Turning Around

Thursday, April 24, 2014

I had a rough day today. It's been hard to adjust to 24/7 motherhood when I had 5 whole months of the most amazing fun to look forward to nearly every night. Getting paid to do what you love...REALLY love, is just too good to be true. Performers are the best. No matter what kind of day I had, the second I walked into the theatre I always felt happy. There was always someone cracking a joke, asking how my day was, or delicious treats someone brought to share. We were a big happy family. And we were telling one of the most beloved stories of all time. I am extremely grateful I had the experience of being in Les Miserables. A dream come true, really.

I was terribly sick closing night and am still fighting it. Though, I'm doing much better. So like I was saying, I had a rough one today. This whole week has been kind of hard. It's hard to say goodbye to so many wonderful new friends who you are used to seeing everyday. And I've been tired and achy. Spring always gets me down. I can't believe it's been nearly 6 years since Lucy died. I'm proud of how far I've come. I really am. I like myself.

But I'm getting off track. What I'm really trying to tell you is that I had a rough day, but around 4 p.m., things turned around and I am sitting in bed with a light and happy heart.

It was nothing earth-shattering. I got a call from darling Adhieu, our beautiful friend from Sudan, asking what I was doing because she was home alone and bored. She can't drive and her husband works late hours. I hadn't showered and was frustrated with my kids. The house was a mess. I was exhausted. But I thought, "Hey, I'll jump in the shower (and smell like a flower), drop Peter off at "Let's Play Music" class, pick up Adhieu, swing by the library, grab Peter from music and rush him to soccer practice and the two of us can chat and she can help with the kids and all will be well.."

And that's just what we did. Despite our language barrier, Adhieu is SO much fun to be with. She is easy and comfortable--she's just delightful. She really is. She laughs at me and we are honest with each other. It's so great to ask her a simple question and get a simple honest answer and that's the end of it. Refreshing!

We talked to the librarian about getting Adhieu a library card. We reserved the Driver's Manual handbook test thing that the DMV gives you, so she can take it home and read it and figure out this whole driving thing, we took Peter to soccer, played on the playground with Zoë, met up with Vic, and even met another Sudanese Lost Boy at the park named Peter. He was so friendly and of course he knew Adhieu's husband, Abraham. They were on the same plane coming to America together and lived together for years. He was thrilled to be meeting his mate's wife for the first time. He had two adorable boys and a giant smile.

We left the park in Vic's car (Vic took the kids home in my van) and headed to Winco (favorite grocery store. The prices!) to do some shopping. When we got in the car I commented on what a friendly and happy man Peter was (the man we had just met on the soccer field.) I asked her how she and all of her Sudanese friends could be so happy after all they have been through. In her broken English she said, "I am happy now. But I wasn't happy then." (Then, referring to the war) Her face kind of glazed over when she told me, "I have no father. I have no brothers. The fighting still happen and people die."

She told me more details about her aging mother and how she is unable to work. She has very little food. Her youngest sister, 12 years old, goes to school, but sometimes cannot attend because she is too tired from lack of food. With no father or brothers (they were all killed in the war about 15 years ago) there is no "bread winner". "This", She said, "Is why I want a job. To Moneygram the money to my mom so she can eat."

And then we walked into a giant American grocery store where I freely purchased any item that I wanted.

I will hep her get a job.

I will help her learn English.

I will help her learn to drive.

Because I am also happy now. But I wasn't then. And a woman in Africa who has lost her husband and 4 sons deserves to eat.

While I'm moaning about a cough and a crazy messy house with toys and food all over the place (don't worry, mom), there is someone that would give anything to be in my position. And while a thought like this usually makes me sad or isn't helpful, tonight it feels comforting....because I feel grateful for my incredible life. I feel grateful to Adheiu for waking me from my Instagramming, Facebooking, Why-is-she-so-beautiful-and-successful-and-creative-and-I'm-not-and-should-I-do-more-with-my-life life. And it feels wonderful knowing I can do something to help...all three of us. And I'm reminded that a day can turn around, just like a life.

I was sad this morning. But I am happy now.


  1. I needed this today- put things into perspective for me! Thank you.

  2. I had the same exact thing happen this week- while feeding the sister missionaries. One from the phillipines tore at my heart strings. We have so much it is so true. So nice to get perspective every once in awhile. Muwahhhhh.

  3. REAL reality checks...can change a day...thanks for this!

  4. Thanks for the REAL reality check...xo

  5. I love this so much. She's lucky to have you! Chills all over :) xox

  6. I love this so much. She is lucky to have you! Chills all over :) xox

  7. Thanks for sharing and offering proof once again that we can think ourselves into a better day! Well done! Reading this made my already great day even better!

  8. How can I help to send money for food. I don't have much but I'm wealthy compared to a mother and daughter desperate for food. My email is janskylar@yahoo.com. I'm sick and basically housebound so I don't have many opportunities to serve. Please allow me to serve. Please let me know how I can make some funds available for food!!!

  9. Beautiful post. Let me know if I can help at all - I'd love to donate to help them!!

  10. Your words left me... Speechless and full of thought... Thank you!

  11. You're awesome! And I love your blog.

  12. Thank you for your positive vibes and thoughts to all of us who struggle daily, and then realize it could always be worse and to be thankful for our situations. We all need to do more......Sending love your way.

  13. Thanks for the post...it really does put into perspective how life can turn on a dime and how much we have compared to others in this world who struggle for their every meal or place to live. Remember, you are important, you are a good friend, you are special, you are amazing. Never forget that you matter to so many people and you matter to us...even strangers who can feel your kindness and strength. Thank you!!


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