He Shows Us His Love Again and Again
A Cross of Life member shares her amazing story and reflects on a mother’s love for her children. God loves us too!
It was summer of 1985 in Brazil, where I am originally from. I was 2½ and we were visiting one of my mom’s sisters near a farm where my mom had grown up. Since there was no water treatment in that area at the time, my Aunt Neusa had a well in her kitchen, which was about three feet wide and eighty-two feet deep, used for cooking, showers and drinking.
That afternoon, I was happily eating a sausage while we were all playing in the kitchen around the well, but I managed to get on top of it and started jumping on the concrete lid. Suddenly, the lid broke and I fell in! It was chaos to say the least. My uncles found the longest rope they could and tied it around my dad’s waist, who was the slimmest of the men. My uncle Jair, who was a roadside assistant, helped them all through the process. There was no phone and no time to get help; the nearest town was 19 miles away. The entire family helped by securing the rope and lowering it slowly so dad could safely get to me. Meanwhile, my mom was praying on her knees and making promises to the Virgin Mary (I was raised Catholic) in exchange for being able to keep me alive.
After my dad brought me up, my uncle performed CPR twice, and I started breathing again. I suffered no major injuries, only a few scrapes on my elbows. The diaper I was wearing kept me floating and the sausage I was eating kept me from swallowing water and later dry drowning. They drove me to the nearest hospital where I stayed in observation for 3 days, as no doctors believed what they were hearing from my family. Mom described it as the longest 19 miles of her life, and as soon as I fell asleep at the hospital, she was able to cry it out.
The next day, my uncles had to go back to the well to clean it out and ensure the water was still usable. It was then that we truly believed in the miracle we had experienced. The exact same rope they used to lower my dad down to me was not long enough to get to the bottom of the well again.
I didn’t know then that this accident would define my faith forever. Sometimes people ask, how can you believe in God when there is so much bad in this world? My answer is typically: “I believe it because I feel it in my heart that someone smarter than all of us together created amazing people like us.”
Having no memory of the incident, I didn’t understand my mom’s tears when we talked about the accident until five years ago when I became a mother myself. Sometimes her tears meant fear, a feeling of failure and pain, but most certainly, those tears were always followed by a smile, a hug and a “Te Amo” (“I Love you” in Portuguese), which meant, faith, gratitude, happiness and love.
Motherhood brings so much fear, anxiety, pain, loneliness and frustration, but it’s also so beautiful, rewarding and magical. Even on the hardest days as a mom, I believe God built us mothers, knowing we would have all those feelings from time to time and sometimes all at once. He also knew when he built us that we weren’t perfect; that we would fail over and over again in the attempt of getting it right. Trusting him comforts me, keeps me going and I know he is always with me, showing his love in the smallest and simplest ways.
This month of May let’s extend his love and show all the mothers around us how loved and beautiful they are. Happy Mother’s Day!