My work gives me so much joy! This time it was at Pharmaca. I was privileged to be part of a beautiful redemptive moment today between one of my favorite customers with a newborn (I’ll call her Serena), and another brand new customer (who I’ll call Hannah) that I will never forget. Hannah whom I’d been helping a bit earlier took a moment to help Serena in a way that blessed me initially just in seeing them share common experiences of motherhood. But there was so much more going on than I realized. Thankfully Hannah came back into the store a few minutes later to share a critical element of the story that I might have missed if she had not cared enough to share.
The joys of nursing an infant abound but so can the challenges. To see these two woman share so openly and lovingly, helping each other to be well and successful in that endeavor was in itself a beautiful sight.
I’ve referred to Serena’s baby as our “Pharmaca baby” because I’ve helped her since several weeks before her baby’s birth when the store first opened. I see my customers as friends. I like to think over those weeks we’ve proven ourselves to be a caring, healing center not just a retail store.
Today I saw this spirit of care demonstrated in these two young moms. They were chatting about a remedy that might ward off mastitis, an uncomfortable breast infection. As the store Lead Practitioner and having nursed four babies over a span of a decade, I had suffered a few times with this painful condition. I did have some ideas. In this case I’m glad I waited to speak up. My new customer, Hannah, had experienced this much more recently and already had a recommended product in hand to suggest.
As the three of us stood together discussing a solution, Serena very openly sought the insight of Hannah by inviting her to touch her breast to feel how inflamed the area felt to the touch, worry overshadowing any need for modesty. Hannah hesitated at first to be sure Serena was serious and was probably a bit taken aback by the intimacy of this universal motherhood moment.
Looking back it resembled what two close friends, sisters or a midwife and a young mom might do. A precious moment suspended in time, this scene could have taken place centuries ago at the local herbal apothecary.
But what was it that took this whole wonderful experience to a whole new level? Hannah came back to share a powerful piece of information with me. Hannah was Israeli. As Serena and her family shopped they had been speaking Arabic. Hannah knew this and still reached out to care. In their home countries what healing might come if this same miracle of connection would happen there? I am so grateful Hannah cared enough to return to share what I would not have known about that moment. Hate divides and kills. Love heals!