There was a time when I lived in a narrow trailer in the north woods of Michigan, far removed from convenient shopping, from cultural events, from higher education, from society. One could not see a single sign of human life from my front porch. The light blue trailer, with its dangerous electrical wiring, occasional mice (thankfully gone after adopting a cat), and solitude, stands out as a sad chapter of my life. It should have been a really happy time, especially given my love for natural surroundings. I should have been happy, given that I was incredibly blessed to have a sweet tempered, beautiful curly haired daughter. But I was severely unsatisfied with nearly every other aspect of my existence. Although I was a diligent housekeeper and kept everything clean, the ugly sight of our poverty showed in every room.
In the winter and spring, our road was impassable. I used to walk a mile in knee deep snow, sliding my groceries home in a plastic sled while coaxing my daughter to follow. In spring, the mud was so thick that attending preschool was an event. We walked together, hand in hand, sliding and falling until reaching the drier road where our car was parked. When we finally arrived at her preschool, the mud stains on her purple snow pants reached above her knees. Her teacher's mouth dropped at the sight of us.
I didn't own a computer and could not afford many long distance calls to my mom. Sometimes I went to church but felt alone among the crowd.
Then I joined a Mops group and met a truly beautiful friend. I spent hours sharing coffee at her house, too embarrassed to invite her to mine.
I will always remember the loving reassurance and hope that Wendy generously gave me. Although we have drifted apart, the memory of her sweetness stands out against the gray days of my silent misery.
Although that time is long past, the experience of it continues to influence me. I want to be that kind of friend that Wendy was to me. This year I've been so blessed to meet a lot of truly amazing women...many of you who are reading this now!
Thank you for your kind comments and encouragement. Thanks for offering bits of your lives for me to read. Your stories keep me connected and full of appreciation for the struggle and the bliss of life.