The recent events with the 3 women in Ohio have left me shaken to my core. My all-consuming thoughts have effected my ability to function and be fully present for my family. Not in a dramatic and obvious way, but in ways that I feel deep in my bones. The world isn't right. This isn't right. How? Why? How do I raise my children in this place?
But you know all that.
The reason I'm writing is to thank you. (Or should it be You?) I posted my anxious thoughts and concerns on Facebook yesterday. It was a plea for guidance. How can I help these women? What positive mental narrative do I tell myself to help me cope with this? (Help ME cope? What about THEM?) Agreeably selfish, I know.
You saw how my wise friends suggested turning off the news, focusing on the positive, and taking action by volunteering with a women's shelter. You know I'm busy, God. I'm raising these 2 incredible children you sent me. I want to do more, but I'm just not always able.
But you worked your wonders last night. You restored my faith in the smallest of things. A timely text message. A husband able to leave work on time. Being in the right place to see a need. You are sly. You are tricky. And you are wonderful. Should we tell everyone what you did? If you are too modest, shy, and humble to take all the credit, I will accept it on your behalf. As long as you forgive me later.
Here's what happened:
There was a Stake Relief Society activity last night--Dinner, a clothing exchange (!!) and some excellent speakers. About an hour before leaving for the activity, I sent a text to my neighbor to see if she might be interested in attending with me. I've mentioned her before...she is a single mother who recently left the local Women's Shelter in Park City called the Peace House. Her son does not live with her (long story) and it kills her. She's trying to find more work and get some solid footing. She responded with a resounding, "Yes!" to my invitation.
But there was a lot going on. Vic was trying to get out of the office to make it home on time so that I could leave and he could make it to swimming lessons with Peter. For a while there it looked like it wasn't going to happen. Things fell into place at the last minute and off my neighbor and I rushed to the activity. Thanks for that, HF. I really owe you.
The food was delish. And may I say that I got some killer pieces from the clothing exchange! My friend cried during the talks, and we had an all-around uplifting time. As things were coming to a close I saw a women lugging several garbage bags full of clothing outside. I asked her if she needed any help and she said she was running to catch the bus since she didn't have a car. She seemed...a bit frazzled. I could tell she felt a bit out of place. No makeup on, no bra, shorts and flip-flops (which is great until you take into account its Spring in Park City. A.k.a, worse than any California winter.) Long story short, she was headed in the direction I live so I offered to give her a ride.
My neighbor and this woman (I'll call them Alice and Andrea), started chatting while I slipped into the kitchen to prepare bags of leftover food for them to take home. We loaded our treasures in the car and had such a pleasant conversation getting to know Andrea better. She and Alice had so much in common (Addicts in recovery, abusive relationships, no car, looking for work, both studying to become Shamans) and by the time we dropped Andrea off a bond was born. We spoke about everything from finding the strength to do hard things to the full moon portal (the rebirth last night of 2013--according to what they are learning in their Shaman classes), to finding a good place to rent and calling me if they ever need a ride.
When I dropped Alice off at home she spoke of her son and cried again. She asked if she could come to church with me for Mother's Day. And I walked into my safe home, my children tucked in bed, and I cried.
That's what happened, isn't it, God? You put me in the path of those women who have experienced similar things to the victims in Ohio. (Much smaller scale, yes. But same vein.) And you showed me that each of us matters. That each of us can make a difference. You reminded me to be grateful. Those wonderful and unique women taught me. You taught all of us. You brought peace to my heart and confirmed my belief that kindness matters. It might matter the very most.
Please accept this thank you letter and please send more opportunities my way to strengthen those in need. And that includes me. You really are a sly devil, the way you orchestrated that. (No pun intended.)