I met Mari not too long after I had started working at Mary’s Place in February. She came to services on Saturday, and dropped by occasionally during the week. While not currently homeless, she had been in the past and is still extremely low income. She’s a sweet lady, quiet, thoughtful. She is proud of her Native-roots and kind to everyone she meets. People who know Mari, love Mari.
Not long after I met her, Mari found out she was pregnant. She had a spirit of quiet excitement. “This is my last one. I knew how many children I always wanted, and this little one will finish me off.” Everyone was so excited for her. Maryanne, another church-goer, made her a baby blanket. Another lady brought a sweet little outfit and hoodie for the baby. There were gifts of diapers, hats and love. At the beginning of the summer, she informed us it was going to be a boy! Everyone had an opinion for naming the baby. Mari would just smile, “We have his name picked out.”
Three weeks ago, Mari came into church for the first time in a month. With her, little baby Sage. He was bundled up in one of the blankets that just a few months before had been a gift. Everyone ohhed and awwed at the sweet little baby. A tiny miracle. There is nothing like an itty bitty baby to reduce a room full of hardened, weary women into a cooing mess.
It is amazing to me that I have been here long enough to see a non-pregnant woman become a mother. These last ten months have just flown by. It is sad to think that there is only 6 months left in this program. It has truly been a life-changing experience. I have able to travel the world, work in grassroots organizations, learn about issues in migration and homelessness. I am a different person than I was 2 1/2 years ago. A better person, I think. These last ten months, I have become wholly invested in the work of Mary’s Place and the Church of Mary Magdalene. So much so that I am not leaving Seattle after my Mission Intern program is finished in the Spring. I am hoping to stay on with Mary’s Place, but even if that is not possible, I want to stay in this community. I feel at home here. I feel a sense of peace in staying that I haven’t felt in a long time. It feels good to be here, invested, learning, stretching.