I was just a baby when we came to Women’s Habitat, but I’ve heard the story. That night you waited until he fell asleep and you wrapped me up, still sleeping, and quietly left. You were only 23; you must have been so scared. For years I didn’t want to hear about it, I didn’t want to think about what you’d been through. I picture you with me in your arms and a backpack on your shoulders stuffed with my clothes, my teddy bear and diapers. I still have that bear. You told me you had packed as much as you could for me because you were worried the shelter wouldn’t have anything, but when you arrived they gave you everything you needed for both of us.
You told me how you had planned your escape for weeks. How you’d left before but he had called crying, saying he would change and you went back. How you believed but him, but it only got worse.
You have never told me much about that part of your life, I know you are still trying to protect me, but you still talk about life at the shelter like it was yesterday. How the staff made your feel comfortable and the other moms were so welcoming and understanding. How when I was fussy they would take turns holding me. You knew that fateful night you had made the right decision when the woman on staff opened the door and said “I’m so happy you’re here, welcome”. You and I both slept so well that night in our little room with the bright blue walls.
Today I think about all you sacrificed for me. You have done so much for me mom, more than I will ever know. You always say that night we came to Women’s Habitat changed our lives; that it probably saved our lives. Mom, I could never re-pay you for what you’ve done for me, but this Mother’s Day I want to acknowledge your journey and how far we have come.
I love you mom.
For over 38 years Women’s Habitat has been providing shelter, support and safety to women and their children fleeing violence. This Mother’s Day, honour your mom by supporting a mom in need. Your gift provides a variety of supports, including long term housing assistance, safety planning and group and individual counselling for women and children. Your gift can save a life.