Over the last year I have been at Lakeridge Hospital many times, but last week I was trying to find some vegan food (not so easy) so I wandered down this hallway to canteen where the women’s auxiliary sells food. In this little area was a framed poster, and that poster listed all the money that was raised by the women’s auxiliary since it was formed in 1907. It stated that the women’s auxiliary had raised over 10 Million dollars. Now 10 million dollars is a lot of money, it’s a lot of service; it’s a lot of sales from their gift shop and canteen. It’s a ton of volunteer hours and hard work; it’s an immeasurable amount of compassion and love being shown through their acts of selfless giving.
The week after reading that poster, a member of the women’s auxiliary stopped to chat with Frank and me, we were in a hallway in emergency. Frank was on a stretcher and I was seated by him. This amazing woman stopped to see if we were okay. I mentioned the poster to her and thanked her for her hours of service, as it all comes together like pieces of a puzzle to make Lakeridge Hospital a loving place of healing. I know it to be a loving place because I have been there countless times and have seen firsthand the caring spirit of their doctors, nurses and other staff.
The women’s auxiliary member we were chatting with, told us that the land the hospital was built on was purchased by funds raised by the women’s auxiliary and that they had gone door to door in Oshawa with cups asking for donations and raised enough to purchase the land, she said the cost was $1.000.00 . She also said that building the hospital was the idea of this original group of women.
“It was only a matter of months before the group had raised $1,000 from collecting door-to-door, organizing teas and bazaars and hosting talent shows”.
Tara Lember, Writer, The Oshawa Express
I would imagine that there are countess stories like this from all the corners of the world, stories of women creating change, stories of women standing up for what they believe in, pressing forward and following their open hearts. In so many ways women are unsung heroes behind the scenes, doing endless acts of love.
Just think of yourself; how many meals have you cooked, boogers have you cleaned, school trips have you gone on? How often have you held back on something you really wanted so your family could have something? How tired have you been at times, nursing fussy babies, or doing endless repetitive chores? How many cupcakes have you baked for school events or days have you taken off work to nurse sick children ? How often have you just sat and been a good friend while your best female friend vented her frustrations, how many times have you nodded and said “I understand”. How many times have you stood in the side lines at hockey games and dance recitals beaming love energy to your children ? So that when they turned to you, they knew that no matter what happened on the ice, the soccer field or that recital stage, there on the sidelines was their mothers love. Like the universe a mother’s love is vaster then we can image.
So I ask you this? Why then do women still focus on our bodies, why then do we feel less than if we are not the “idea weight”. Do the people that matter care if we have a six pack? Shouldn’t our stretch marks be the symbols of our unconditional love, a roadmap to our kids, our journey and our sacrifice for others? Maybe it should be the opposite, maybe we should tattoo flowers and hearts and the names of our children around our stretch marks and share them with others as a roadmap that takes us back in time to those moments where through love we decided to have our first, second, third and maybe more children. So that rather than hide in shame we show off our bodies as vessels created through our thousands of acts of silent service. What matters is our hearts and how many times have we followed our heart, exhausted and sometimes afraid ? Who thought we would be good mothers, or strong partners in life. We took on these challenges with some trepidation, often full of doubt. But we did it anyways.
So the next time you see yourself naked in the mirror, smile at your body. and be proud, know that you too are a hero to those whose lives you have touched. Ask my husband what matters, as he lies in a hospital bed suffering from cancer what matters, and he will tell you this. In the end all that matters is how well we loved and how much love we gave unconditionally. That is our legacy for generations to come. His older brother believes that we are reincarnated through our children, so I guess if this is true our love will be like is like a beacon guiding our future generations.
(My mother and her great granddaughter)