Every time there is a huge disaster, my sadness about the situation leads me to think of my Mom. She was one of the most giving, selfless people I knew, and her passing in 2001 has had an enormous impact on my life. But then she was always one in life to make an impact on anyone she knew.
She was a social worker for the State of Maryland, working with foster care and child abuse, then later with the elderly. She would tell stories of going out in the middle of the night to a home with a domestic violence call, the police not sure about entering the home because one of the people inside was armed. She would walk right in the door saying, “I’ve got to get those kids out of there”. Didn’t blink. She’d spend the night finding some temporary home for them, and then show up for work the next day at 8. She was amazing.
One of her dreams was to retire and work for the Red Cross in disaster relief. She loved to travel and what better way to serve than to combine the two, helping in hurricane or flood areas. Helping the survivors…always giving…
She was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2000 and lived a short time after diagnosis. She died in 2001 on April 16. The day after I did her taxes. The day of her best friend’s birthday. The day I held her hand as she took her last breath.
In many ways I still grieve. I will I’m sure for the rest of my life. But what she taught me has made me stronger and more compassionate. When I can see things through her eyes, I know there is good in the world and people who want to help. On September 11, 2001, almost 6 months after her passing, my thoughts again turned to her. I then knew God’s plan and why she had to go…he needed an Angel. Someone to help their souls as they left this world. Someone to help them realize they were in a better place. Someone to help them to know all God’s Glory. And it wouldn’t surprise me if she is here surrounding their loved ones, helping them deal with their losses. She was the master multitasker.
I ask for her guidance all the time when I am down, or when I am overwhelmed. Sometimes I feel her presence with me, sometimes I don’t. I know it’s probably because she’s kept pretty busy. Right now, after the Haitian earthquake, I’m kind of leaving her alone. She’s got God’s work to do. It’s not about me and my problems right now. It’s about theirs. I’ll catch her later.
Donate today to the Red Cross…