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.*
If anyone was to ask me who the most influential woman in my life was as I was growing up, I would immediately tell you that person was/is my grandmother. After immigrating from London, England over five decades ago, she met my grandfather who she likes to say ‘swept her off her feet’ and they started a family together. Sadly, he passed away one year after I was born, so I never really had the opportunity to meet him in person, although I hear so many incredible stories about his life through her.
Growing up as a child, we lived quite far and in a completely different province from my grandma, we didn’t see her too frequently (3-4 times a year). She did make a really effort to visit us when she could and took time off her regular duties and schedules at home to stay for extended periods of time to help out my family and spend time with her grandchildren. She took us kids off my parent’s hands for the day and in those moments she taught me more in my childhood then any other.
She never drove, was too scared of learning to drive, so we went for many walks together. She taught me to knit, encouraged and fed my love for reading, always tried to support local artisans and stopped to converse with each and every one of them during local fairs. It brought her great joy.
Her optimism is something I wish would rub off on me! She always saw the bright side to every situation regardless of how dark or depressed it may be. As someone who continues to always look on the bright side, she really strives to see the beauty, wonder and good in every situation.
My grandmother’s love for nature is infectious. Whether it be the veins in a leaf or a bird perched on a tree, she looks at these simple things as if she’s just laid eyes upon the most beautiful object known to mankind. She has always been one to literally stop and smell the roses and puts a whole lot of thought into everything she does. I don’t know whether her disposition has to do with the fact that she lived through World War II or because she was brought up in a non-digital world, but now that I am a mom, I find that these simple pleasures are ones that I not only take for granted, but don’t make as much of an effort to enjoy.
It’s so easy to get caught up in all the noise of media whether it be through our smart phones, computer or television screen. As a parent who works from home I find it so hard to shut myself off completely and truly enjoy these small things that my grandmother does every day. She made such a big impact in my life by just being herself and setting an example with her words and actions, ones that I find myself referencing back to even now.
This Mother’s Day, I strive to become a better mother in the here and the now.
*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.