I was inspired to create the Manna-Mark as an expression of gratitude. The idea came to me while going through an exceptionally challenging period in my life in which I chose to engage in a gratitude practice.
In 1997, I was a single mother with three fun-loving teenagers. My youngest son, who had struggled with depression from a very early age, lost a good friend to suicide when he was only thirteen years old. Shortly thereafter, my son’s depression grew into a strong desire to end his own life. He was hospitalized for an extended period of time during which he made numerous attempts to kill himself. After his hospital stay, drugs and alcohol became an increasing problem as well.
For over two years, my son’s struggles consumed my life. The decisions I faced daily felt overwhelming. Just navigating and tapping into the services available to help us were, at times, exhausting tasks that required more energy than I had to offer. Fortunately, I worked as a freelance graphic designer, which allowed me the flexibility to take care of my son’s needs first.
Daily journaling was a necessity for me. It was how I got the clarity and resolve I needed to make many difficult decisions. Gratitude was always a part of my journaling. On an inspired Mother’s day during those challenging weeks when my son was in the hospital, I photographed the flower images – that appear on the Manna-Marks and in the website headers.
It has been many years since then and I believe in the practice of gratitude more than ever. I believe that through gratitude, our hearts are open to God’s unlimited bounty of blessings that flow from heaven like manna.
Speaking of blessings, my amazing son is now a successful software engineer and a devoted father of three beautiful boys.