I’m not sure where to begin. That being said, a friend pointed me to the blog of an old acquaintance of hers a couple of weeks ago out of concern. This young mother appeared to be really struggling based on what she was writing. I read a few posts and left a comment, something I do even more rarely than I read blogs because of the time factor. I left the comment in an attempt to reach out, not to judge or criticize. She misunderstood my words and my intent and responded with several very angry posts on her blog making it clear that she feels great disdain toward Catholics (and Mormons, and Muslims I should add, but especially Catholics.) She quite nearly made me feel shame for my lifestyle, and my choices, labeling “people like me,” “breeders.” She may have been a stranger, but it hurt. I was shocked and saddened and rather than attempt to repair things with this stranger who hated me because of my faith and my life choices, I deleted my comment there and of course won’t be visiting that blog again. The timing of this was so ironic because I had just been thinking about my own blog and how much I appreciate everyone here. I have really noticed through my Yarn Along posts what a diverse group of readers I have and I so love that there are never hateful or judgemental comments left here. We meet here on common ground and don’t waste time judging each other, at least that is what I hope, and what I take away from the many wonderful comments that you are kind enough to leave.
I think that tolerance and acceptance of our differences is so very important and it saddens me so much to see anger and hate being flung, especially between women and mothers. I just feel that all that we share far outweighs our differences. I am also one of those people who really really believes in smiling, being nice, and trying to make other people feel good. There is something so warm and special about a kind stranger; someone who treats you with respect and kindness for no other reason than the fact that you are another human being.
The woman whom I upset so greatly has clearly run into more than her fair share of unkind people to have formed such harsh opinions. Because of this, she couldn’t see that I was reaching out to her in kindness, her feelings must have been hurt, she lashed out, my feelings were very hurt, and the cycle of hurt was fed. It took me several days to get over her words. I did learn the important lesson not to attempt to leave advice or share my own experiences with a perfect stranger in her blog comments. So much gets lost in translation, and it is best to just offer your thoughts and prayers I do believe.
Moving on, tonight I taught my knitting class, although not much teaching was accomplished as there were so many little ones to care for. There was a new young mother (she’s 20) in my class, pregnant and due in February in addition to her three children ages 1, 2, and 3. I’m not shocked anymore by these terribly young mothers and their many children. Most women who enter the shelter have multiple children in addition to new babies on the way. Throughout their lives, these ladies have been hurt again and again. They all seem to want to get their lives on track, only for so many of them it’s far too easy to fall back into that pattern of “looking for love in all the wrong places.” Their lives have lacked love, and they have never learned to love themselves. They allow themselves to be abused and used and then they pay the consequences. They love their children, that much is clear, but I cannot imagine being 20 something with four children so close in age, and living in a homeless shelter. I wish there was some way to get the message across to them that they are valuable, beautiful, important, and LOVED. The happy stories end with young mothers leaving the shelter ready to face the world and take care of their families, believing in themselves, and feeling loved. Unfortunately, that is not the norm.
I have also lived with and parented two children (one of course I am still parenting, and always will be) who lacked love during a part of their lives. They lived in an orphanage for about eighteen months, but it is taking years to reverse the damage that was done to them. I believe that they both felt abandoned by love during that time. We all know how vital love is and what can happen to a person who doesn’t feel loved. Our adoption was my first real experience with such terribly hurt human beings and it has been a difficult road.
I am not sure that any of this is making a lot of sense or if you can see the thread I am weaving. It’s hard to explain feelings sometimes. I do know that I want to say thank you to all of you who make me feel loved despite our differences, focusing instead on how much we share. Your words make me smile every day. You make me feel loved even though we are strangers in a sense and it makes a difference in my little life. Thank you, thank you!
And now I feel like I need to apologize for all this heavy talk. I hope my photographs will balance my words at least a bit. There has been candy making, a bit of fresh food from the garden, our first snow (just a little one,) and two little girls dancing around in their white gowns celebrating St. Lucy’s feast day. Not to mention a mommy who didn’t let herself feel bad for not getting around to making them crowns in addition to the little white gowns.