July 18, 2011
I'm a woman who was once a girl. I'm a daughter. I'm a wife of one and the mother of three. I'm an active community member. I'm a teacher. My passion is life and love and how to express both everyday in this volatile world. Humor, kindness, sharing, giving, and compassion all work wonders to help repair the breech of broken humanity. Respect is a well tooled key that turns the tumblers of the most voraciously locked soul. I love as best I can, grateful that I know how to, trusting that it makes a difference, somehow.
After the husband left for reasons beyond knowing, I sold everything to keep our family together as I launched out on a new life. I moved to the city, finished my long suffering college degree and began a local Peace group. I have since moved to an even bigger city, NYC, and teach students in high risk urban areas.
When my children were little and the holidays would roll around, they would press in giggling, asking me, "Mama, what do you want for Christmas (or, you birthday)?" I would say, "World Peace." They would bluster about in a child's simple tone of superiority, "M a- m a, w e can't give you that? N o – r e a l l y, what do you want?" I would smile and repeat, "World Peace." This would frustrate my children as their young minds couldn't think beyond their own desires for shiny bobbles and new gadgetry. Not wanting to sour their moods, I would always relent and say, "You can give me World Peace, just keep it in your heart and keep thinking about it, plant the seeds and it will grow." I can still see their beaming faces chiming back to me, "We'll try, Mama!"
Loving every little painted clay ball, crocheted potholder, hand-written story book and other gifts of love they bestowed upon me, I always held out for World Peace. Now that they're grown, they've all become beautiful peacemakers, each in their own way. My son, at 23, was living on a song and a prayer working part-time going to school full-time. The son of a friend of mine was randomly shot and critically wounded days before his own wedding. My son, never having met the young man, handed me $300 cash, all the money he had in the world, saying, "that family can use this much more than I can, I'd just buy video games, beer and pizza with it." His response to an act of senseless brutality was a generous act of kindness. My youngest daughter is an avid protestor, who speaks out boldly on behalf of those who have no voice. Her sense of justice is fierce. She makes a point of treating all she knows and everyone she meets with great kindness and respect. Peace to her is something to be forged and fought for, one encounter at a time. I admire her spirit. My middle daughter is working on her BS in Nursing so she can join Doctors Without Borders. She will spend the rest of her summer in Mexico working in an extremely poor orphanage. Her bravery to face strange and dire circumstances is unrelenting. She is happiest when she is serving others and working for life and peace. When my children tell me of their dreams and adventures, they often recall my crazy gift requests for "World Peace" when they were young. We all laugh and hug secretly hoping that it matters, it all matters. If they only knew how their lives bless my heart with deep hope that World Peace is indeed possible. "Some seeds fell on rich soil..." Together, we rise.