A DROP FOR YOUR BUCKET: The Answer Was Always Yes

“Y’all kin?”

A familiar question to my ears in childhood. After the question was asked, I knew I had to sit there and listen for a few minutes while family trees were shared and common roots were explored. Whether or not a common ancestor was ever named, the answer was always “yes”.

On the first day of Movement for Freedom this week, a facebook memory popped up from a run I had several years ago. I used to run at our local YMCA in Chicago, and to count out the 13 laps for a mile on this occasion, I created an acronym for Mrs Reid, a retired English teacher who was one of my childhood neighbors. More importantly, Mrs. Reid was my “neighborhood grandma”.

  • Mastery-full

    Mrs. Reid

    I’m so thankful that my kids got to meet Mrs. Reid. She and her legacy remain a lasting light in my life.

  • Receptive
  • Scrabble
  • Engaged
  • Loving
  • English
  • Always-there
  • Never-judging
  • Open arms
  • Relaxed
  • Responsive
  • Encouraging
  • Independent
  • Dedicated

It was stream of conscious and I added a lap so I could fit in all the letters for her name. As I look at those words now, I have renewed appreciation for having someone in my life who was all of these things.

From thinking virtually everyone was actually related to calling someone not related “Grandma”, I think this recurring experience formed the heart of my profound sense of connection and kinship with everyone.

When our girls come to My Refuge House, they don’t usually come to us with a built-in and reinforced sense of connection and kinship. It’s one of the gifts we try to give each of them. We help them define and build healthy relationships. On some level, each of our staff, and many of our stakeholders become their own version of Mrs. Reid to our girls. Our girls know they have supporters who care for them from every corner and curve of our beloved planet.

Think about that for a moment.

Our girls know they have supporters who care for them from every corner and curve of our beloved planet. Our girls know there are strangers who will likely never meet them in person who believe in their worth and value their stories enough to learn, share, and act. Our girls read enough of the comments you leave on social media to know that others are often inspired by their resilience and journey.

As we create a #MovementForFreedom this month, think about how this global village we are all creating is a movement of kinship that brings Hope and Love to Life in very real ways.

With Peace and Kinship (because the answer is always yes), Heather

Heather Headshot

Heather Bland CEO, My Refuge House

Inspired by How Full Is Your Bucket?, A Drop For Your Bucket offers a somewhat stream of conscious peek into my brain and heart during my training “adventures”. Between my 40th birthday in October of 2017 and the 10th anniversary of My Refuge House in September of 2018, I will run 10 different races. My hope is to gather friends along the way who will either run with me or cheer us on as we raise awareness about the journey of My Refuge House! I hope you will receive at least a drop of inspiration in each of these raw reflections. Thank you for reading and pondering.

If you would like to join or support Movement For Freedom, check out the website or text MOVE to 71-777 to receive a link. Also, I always love running with friends. Please email me ([email protected]) if you would like to join me for one of my future runs. If you would like to invest in the work of My Refuge House, please click below. However you engage with us, it is important. Thank you for being part of our journey and doing what you can to be a Restorer.