Unleashing My Inner Mother

Growing up with cold and dreary New York winters, Mom always knew what to do when my three siblings and I got sick. We weren't sure what we needed, but Mom knew and she would make it better. Of course she knew how often we needed to take our medicine, how much water we should drink and what we should eat. She unleashed her impressive arsenal of TLC, tools and know-how to make sure her children recovered and felt better.

I couldn't stand those medicines that Mom made us take. Sometimes they tasted awful, but they worked. A day in bed was too long when I wanted to go out and play. But she knew that I needed rest before the next outdoor adventure with the neighborhood kids. I didn't feel like eating, unless it was Mom's arroz caldo... her delicious Filipino rice porridge with chicken on the bone, fish sauce, scallions and generous chunks of ginger, which she made when we kids were under the weather and needed something warm and hearty to fill our stomachs. 30 years later, Mom still treats us to her delicious arroz caldo, usually at big family gatherings when we all come home and share meals with the entire family. “Mom, can I have more arroz caldo?!”... "Not until you take your medicine", she'd say. When it comes to the health of her children, Mom doesn't mess around!

Moms around the world aren't very different from my own mother. Moms love their children fiercely and don't want to see their children suffer. Every mom uses her own version of TLC to make sure her kids and healthy and happy. But as we have all seen when children suffer, sometimes just TLC isn't enough.

Episcopal Relief & Development, in partnership with local community leaders, helps equip mothers around the world with the tools and know-how to make a difference in their children's lives. In Ghana, mothers are given insecticide treated nets and training on how to use them to protect their families from malaria. In Mozambique, mothers and newborns are given the basic medicines and nutrition they need to survive. In India, an infant will receive lifesaving essentials such as immunizations, vitamins and medicines needed to protect newborn babies from fatal illnesses.

Indian woman with young child.

I strongly believe that we can all play a part in empowering moms to protect their children and keep them healthy, especially in those crucial early years. Mom showed me the meaning of compassion, what it is like to feel protected and nurtured. She taught me how to unleash my inner mother and make sure other moms around the world have the medicines and training they need to give their children and entire communities a head start in life and build a lifelong foundation in health.

Ghanian woman with smiling child.

When I see Mom this Mother's Day, I plan on thanking her for all those times she made us feel better when we kids were sick, for the love and compassion she showed all of us. And of course, those pots of arroz caldo she made. I will ask for her recipe and muster up the courage to attempt my first batch of arroz caldo on my own.  I know it'll never be as good as hers. Where does one even get 'fish sauce'?

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xerxes_exclipse    Xerxes Eclipse is the Director of Donor Services at Episcopal Relief & Development.

Image Captions: Top, Xerxes and his family circa 1989. Middle, Indian woman with young child. Bottom, Ghanian woman with smiling child.

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Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being

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