roosevelt

Tonight I’m thankful for my Mama who was a strong woman and raised us to be strong, compassionate, and respectful people.  I’m grateful for my Fella choosing a magazine for me, this one that has me stepping outside the box and learning something new.  Doors opening to see inside the life of this amazing and strong woman, Eleanor Roosevelt.  I give thanks for the life she led and the example she set, and that I can share it with my children.

Isn’t it funny the things we can learn, if we’ll just step away from the screen and do something different?

So what do y’all think–manners or “brotherly” love?

Love to all.  (politely offered of course) 😉

 

 

One Thing You Can Do

Today was an emotional journey for me, but that’s a story for another day.

Because this story begs to be told.  Yesterday.

While I was with my little guy at lunch, I got a phone call from Becca, co-founder of ABAN–the organization in Ghana that transforms litter and changes lives, whom I’m honored to call friend.  We talked about their journey and how far they have come and how excited they are with where they are heading.  Beautiful.  It was wonderful to hear her voice, and I strained to hear every word as I sat in a south Georgia buffet restaurant at the noon hour.

When I got home and took a moment to catch up on Facebook, I saw this video shared by Jamie, The Very Worst Missionary.

http://thecolbertreport.cc.com/videos/2rgt3x/-bringbackourgirls—rosemary-nyirumbe

In the response to the question, is the “#BringBackOurGirls” helpful, the nun being interviewed, Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, answered yes.  We need to shout it.  And often.

We need to care.  If we can do nothing else, we have to care.  And if you don’t, this nun wants to punch you–it’s the most peaceful thing she can come up with.  I love her.  She’s on my “I want to meet” list.  And it’s not as long a list as you might think.

As I pondered the story of the young girls forcefully taken–kidnapped–from their school in Nigeria last month, I thought about the young women of ABAN.  These young women, practically still girls, no longer live on the streets.  In the words from the ABAN website–they care for the whole person.

ABAN operates a 2-year holistic in-residence program in Ghana, Africa, that transitions young mothers out of poverty and off the streets of the capital, Accra. After a series of interviews, ABAN selects 20 apprentices aged 17-22 who show a strong desire to work hard to change their situation.

The coursework focuses not only on education and vocational skills but also on health and well-being. Our curriculum takes into account each woman’s innate sense of self. We believe that her identity, dignity, and ability are significantly molded by the health of her body, mind and spirit and her experience is guided by these principles.

In addition to taking care of the young women, the program also provides for their children.  And it takes care of the environment by upcycling 20,000 water sachets a month.

They are making beautiful things from trash and creating beautiful lives for those that had been left to the streets.

I know it won’t bring our girls back, but supporting ABAN and the work they are doing will protect these girls in Ghana, whose welfare is just as important.  It will provide them an education, a place to live, a future.  For them and their children.  It’s something.

There are several ways to support them.  You can shop for gifts or a treat for yourself.  It’s the season for wet towels and bathing suits and the like.  Their sachet lined bags are perfect for such as that.  I love the looks of their new products too, and I know the blessing bags will be perfect for keeping things organized in my tote bag.

Another way to change lives and the environment is to invest in these young women and their futures by making a one-time or monthly donation.  As of this afternoon, they still needed nine more sponsors of $150/month to be a part of the Annual Sponsorship program.  But even a $10 one-time donation makes a difference–it provides a Sister Scholar with National Health Insurance.  Check out more options here.

There are other ways to support them and be a part of the team making a difference in the education of young women in Africa.  Like them on Facebook.  Sign up for their newsletterHost an ABAN party for your family and friends.  Share their story. None of these cost anything. Tell folks about this program that was started by three college students in 2008 and has grown to include 25 employees, 20 apprentices, and 3 interns on 2 continents.  Amazing.

No, supporting this program won’t bring back those precious girls from Nigeria, torn from their families by the dark and evil in this world.  It won’t change things for them.  I believe, like Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe, that we have to care, no matter how far away this might seem to us in this country, and that we have to make our voices heard.  #BringBackOurGirls is one way of doing that.

But supporting the life-changing good work of ABAN will change lives.  It will help them bring girls and young women out of the horror of life on the streets of Ghana.  It will protect them from the evil and darkness that threatens to engulf them.  It will be a turning point for their precious little ones–who may never have to remember or know what it is like to live life with uncertainty, without shelter, and filled with physical hunger and emotional needs.  And fear.

Because someone cared.  Because someone shopped for a gift that changed lives.  Because someone gave generously from their heart.  Because someone clicked like or forward or told their Mama, sister, uncle, best friend’s cousin’s groomer…..the more we share the story, the more impact it can make.  It’s another way of wrapping someone up in our love and offering refuge.  Another way to #bethefeather.

Hashtags are cool, and they can inspire change.

But today I’m throwing out the challenge for us all, me included.  Let’s go one step further.  Let’s do one thing today that can change the world.  One child, one young woman, one upcycled piece of litter at a time.  Let’s put our actions where our hashtags say we are.  The more women and children we share light with, the smaller the darkness in this world becomes.

Love to all.

                                                                 =============

This was an interesting read here regarding social media and its impact in this situation.

 A story I shared last year about ABAN, all they do, and how precious they are to me.  Beauty From Trash and Healing Hearts

Encourage a Mama, Hug a Child

It’s here again. The flipping of the calendar pages and it rolls around again.

When I was little, Mother’s Day was about making homemade cards, writing poems that rhymed, and making some kind of special food for my Mama.  I probably crocheted her a bookmark or something small a year or two in there somewhere.  It was a day about my Mama, making her feel special.   I don’t know if I remembered to say thank you every year but I sure tried to make it “HER” day.

