Thursday, September 08, 2005

Mothers


Even before I became a mother I felt a kinship with mothers struggling to do the best thing for their children. I knew that I would love my baby and imagined how hard it would be to see my child going through a difficult time or experiencing danger. Now that I have a baby of my own the empathy I feel with other mothers has deepened, which makes watching the news about what is happening in the wake of Katrina heartbreaking and joyful in turn.

Tonight I was watching Anderson Cooper on CNN and there was a story about a woman in labor who was forced to leap from a rooftop to get help as her neighborhood was flooding. In doing so she had to leave behind her five year old son with a friend. For days after she delivered her baby, she had no knowledge of where her son was -- it turned out that he was moved to Houston. The mother was moved to a shelter with her new baby and was overwhelmed by the generosity that people had shown her. What she didn't realize was that her son had been driven in and was waiting on the other side of the door. When she saw him, the raw emotion that washed over her appeared so visibly. She just melted, wrapping her arms around him she would not let him go. As is my way, I just broke down crying, imagining what it would be like to be separated and reunited with my daughter. And I am certain that what I imagine, as deep as that feels, does not even approach what the experience would actually be like.

I took this photo in Hiroshima last fall. Shin Hongo created the statue, which shows a mother clutching an infant in one arm while trying to shield a child with the other. Leaning forward, she is intent on surviving the atomic bomb's that tore apart that city. Motherhood brings out different things in different women and lord knows we've all got our own approaches to raising our children. But however we show it, I believe that we all love our children and care for them the best way we know how. I know there is no count yet for the number of mothers who lost their children in Hurricane Katrina or the troubles afterward but my heart still breaks for them. But stories like the one above fill me with joy and hope. I am so glad that this woman's attempts to do the right thing for her unborn child and her five year old son worked out this way, that they all came through the storm okay. And my fervent hope is that this is the case for the other women who are still looking for their children out there.

2 Comments:

At 9/09/2005 1:04 AM, Blogger Fugnutz said...

Laura:

First thanks for encouraging my grandson William on his first blog attempt...

Now I have to say that you post made me laugh out loud.

What the hell is " light as feather, stiff as a board."

It struck me a mildly pornographic but I am sure that says a lot more about me than about you.

 
At 9/09/2005 11:41 AM, Blogger Dave said...

Hello, Michele sent me! There's no way I can even imagine what these people are facing, particularly families that have been separated. I guess we just have to hope that all of the children who survived are being cared for and that in the coming days and weeks lists will be compiled and compared and everyone will be reunited.

 

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