I awoke on Mother's Day at 4:00 a.m. to attend the Empty Strollers/Empty Shoes walk for the MISS Foundation. I wasn't feeling too well that day, but I didn't want to MISS this inaugural event.
The photos truly do speak for themselves. But what was the most astonishing for me was that, during a moment of solitude and silence, I looked around at the hundreds and hundreds of mothers and fathers and children and grandparents and aunts, uncles, cousins, friends- and I realized that this was hallowed ground.
On this day, we would set aside our political, social, economic, ethnic, regional, and spiritual differences. On this day, we would walk together in solidarity, in communion, from Arizona to Iowa to Romania, with one another. On this day, we would recognize our true self- the one of both suffering and mattering - in a stranger. On this day, we would reach out to comfort another.
On this day, families would bring their strollers and their shoes, children in absentia, though present in our hearts, and walk together to honor and remember. Thanks to hundreds and families and the efforts of a very special little girl, Kit Blouin, we would donate more than 620 pair of shoes to others who needed them as part of the Kindness Project. Together, our children would walk on in this world through our love for them. A love that is bigger and brighter and more enduring than others could imagine.
On this day, and perhaps each day, we realize that what we have in common as far more meaningful than any differences.
Because what we do share is the quintessential beauty of our existence and our identity: Love.