Later after I married, it expanded.  It was about my Mama and my mother-in-law.  Dividing our time between the two.  Hoping they feel loved and treasured.  And appreciated.  Even after my first child was born, our day was already so full, it just seemed the obvious choice to keep it about them.  I was fine with that actually.  Having no expectations prevents disappointments. (And if you will recall, I’m a script writer from way back–but if I don’t write one, it’s all good.)    I enjoyed making it all about these women who had built the foundations for my family.

Fast forward eighteen years.  As I prepared to face my second Mother’s Day without my Mama, I pretty much decided the best coping mechanism was denial and avoidance.  The mantra–“it’s just another day, it’s just another day”–was working for me.  It is easier to handle feeling nothing than to feel the pain.

And then this happened.

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A card.  From my oldest’s grandmother.

When I read the sweet note that thanked me for the gift of her granddaughter, two things happened.

I cried.  Bless her.

And then…..I felt ashamed.

I’ve been so busy feeling sad for me, or rather, avoiding feeling sad for me or anything for anyone else, that I failed to realize that this is a hard day for her.

The first Mother’s Day without her child.

Something no mother should ever have to experience.

Something in me broke in that moment and the floodgates opened.  And I wept.

I can’t celebrate tomorrow with my Mama sitting across from me over a Stevi B’s veggie with pizza spice–giving her all my mushrooms–or with fried fish plates.  I can’t hear her laughter as she reads the two or three cards I give her–I never could pick just one.  I won’t see her wrinkle her nose and look at me and tell me how beautiful I am–all her ways of telling me she loves me dearly.  And I won’t hear her say my name–this woman who gave me the name and gave me life–and who pronounces it like no other.  I just won’t.

But I’m one of the lucky ones.  Because all of those things have happened.  Often.

With the big day approaching, women whom I love and respect, women who are caring and are not as self-absorbed as I, shared posts that, along with my sweet card, served as an impetus for me getting off my pity pot.

On Thursday, my friend Renea Winchester, who blogs here, shared this:

For many, Mother’s Day is a sorrowful time. Women recall the pain of babies who were never born, or were taken from them too soon. Daughters reflect on strained and broken relationships with their mother, and wish with everything in their soul that the relationship could be better. Some, who had a deep friendship with their mother, miss those times with a pain the heart can never overcome. Darling girls whose mothers are in the fight for their lives also hurt with the uncertainty that today could be the last day. I’ve seen many posts from friends who have lost their mother this week. My heart goes out to them. So for those who have their mothers with them on this earth, let us not only reach out to her, but to our sisters today, tomorrow, and every day. Let us purpose to be a woman who uplifts and encourages another sister. Could you do that today, and every day?
Oh my heart.  What a beautiful soul she is.  And yes, we should strive to do just what she says.  Uplift and encourage another.
Then on Friday, my sweet friend, Karen Spears Zacharias, who blogs here and here wrote:
And yet again I am reminded of how many kids come from homes absent loving mothers. This is a hard, hard week for those who have spent their childhood being the parent their moms failed to be. We have created a culture where too many children never know the tenderness of a loving mother. They have no idea what it means to be nurtured. Don’t just take time to thank your mom this weekend. Take time to hug a child who needs it.
*tears*
Between these two beautiful, strong women who create beauty and inspire movement with their words, I was awakened.  There are sisters who are hurting over this day.  There are children whose hearts are aching.  What better way to overcome my own pain than to do something to help ease the pain of another?  Be the feather?  Yes.
And then this was on my screen yesterday…..in preparation for their graduation today, the class of 2014 at my alma mater, Wesleyan College, shared their message about the education of women and standing strong for sisters everywhere:
Photo courtesy of the Wesleyan College Alumnae Association

Photo courtesy of the Wesleyan College Alumnae Association

I don’t remember a time I’ve been more proud to belong to this place.
Again, tears.  There are mothers who are weeping daily over the loss of their daughters, over not knowing, their fears and anxieties and their imaginations taking over.  My heart breaks for them.
As I picked up my card again last night, giving thanks for the one who took the time to think of it and to send it, filled with heartfelt and loving words that washed away so much hurt and pain, I contemplated how to make this day easier for her.  Or more bearable.  Sending flowers just seemed so trivial, considering all she’s going through.  I mean, what do you give someone who has already started dispersing her things?
Your time.  Your ear.  Your shoulder.  Your laughter.  Your stories.
It came to me, whispered on the air, like a dandelion star floating across the sunlit yard.  All of these things.  More precious than gold.
So I called.  I said thank you.  And I love you too.  And we laughed.  And talked.  And shared in the sadness and reveled in the joy of the good memories.  And it was good.
I don’t know exactly what tomorrow will bring.  I have a to do list that would be nice to get through, but it’s not set in stone.  I plan to take down a candle and put it on the counter and light it tomorrow for all of those Mamas in Nigeria and all over this world who weep over their children.  And for those children who don’t know what it’s like to have a Mama hug them tight, call them beautiful, and wrinkle her nose at them.  It hurts to think about all of this pain–it would be much easier to ignore it…..and my own.
But numbness can be painful too after a while.
Tomorrow I hope to have an opportunity to hug a child, encourage a Mama–but then, in the words of my friend Miss N, “Why’s it gotta be just one day?”  I hope tomorrow is the start of something good.  For all of us.  Time to find someone in need of refuge and be the feather.
Love to all.