Mama did empathy and compassion. Like breathing, that was what she did.
Bending low, beautiful browns cresting tears, she’d say, “Oh, honey, that sounds so hard. How did that make you feel?”
And you’d sense her taking in the turns of your eyes and mouth, the furrow in your brow that matched hers and know you mattered.
I learned words like overwhelmed and sad, joyous and confused, and I learned to hold them, and over time, not too tightly, for they were meant to give away.
And I knew this partly because of that question she’d ask — the one that got right under my skin and caused me to look at that mean, annoying girl with fresh eyes.
“How do you think that made her feel?”
I remember literally trying to put myself into that girl’s body and imagine what she saw and felt, and it made me frustrated, but it made me me.
I learned that girl had a story, too, and she might be hurt and scared like I was, but also her story was not mine.
I learned all are broken. That life itself is a broken, imperfect glory gift, and in mercy bending low, we show that all lives matter. Mama taught that suffering meant something and it need never be lived alone.
Joining up again today with the Five Minute Friday community of friends over at Lisa-Jo‘s where we write for five minutes, refrain from extreme editing and encourage one another freely. Today began with the prompt: WHAT MAMA DID. Would you like to join us?