Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Woman Who Helped Me

Me and Mom at my University graduation, May 2008
 I have had many women in my life help me. I have had all female bosses at the many jobs I have held, have a couple of lovely friends who are always there to lend a hand if I need it, and I have even had a couple of female cats who were the best companions anyone could ever ask for. But one woman has helped me more than any other, in ways that were conscious on her part and I'm sure in ways that she is not even aware of.

I was born on mom's 38th birthday (December 11, 1984), the fourth and last stop on her long, arduous journey through motherhood. This journey started when my mom was only 17 years old and at a time in history when teenage pregnancy was an unimaginable horror that only served to earn you an entry in the Book of Eternal Shame. Being a young woman in the mid-1960's, her only choice was to have the baby and get married.

You could say that was the moment when her childhood ended, and the dreams that she had for herself were pushed aside, only to be picked up again during a period of personal renewal many decades later. Pushed aside to fulfill the duty of "mother" to my new baby brother, and later to another boy and two girls.

Because the fates seem to have a cruel sense of humour, along with this brood it also decided to give her not one abusive, alcoholic husband to take care of, but two, force her into the lifestyle labeled, "Single Mom" whether she liked it or not and later took her first true, respectful love (after so many years of waiting for it) much too early. Always someone else's needs to address, always someone wanting a piece of her, all of her, and yet none all at the same time, and always one step forward, two steps back.
Although this may not be the life that my mother imagined for herself when she was a teenager, it appears as though it was in fact her destiny as she has fulfilled the position given to her better than I am sure she ever expected to. She was always meant to help people – this is the entire reason for being of a nurse and mother – and always would have found a way to do that no matter what path she followed.

As much as the path she did take and the sorrows it has brought her pains me, I am very grateful she did take it because if she hadn’t, I would not have been the lucky recipient of her gracious, selfless help, and we would not be the people we are now to each other – best friends.

How has this woman helped me? She has helped me understand the world. She has helped me believe in myself. She has helped me become independent, level-headed, and grateful. She has seen me at my worst and best and loved me either way. She has helped me never to let life get me down and to always move forward. She has helped me be smart and alert, but also to have fun and relax.

She has helped me become the person I am today, and what more could a daughter ask for?


This blog post is part of the HEART OF HAITI MOTHER’S DAY POST SERIES (A Clever Girls Collective C*ause). This initiative gives a gift to mom that gives back to women.

The Heart of Haiti Project is an initiative founded by Willa Shalit (daughter of Gene Shalit) and her company, Fairwinds Trading, a for-profit company that uses business as a strategy for economic empowerment of people, especially women, in the Majority World. The Majority World is where two billion of the world’s three billion people live, in poverty. Through a partnership with Macy’s and their Shop For A Better World' initiative, Heart of Haiti offers artisan-crafted decorative arts and jewelry for sale. All income derived from sales of the products on the Heart of Haiti site enhances an artisan’s family’s nutrition, educates children, and brings access to healthcare and dignity.
For additional information on Fair Winds visit:

To view the Shop for a Better World / Heart Of Haiti collection in it's entirety (including just added items for Spring), visit: In honour of this blog series, use the Promocode: CLEVERGIRLS when purchasing a Mother’s Day gift from the HOH collection and receive 15% off Heart of Haiti and Rwanda Path to Peace products.

Also in honour of this blog series (and Mother's Day coming up next week), please tell your mother "thank you" or "I love you" today (this has nothing to do with the blog promo, it's just a helpful tip from yours truly!).

For more information about Clever Girls Collective, visit their website here.

I was selected for this very special “CleverHaiti” opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity. All opinions are my own.


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