Monday, February 7, 2011

Rocking MY world on the way to changing HERS

Who am I?

 Good question! I'm often not entirely sure who I am because I feel like my identity is wrapped up in so many things that don't really feel ME!  I know I'm a mom, the proof is upstairs in bed, 3 times over! I know I'm a teacher, I have a couple degrees (in a file drawer somewhere - oops!) I know I'm a wife - I can hear said counterpart playing a game in the next room. But who am I? Really, I'm just some Canadian nobody who recently read a book that made me ask my next question.

 Who is she?

 Actually, I can't even answer that yet! While the struggle in her part of the world is rampant for soooo many women, I'm, in fact, waiting to hear about 1 in particular. I already know various details about her, although her name and face are still unknown. She lives in the Congo, she has likely been raped and lives with physical & emotional scars. She may also be living with rejection (from her husband, family or community), or major loss (a child, a spouse). She may be broken in ways I could never imagine.

 I have signed up to be her sister for a year.

 I already have a sister. She's older than me, shorter than me, blonder than me - really, we look nothing alike, but we are bonded as sisters. My new sister also does not look like me. She is still my sister.

 I hope to share more as I get to know her. I already wonder so much about her. As I go through my day, I process what it is I am doing and what (if anything), might be the comparable activity for a woman my age in the Congo. I know I'm not hungry. I know my children are safe and my husband is nearby. I also know that if an emergency arose, I have a telephone with 3 handy digits to dial and aid would rush to my side. I cannot imagine living in fear. I cannot imagine the lengths she may have to go through to feed her family and the decisions she must have to make in order to try to keep them as safe as possible. All the while knowing that in her country, safety is an illusion and no one is immune to the horrors.

 I feel blessed, yet guilty at the same time. And all the while, a part of me wants to put my fingers back in my ears and keep humming.

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