Hellos and Goodbyes for Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day, I’m working with Clever Girls in support of Macy’s Heart of Haiti to shine a light on the "trade, not aid" program, which provides sustainable income to Haitian artisans struggling to rebuild their lives and support their families after the 2010 earthquake.

Every culture has its differences, but every mother is the same.

Mothers all over the world dream for their babies to grow up safe, strong and healthy. I know it’s what I want for my own four little clones. Kids1Nov2007

It’s what my own mother, at seventy, still wants for her three surviving children.

Here we all are in 1979, when nothing had happened to us that was more painful than what her attention and affection could cure.

I wouldn’t say my mother has had a hard life. She’s very content. But I would say she’s had enough tears for this lifetime and deserves all the happiness her children and ten grandchildren can give to her.

She doesn’t know it yet, but my family is driving home next weekend to be with her on Mother’s Day. We’ll all go to my brother’s house and hang out with him and his wife and their four daughters. I’ll cook to take some of the stress of my sister-in-law. We’ll all sit around and eat and drink coffee and laugh.

This is my favorite kind of holiday—being with family, relaxing, and enjoying each other’s company.

I’ll give my husband a little secret hand squeeze in memory of his own mother who we’ve lost.

And I will say goodbye to my teenage son as he leaves the nest. He’ll be working a summer internship in another state. Mother’s Day will be the day he moves, since he starts work the next day.

Anne-Alex-graduation-2010I’m very proud of him for getting a full-time job that will pay enough for him to cover his next semester or two of college. Employment for teenagers is very hard to come by where we live.

Still, he’s my first to go. He may move back into our house for fall semester, but the odds are good that the time in the nest is over for this little sparrow.

Mothering isn’t really a gift that gives back. You do your best, and do it with love. There’s no payoff you can count on—no “return on investment”.

It’s a sacrifice mothers all over the world make. Willingly.

Heart-of-Haiti-Josnel

What is Macy’s Heart of Haiti? Heart of Haiti is a “Trade, Not Aid” initiative launched by artist and social entrepreneur, Willa Shalit, The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, and Macy’s.

Already, Heart of Haiti has led to employment of 750 artists in Haiti, providing financial benefits for an estimated 8,500 people in the country.

Each item is a one-of-a-kind design and handmade by a Haitian master artisan from raw materials such as recycled oil drums, wrought iron, papier-mâché and stone.

The collection features more than 40 home decor items including quilts, metalwork, ceramics, jewelry and paintings and is made almost entirely from recycled and sustainable items such as old cement bags, cardboard, oil drums and local gommier wood. 

Heart of Haiti products are available online at Macy’s.com.

Thank you to Macy’s Heart of Haiti for sponsoring my participation in this “Share Your Heart" promotion. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.

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