I used to love hearing my own baby and childhood stories from my Mom.
Like the time she swears I kicked a book across the room…a book that was resting on her pregnant belly.
Or how I pronounced spaghetti…bsketti or perfume…pewfume.
My mom got sober when I was in fourth grade. The days leading up to her breakdown were dark. So dark in fact neither one of us can/could remember much about them.
The days and months following, however, rest sharp in my memory like shining crystals of time…each fragment reflecting light in a way that I had not seen in the years before.
It was 1970.
The change I witnessed in my mom was dramatic. Not necessarily overnight, but pretty darn close.
She became real and present, funny and humble…wonderfully and beautifully broken.
It was like the love I knew she had for me (and others) wasn’t tangled up in the dark tentacles of her addiction, anymore. She became lighter…more transparent…visible.
I was asked recently by a reporter why I do what I do. I’ve been asked that question frequently ever since founding Girls on the Run and now the Red Boot Coalition.
And as I reflect this morning on that question again…it’s becoming clear to me that it’s because of my mom. She showed me that love is always there..just often clouded by layers and layers of life…the trying to fit in and the trying to figure it out; our shared and very real and human yearning to be loved and the very real and human way we get tangled up in the things we think will bring it to us…rather than seeing that it’s here…now.
By having the courage to love and be love she showed me that it is indeed possible for even the most guarded, fearful, angry and hateful of us to have a change of heart…to let loose the love that rests in you and me…that rests in all.
This morning I received a photo from my friend Lisa Gray.
She writes “Wish I could say I did this and left it for others, but I was the recipient! Hope you too are finding joy!”
I have another close friend, Edson Fisher Scudder Jr. He sent me this photo just the other day. He’s been collecting photos of love for years now.
I think those of us who see love are critically needed in the world right now. Especially now.
My mom told me that my first word was “see.” I would take my tiny index finger and point to the empty space around me and shout with the glee of all children, “See. See. See.”