for the most part, our family doesn't outwardly celebrate these kinds of holidays. we tend to be different than most people, or just not the typical family. we do tend to cherish and celebrate each other very often, usually with a note or at the dinner table or with an enjoyable experience that we all share together..
as the day progressed, after expressing my love for my dear mom and step-mom who live so far away, i found myself thinking a lot about Monica, my friend whose 4 children have permeated our lives for about a year now. she lives one block away, down the dirt road behind our compound, and she shines with the brightness of the sun every time i come to visit her. 'Aunty Pamela!' she exclaims, often running with a great big smile toward the cement wall that usually separates us. it is Monica from whom i purchase eggs, tomatoes and onions regularly. we communicate mostly with the love we have in our hearts more so than many words. we both feel exceeding amounts of joy when in each others' presence..
|sitting next to Monica while celebrating a birthday|
i decided to send her an sms with greetings of love for Mother's Day and put together a bag of things from our home to give her family. two of the items were specifically for her: locally made ground nut butter (peanut butter - the best i've ever had!) and a package of chocolate chip cookies from the store. i added items that her children need and like such as pencils, markers, pens, scotch tape, matches, and some Baha'i kids' materials. on their own, our boys added a container of small toys for Monica's boys which was very sweet.. i soon received an sms reply from Monica, written by her 19 year old daughter, Katrin:
"With luv...i wish..U..a happymother's day...n may God bless u...n live long.."it is such a lovely message. my heart filled with gratitude for the soulful bond of friendship we have developed..
a bit later i sms'd Monica again, asking if she could send one of the kids over to pick something up. since we were having a day together as a family, i had decided not to deliver it to her myself. when the guard knocked on my door, i knew it was Monica's children coming for the bag so i quickly grabbed it and ran to greet them at the gate. upon seeing each other we hugged and sat down on the curb to hang out for a short while..it was during this short visit with these kids that my heart was embraced by a moment of sadness, for i really miss sharing our life with them in our home. i am still recovering from the changes that have resulted from the break-in..
my day was coming to a close as our family's storytelling time began shortly after dinner. we were each sharing details of when Mulla Husayn met the Bab for the first time. this has become a weekly event on Sunday evenings for over a year now -- the kids stand up and share stories from memory, followed by a lively, musical Devotions. we were having a lovely time when there was a loud knock on the door -- it was Emil, Magdelene and Joshua with a Mother's Day card that they had made for me! i was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude, love and humility, to be the recipient of such love from these tenderhearted souls. Monica's children touch my heart with a purity of motive that is highly desired in the sight of God. i felt so blessed to receive this sentimental gift from them with expressions of their love for me!
our family finished storytelling time with songs and prayers of love for God. as everyone began to go upstairs to floss and brush teeth, i checked my cell phone and saw that a most dear Xhosa family -- whom we love and miss from our days in Cape Town -- sent a message for Mother's Day with so much love that i felt like crying..i really miss South Africa.
perhaps 5 minutes later, the phone rang and it was another Xhosa family calling to send their love for Mother's Day! this is a friend whose son went to my kids' school in Cape Town; we became close friends as a result of me taking her son to my home after school many times a week. after the initial excitement of greeting each other, Mayandie started apologizing for not being able to sms me back in a long time..then the call cut off. she had used up all of her credit -- so i called her back and we talked as quickly as we could to catch up with each others' lives. it was one of the special moments of the day when i heard from a friend who lives in South Africa and who has no money to spare yet she managed to have enough to buy credit for a long distance call. this means so much to me..
yesterday a handful of dear, humble souls reached out to me -- all of whom are African, and all touch my life in a powerful way. sharing friendship with other mothers is such a special part of Mother's Day.. and for my life on the African continent, humble souls make my day.