I Am Who I Am Because Of My Mother
I am the woman I am today because of my mother.
Florence Elizabeth “Betty” Myers was brilliant, beautiful, and talented. She was interesting and interested. Her curiosity had no boundaries. She craved connection and she was therefore deeply connected.
She was a mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a fashion designer, an artist, and an architect.
She worked two jobs while going to architecture school in order to provide me with a private school education.
I am the physician I am today because of my mother.
My mother exposed me to alternative medicine, Transcendental Meditation, yoga, wholesome organic food, gestalt therapy, art, architecture, theater, music, massage, acupuncture, and other cultures at a very young age.
As a small child we made homemade yogurt and whole-wheat bread together. We grew spouts and had a garden. We lived in New Orleans and we shopped at a tiny natural market called Whole Foods Company, which later merged with the original Whole Foods in Austin to form Whole Foods Market.
My mother had no regrets.
My parents divorced when I was young and I grew up with my mother, seeing my father only a few times a year.
Like many mother-daughter relationships we had our tough times. After all, I was actually much more like my father; grounded, results-oriented, unrelenting determination, and of course stubborn!
However, thirteen years ago when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I immediately put my medical studies on hold and flew home to take care of her. Her first words to me were, “I have no regrets.” I spent the next 18 weeks caring for her. I held her hand as she took her last breath.
A gift to honor my mother.
For the 10th anniversary of my mother’s death, I chose to honor her by raising money for The Miracle Foundation, an Austin-based non-profit which supports orphanages in India.
I raised enough money to name a building after her. I chose a kitchen because of my mother’s love of healthy cooking and gathering. If my friends, her friends, or their friends had nowhere to spend the holidays they were always welcome in our home and at our table.
Here’s a look at what their “kitchen” looked like before:
Finally, in May of 2013, I received a call to tell me that my dream would become a reality. The Betty Myers Kitchen would be built in September and to provide nourishing meals each day for 142 Indian orphans.
I could not believe the news when I was told that two groups of employees from Whole Foods Market would be going over to India to build it. What serendipity!
That fall I flew to India for the inauguration of The Betty Myers Kitchen. I was able to see the finished building, meet the staff and children, and experience some of India’s beautiful culture and history.
A gift for Mother’s Day
Every year, The Miracle Foundation does a special Mother’s Day fundraising campaign. In 2016 the goal of their Honor Your Mom Campaign was to fund all of the housemothers at their orphanages for the year. Each housemother at a Miracle Foundation orphanage acts as mom to the 20 orphaned children in her care, creating an environment in which they can truly thrive.
The Miracle Foundation is one of the organizations I donate a percentage of my online sales to each year, and I will continue to make special donations on behalf of you, all of my followers, to their amazing campaigns.
To learn more about how your own donation can make a difference this Mother’s Day, I encourage you to watch this short 30-second video.
On behalf of myself, The Miracle Foundation, and all of the orphans under their care, we wish each and every mother out there a very blessed Mother’s Day filled with love and joy.
To those of you who, like myself and children of The Miracle Foundation who will be without a mother this Mother’s Day — I wish you peace in your hearts and know that you are not alone as the orphans and I are sending each and every one of you a BIG hug.
I am who I am because of my mother!
Amy Myers, MD