There is a picture on my mother’s dresser. It is sepia colored and old.
But the eyes in that picture are young. They are full of life and wit and charm. With just a hint of mischief.
They are my grandmother’s eyes.
In that picture she is 18 and beautiful. Alive. In another old picture she is hanging clothes on the line to dry. Older, and wiser with the years of being the wife of a preacher and the mother of seven living babies and nearly as many more who were lost to miscarriage or stillbirth.
I grew up hearing stories of my grandmother’s strength.
How she worked the garden on hands and knees, her belly swollen with one of the seven pregnancies she carried to term.
How she’d get after her children if they misbehaved, being both disciplinarian and giver of comfort because my grandfather was about the Father’s business.
How she was resourceful and saved every penny she could to provide food and necessities for her family.
How she fought lung cancer. The cancer that took her life the August before I was born.
I never met her, but I am told that I would have loved her. That she and I are not very different.
I am my grandmother’s namesake. Her life and the stories of her strength inspire me. When I feel unable to fight, I think of all that she endured, and my spirit is a little renewed.
And when I think of her fight, I must also think of my mother’s strength. Of my mother’s life and the many sacrifices she has made for me, much like her own mother did for her.
In thinking of my mother and grandmother, I realize that I am descended from a lineage of strong women. Of courageous women. Of tenacious women.
Of women who help inspire each other through their collective experiences.
Both of these projects provide direct financial assistance to artisans in Haiti and Rwanda through the marketing and selling of their local crafts.
Macy’s Shop for a Better World is a virtual market-place of hand-crafted jewelry and home decor items. They are vibrant and alive and full of culture. Purchases of these goods help these artisans create better lives for themselves and their families by providing them with steady incomes while also allowing them to showcase their talents.
This Mother’s Day, Macy’s and the Clever Girls Collective are giving you 15% off of all items in the Shop for a Better World when you make your purchase between May 3rd and May 8th. Just use the coupon code CLEVERGIRLS upon checkout and you can do something good for someone else.
The artisans who make these goods pour their strength into these pieces so they can share that strength and their stories with the world. Much like my mother and grandmother have poured their strength into my life.
I was selected for this very special “CleverHaiti” opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity. All opinions are my own.