Below is my personal experience meeting a 90 year old holocaust survivor. While is is much longer than anything i would normally post to my business page, it is well worth the read! Such a humbling experience and a wonderful message I have learned from her.
As I walked into this event with my stroller and my three small boys, i felt totally out of place. Everyone else there was very well dressed and i could see that no one else had brought their children. Here i was, the hurried mom walking in. in jeans, late, with a small backpack of toys and books slung over her should. What in the world was i thinking showing up to such an event with my young children?! Well I’ve already made it this far, and I really want to hear this woman’s story, so what the heck let’s see how this goes! I send the 2 oldest out into the foyer with said backpack, take my seat and fervently pray they are quiet and respectful. Minutes into the presentation the baby gets hungry, so naturally I nurse him. At this exact moment an Army captain comes and sits next to me… Oh boy i am out of my comfort zone here! Renee finishes her story, I collect my boys (who were so well behaved!) and make a run for the back door. As they play on the park for a few minutes I reflect on the story I had just heard, and the message at the end: to love and respect others, to treat them with kindness, to put down our phones and get to know and care for the ones next to us, and teach our children to do the same. I am struck like never before that these are jobs of mothers ( and fathers too). If there ever was a time to point out that a mother’s work is important it surely must be now. Wow! What a big job we have when put into perspective this way. I muster up my courage to go take a few pictures of the venue and maybe catch another glimpse of Mrs. Firestone. Ans me and the boys are strolling around taking pictures Mrs. Firestone (who is surrounded my important people) spots me and the kids. “Oh i have to go see this baby!” she exclaims and makes her way over to us. Leaving pertinent people to come chat with kids?! I am so honored. She asks Shiloh and Allen “is this your little brother?” and they nod yes. then her eyes smile and she asks a very important question “Do you love him?” They reply with yes. And she graces them with a genuine smile and goes back to her business. I am astounded and humbled that this incredible woman would go out of her way to come talk to my boys as if they were the best part of the whole audience. And her question… Do you love him? Of all the questions a woman of such wisdom to be asking, yes, love must be very important to her. I gather my courage again and ask her for a quick picture. She agrees, and then with a smile says “The baby must be in it too.” So out of the stroller comes Liam and we take a picture. Again such a wise woman and all the years she has seen pass and she asks the second time of the baby. In this moment I realize with the utmost clarity how very important young children, love, and respect are to this woman, who is a mother herself. After the war Renee Firestone was married, she went onto to run a successful fashion business, and then answered to call to become a worldwide holocaust speaker. But above all she is a mother. She allowed her motherhood to shine through on this day. Surrounded by military officials and photographers, she sought out the children and spoke to them as if they help real value. She went out of her way to speak to me, their mother, and grant me some of her precious time. You see, mothers and children matter. Our jobs as mothers matter. We have value and a purpose.