Thursday, April 24, 2014

Love Reunites: How One Mother and Daughter Found Healing

The relationship between mother and daughter runs deep. It’s a complicated relationship full of heartache and happiness—full of wounding and healing. Genetics link mothers and daughters together, but the relationships go beyond genetics. Most mothers and daughters love one another more deeply—more fiercely—than any two people on earth. At Thistle Farms and Magdalene, we’ve learned that to heal the women, the familial bonds must be healed as well. As Mother’s Day approach we take the time to think about healing bonds between mothers and daughters.

Katrina and Ebony are mother and daughter working together at Thistle Farms, and they are best friends. With their desks arranged close to one another in the sales department, they exchange jokes, laughter, sarcastic remarks, and lots of joy throughout the workday. They could not be happier to be coworkers.

But Katrina and Ebony have not always been so close. When Ebony was a child, Katrina struggled with addiction, living on the streets, and leaving Ebony to be raised by Katrina’s mother. Katrina’s mother was a constant for Ebony, taking care of her when Katrina could not. As a little girl, Ebony would sometimes stand in the living room window of her grandmother’s house, waiting and watching for her mother to come home. “She waited for a long time,” Katrina says.

But Katrina did eventually find her way home. She found her way to Magdalene, where she was given the help and care she needed to get clean and the tools she needed to be reunited with her daughter. For Katrina getting clean met being around a nonjudgmental community. A community that loved her for who she was helped her heal.

Today, Katrina is the National Sales Director at Thistle Farms and her daughter Ebony works as the Whole Foods Accounts Manager. Mother and daughter working together, it is something they never expected to happen. Both women have found healing at Thistle Farms. “It reunited us,” says Ebony, “It gave me back a healthy mom, and that caused me to be a healthy child.”

The best part about working together as mother and daughter for Katrina is watching Ebony create her own story in a place that helped her get her story back. “She is my biggest inspiration,” Katrina says about her daughter. “She has graduated from high school and college, she’s traveled around the world, she is healthy and happy.” And that makes Katrina happy, knowing that her daughter is growing up in a community that is teaching her how to be a strong woman.

Ebony also finds joy in coming to work everyday and working along side her mother. They laugh together and they cry together on a daily basis. My mother created a world for herself, Ebony says, “and now I get to be part of that world. I get to see the lives she has impacted and the people who look up to her. I am proud to say 'that’s my mom.'

Even though Ebony and Katrina couldn’t be happier with the way life has turned out, there is a tinge of sadness underneath of it all. Katrina’s mother passed away last year and talking about their journey without her around is painful for both. Katrina’s mother raised Ebony while Katrina was on the street. “She bridged the gap, so that Ebony always knew I loved her. Even when I wasn’t there.”

Katrina and Ebony’s story is only one of hundreds of mother and daughters (and sons) who have been reunited with help from Thistle Farms. Saving a mother so often means saving a family. So this Mother’s Day, we remember all of the mothers and daughters and sons who have struggled, endured and come out stronger for it.

For Mother’s Day, to support and help broken families reunite and heal, buy a handmade product from the women of Thistle Farms.

Story by Julia Nusbam
Thistle Farms Intern

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