The Woman Who Lived in a Shoe

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When asked about my mother, I often tell others she’s a selfless and loving woman. My mother taught me more about loving others than anyone in this world. It’s no secret we chose to foster mainly because of my parents and the influence they had on me by fostering and adopting through my teen years. My mama taught me how to love but more importantly, that to love didn’t mean to never let go-and sometimes loving people you know may leave is a million times harder but also a million times more rewarding.

One of my favorite stories about my mother you may have heard before. It’s not because it’s alone in my stories-trust me there’s plenty more, but because it was such a developmental moment in who I became…and for my mother, it was such a natural act, she always forgets about it. For her it was like any other day.

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Christmas vacation had just begun, and she packed us into a car with groceries. I was younger, but not that young, in 6/7th grade. We headed to one of the “projects” in town and she stopped at a house, grabbing a bunch of the grocery bags, and went up to the door with all this food. A classmate of mine(his younger brother was in my moms class) mother answered the door and I watched my mom hand her the bags and hug her quickly then come back to the car.
Embarrassed, I asked her why she just did that. My mother told me that it was Christmas and we were called to give everything we could to people who needed it.
I asked why food? I mean, I took part in toys for tots, so why not get some presents?
She gently reminded me that not everyone could afford food and since the kids would be home everyday during vacation she didn’t want them to go hungry. I was shocked that family’s couldn’t afford food, and she reminded me again we had to help those who had less.

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Then she swore she would ground me forever if I told other students about this because that was not kind and we left.
Like I said; she’d forgotten about it. When I first brought this story up a year ago, she nodded, but told me she didn’t expect me to remember such a “small” gesture. She never thought about it again, because for her-that’s what you did. It wasn’t an act of kindness, it wasn’t charity or good work. It was what you did when you had a surplus and someone else had a drought.

I’ve pretty much based my adulthood off the way my mother has tried to show us to live. When we have a surplus, it goes. When others have droughts, we offer to fill their well. We love, we give, we help.

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My mother is an amazing woman. I learned so much from her, it’s impossible to explain; she made me the mother I am today. And for that I am thankful.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there–and the happiest to the woman who made me this insane lady, my mama!

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