A blog by Avigail Sacks
Just over a year ago a young woman and mother died in our community. It was a shock to all of us and the pain I felt is difficult to describe. Her loss really shook me and my heart broke for her children. I kept thinking in my head, “this is just not fair.” I would see her young kids being fetched from school by their dad or family members and my heart felt like it had been shattered into a million pieces.
After the mourning period I decided to redirect the pain into something constructive, to collect all the stories and messages about this special woman and to make a book for her children. What I didn’t realise is the impact these stories would have on me, stories about her life, messages and eulogies about the tremendous person she was to her family, friends and community, kept pouring in. Everything she stood for, her values, her dreams, her impeccable leadership… I am not the same person after reading these stories.
A month ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl a few weeks earlier than anticipated. The labour didn’t progress as needed and I remember starting to get a little tense and wanting some comfort and reassurance. This mother who passed away came to mind and I started talking to her in my mind. I said to her, “I didn’t know you so well in your lifetime, but I took it upon myself to do something for your children that I didn’t have to do. Please won’t you do something for me that you don’t have to do, go pray for me and my baby that we should be well and safe.”
Soon after that, us and the midwife made the decision to have a caesarean. In theatre, when the baby was born, the doctor saw that the cord was around my daughter’s neck twice and she had a knot in her cord. They checked her and her colour was perfect, she wasn’t in distress and needed no oxygen or any intervention even though the neonatal ICU was waiting for her.
What is women’s day? Perhaps it’s a day when we can just stop for one second and think, what is it I stand for? What legacy do I wish to leave behind? What impact do I want to make in my life and in the life of others? Which women can I tap into, alive or not, to feed me with the energy I need in life?
This young mother left a legacy behind by the example she set in her lifetime, her resilience and faith is humbling to read about. She brought my community together in acts of kindness and prayer. She believed that together we could make a difference.
My message to other women and to my daughters (and sons) is- don’t underestimate your power. We are divine beings with hearts full of love, understanding and wisdom. We have so much to offer once we see the potential within ourselves. When we are able to honour our place in the world and to fully embody our purpose, we can then branch out and see how others belong too and the spark they each have.
Today I honour you Leanne. May your memory be a blessing.