This past week something so special took place. One of my biggest role models and inspirations would have turned 90. She was an incredible wife, mother, and friend. She taught all those around her to love your family fiercely and to only speak kindly of others. She loved babies… SHE LOVED LOVED LOVED those sweet babies. She was one of the most genuine women I know, leaving a deep lasting impression on my life. Grandma Bradley, or as others knew her Barbara June Bradley.
(A little context) My mom, brother, and I started a business last September. It’s just this little online shop where we sell baby swaddles that you can take cute pictures with your new baby. I didn’t really know what to expect when we started it, but we have just been blown away with how well things have gone so far. After a few months, we decided that we wanted to find a way to give back to the community. We took a piece of our profits each month and just tucked it away, we debated on if we should find an organization to donate it to or find another way of using it. My mom then came up with an idea. She wanted to throw a baby shower in honor of Grandma Bradley, and not just a baby shower where we give lots a presents to all these cute trendy moms and they leave feeling pampered, she wanted to put together a shower for moms who really really need some help. Pregnancy is a stressful journey in and of itself, I can’t even imagine being pregnant with the weight of not knowing how you were going to provide for your baby.
It was actually quite a stressful event to pull together and I don’t even really get to say that much because my Mom took the brunt of it. I, however, spent a lot of time trying to pull donations together. At times I felt rather discouraged about it. I would ask some of the most popular local brands if they’d be interested in participating, and surprisingly so many of them said no. I felt such a huge sense of gratitude towards the people who did participate, by either making something to give away or just sending us money. It really helped us stay encouraged about our pursuit.
Did you know it’s actually kinda difficult to get in touch with pregnant women in need? A lot of the local services have privacy restrictions that made it impossible to actually get in contact with expecting mothers. There were various hurdles to overcome, but in the end, we had 24 refugee women and some of their families attend the shower. We (my family members and I) were also required to go and pick some of them up from their houses, because they don’t have any means of transportation. As I drove to pick up my girl Maria, I had a little wake up call. As I pulled into their apartment complex it felt as if I had entered a completely different world. All various races of children roaming through the parking lot. A lot of empty windows sills with simple sheets trying to create a safe home. As I knocked on her door, a sense of nervousness and anxiety came over me. Who would answer? For me, no one did. A neighbor girl told me that the mom was at her job and wouldn’t be home until dinner. I was a little bummed but slightly relieved, the paper that I was given said that Maria only spoke Swahili… which is a language I’m definitely not fluent in…. ok not even slightly. I was humbled to know that here, right here in our own towns and cities there are people living in poverty. At times we may feel that we need to donate to some great cause to a country far off. Why not help the people that live on the other side of town? Why not help the people surrounding us that we can sometimes be so unaware of?
In honor of my Grandma Bradley’s birthday, we hosted a baby shower for 25 expectant refugee women throughout the Salt Lake area. They came, children played, women ate, gifts were given, love was felt. It was a very surreal and incredible experience. My heart swells when I think of all the various circumstances they come from. To know that we may have made their burden a little lighter, a little more bearable, that is something so worthwhile to me. I’m hopeful that this will be a continuing tradition for our family and company. This was for you, Grandma. We love you and will always be missing you.
Because one woman taught us how to love others, and to especially love those babies, we decided to share that love with strangers. I can’t think of very many things that are better than that. ❤