Sweet Miracle of Kindness

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I received the following email today:
Dear Pam,
Just want you to know that I am honored to be your second Mom.  I never had a daughter, but if I did, I would hope she would be just like you.  You are a kind, honest, considerate, intelligent and loving woman.  I am so proud of you, and I respect you for how you have adapted to a new city, job, and home this past year.  Not an easy task !
Pam,  you are very special to me.

The email was from my board president.  This woman has become so special to me over the past year, not because she is my board president, but because she has been so supportive of me as a human being.  From the first moment she and I spoke on the phone over a year ago, our connection was strong.
I still remember the first time she and I spoke on the phone.  It was a Saturday not long after I had accepted the new job.  I was in my old home packing boxes, getting ready to move, and sniffling back tears.  When she called, I was folding baby blankets, my babies, now grown and gone.  That day she said knew that she had to call me, because she couldn’t stop thinking about what I must be going through.  I was touched and amazed that she saw me first as a woman, a wife, a mother, and a human being, not just an employee.  She wasn’t calling to discuss my new position, her strategy, or her vision for the organization.  She called me that day, because she actually cared.
She was home sick with the flu on the day I interviewed for the position.  We’ve had a few laughs about that one.  She is the female president, and I am the female executive director among an exclusively male board of directors.  We can’t imagine how that happened, but I’ve come to believe that she and I were meant to be part of this together.  This being….this organization as well as our personal lives.  While she won’t always be the president, there is no doubt in my mind that she will continue to be an important part of my life.
God works in mysterious ways.  While I am not a religious person in any conventional way, I believe strongly in a higher power or spirituality.  At a time in my life when I was feeling so alone, embarking on a new life after so many losses (my parents, an important relationship, my children growing up) this dear woman entered my life to provide a sense of love and stability.  I am eternally grateful for her presence in my life.
This morning, she and I spoke on the phone.  She said, “Pam, you and I so often think and feel exactly the same things.  Why do you think that is?”  I told her what I knew, but had never said to her before.  I told her that she has been a blessing in my life.  I told her that it meant so much to me to have her, this woman, the kind of woman I always wished my own mother had been.  She was loving and supportive to me in a way that I always wished my mom had been.
I told her that I cherished my own children so much.  I have forgiven my mom years ago.  She did the best she was capable of doing as a parent, but my relationship with my own daughters is so precious to me that it often makes me feel sad that my mother missed out on the wonder such an experience.  I feel sad, too, that I have never experienced what my daughters have with me.  Truly, my daughters and I are the best of friends.  We speak our own unique language of half-sentences and shared looks across the room.
I don’t have siblings.  I wasn’t close to my own mother.  With both of my parents gone, I feel like my history, my support, my family if gone.  Having S… in my life is the closest I have ever felt to being loved or cared for by a mother-figure, and at a time when I needed it the most.  I thanked her for giving me that experience.
And so I have found my second mother.  While I don’t love my own mother any less, I am grateful that this wonderful woman has entered my life at a time when I so needed the support of a mother.

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