Yesterday, I had lunch with my mom Marcelene, my younger sister Saje, and two other women, Somy and Erica. Somy contacted me through a mutual friend regarding an organization she founded called No More Tears. Erica is an attorney who helps Somy with legal cases regarding the women that Somy serves. When we walked into the restaurant to meet these women, I was immediately struck with how physically beautiful both of them are. These women are stunning! Somy is a former Bollywood star who moved back to the U.S. to be closer to her family and ended up using her Bollywood savings to educate herself in both college and grad school. After finishing school, Somy founded her organization, No More Tears.
I have been involved with No More Tears (NMT) for two days now, and I can tell you that this organization and the work they are doing has brought me a lot of tears. A ton, actually. Over the last forty-eight hours, I have quietly wept to myself on numerous occasions, for a multitude of reasons.
To begin with, I have tears of awe.
I received an email from Somy regarding a woman who was living in a shelter a few miles from my home. This woman escaped an abusive husband who trafficked her into the United States and then kept her in his home with his wife and two teenage children, forcing her to basically be his sex slave and maid. During that time, this woman gave birth to one son, who is now three and a half, and suffered through numerous miscarriages because the man literally beat the baby out of her. In one instance, he beat her so badly that the three-month fetus inside of her died, but he refused to get her medical care until she was in her seventh month, and it was only after she was in so much agony that she couldn’t stop screaming that he drove her to a hospital to have the fetus removed. Imagine carrying a deceased fetus in your womb for four months. Just imagine.
The truth for me is that I can’t imagine. No one has ever beaten me, abused me, or raped me. I can’t imagine what it is like to suffer at the hands of someone else, because I have never done so. At least not in this lifetime. I also can’t imagine what it is like to be raped over and over again and then beat over and over again by the father of my child, and I can’t imagine what her little boy has seen or felt or heard either.
But because this is a story of triumph over tragedy, I would like to move on. So, a few days ago, Somy emailed me about her organization and also about this woman—who escaped this man after discovering she was pregnant again and fled to a shelter. The shelter contacted Somy because they knew that she has an organization that helps women who have been trafficked and abused, and Somy reached out to me, asking if I could help No More Tears but, more importantly, if I could help this woman.
Somy was waiting to hear if the woman was approved for the studio apartment she was hoping to move her into, and, in the mean time, I emailed my family asking how they could help.
Here is where the tears come in.
In twenty-four hours, I was able to secure for this woman a double stroller, car seat, grocery store gift cards, towels, sheets, kitchen items, toys for her son, a scooter, DVDs, dishes, a blender, and some baby outfits for her soon-to-be-born daughter. All in twenty-four hours. Then, when we met them for lunch yesterday, I was able to offer to pay for one month of her rent, and, sure enough, my twenty-three-year-old sister opened her checkbook and paid for another month’s rent, and then my mom did the same. I spoke with my dad later that day, and he offered to cover her rent for a year! The outpouring of generosity from my family is so touching to me. We all believe in the idea that if you want to be wealthy in life, be generous, and seeing my family be as generous as they can be just makes me cry!
The other tears came today when I went to the studio apartment to help move this woman and her son. I came with a car full of belongings, and this woman was so grateful that she gave me her jewelry box as a symbol of her gratefulness. This is a woman who has nothing. She doesn’t speak English, and her family is thousands of miles away in Morocco.
She was trafficked here as a mail-order-bride and has been abused for years. And yet, despite all of it, grace still resides inside of her.
She is not bitter. She must have said a hundred times today “happy happy” and “thank you.” I had to fight back tears when I was helping to unpack her bathroom, as I felt so grateful to be there and serve her. It is in giving that we receive, and today, I received more than my share of grace. I have been so blessed in this lifetime, and being able to share and give to someone else makes me feel so happy; I feel like she is the one giving me everything.
I believe that when we operate from a space that says, “How may I serve?” the universe operates back by saying, “How may I serve you?” This isn’t why we give and serve others, but it is always the outcome. I haven’t felt as energized and full as I feel today in a long time.
I am now going to work with empowering this woman and being of service to as many survivors as I can through the No More Tears organization. As a woman, I feel it is my job to help other women. I am so grateful to be able to do so. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
*Image courtesy of .Andi.