There are defining moments in our lives. They are responsible for the choices we make, how we act, how we live. I have two moments.
My first was being with my Aunt Maria when she died. She was my mother’s twin, my best friend. She was young, full of life and taught me the importance of being kind and compassionate. She fought breast cancer for 10 years and in the end was grateful for a life full of love and family, never mentioning all of her suffering. Sometimes I still forget she is gone and reach for the phone to call her. What I wouldn’t give for one more day, hug, laugh, smile.
The second moment was meeting my daughter Eva’s birth mother. There are no words to describe the emotion I had knowing that this brave woman’s circumstances lead her to make the ultimate sacrifice, relinquishment of her daughter to me, a stranger. Hers was an act of pure love that I could not begin to understand. At that moment I made a vow to try, making choices since that day always with her in the back of my mind.
I cannot help but feel that these two moments are somehow connected. Both women displayed courage unlike any I had ever seen. Both loving their families so intensely and putting themselves second.
Sometimes it is hard for me to be objective and my emotion gets in the way knowing what I know, seeing what I have seen. I act before I think, I wear my heart and my sorrow on my sleeve. I need to work on that, I know. But, I guess that comes with the intense passion I have to protect and help women like Eva’s Mother. And I feel my Aunt watching over me with every step, her arms around me when I have faltered, which is often.
That all being said, I am in awe of the courage of women who live a life that we can never fully understand struggling to survive each day willing to do what ever it takes to protect their children. These women inspire and humble me. They are the world’s heroes. They are the most true examples of love.
About two years ago I watched the movie Yesterday about a single mother in South Africa struggling to protect her daughter at any and all cost. In the end though, it isn’t a movie about ‘Africa’ and poverty. It is a movie about courage and love.
When I think of courage and love, I immediately think of the two women who define me. I love them both so intensely that sometimes it overshadows my regular life. It is who I am which is something I cannot change, good and bad. They are my driving force. I pray to God for guidance to do the right thing and make the right choices and I also pray for forgiveness when I don't.