All too often, we are so busy with everything going on in our lives, that we don't take the time to thank the people who make a real difference. My letter for Write A Letter Wednesday is dedicated to just such a person, a woman who is an inspiration to me in every sense of the word...
I was sitting here thinking about how long it's been that I've known you. I'd have to go back thru my blog archives, but I'm thinking we met very shortly after I left my ex-husband and began picking up the broken pieces of my life. That makes it about four years ago. Back then I was fairly new to blogging, and was just beginning to meet fellow bloggers and share posts with them on a regular basis.
As I recall you were introduced to me as a friend of a fellow blogger and we hit it off instantly. For me, a lot of the attraction of blogging is meeting people from all over the world who I can relate to... who are from my tribe. For the first time in my life I didn't feel like I was an alien from another planet! I realized from the beginning that there was something special and very real about you. You were so incredibly honest about yourself, and you somehow managed to stay so positive!
Do you remember what my life was like at that time, Jamie? I'm sure you do. I was an emotional wreck breaking free of an abusive thirteen year marriage that had taken it's toll on me. I didn't even know who I was anymore , much less where I was headed. All I knew is that being alone, no matter how lonely, had to be better than what I had just escaped from.
Looking back at just a few of my posts from that period of time, I realize how dark life felt. It would be months more before all the legal issues and fallout of that relationship could be resolved in court and the drama was being played out on a weekly basis. I could barely keep my head above water, and it was really hard to find a strand of hope to hold onto. Most often I wondered where I would find the strength to make it from one day to the next, and sometimes I didn't care if I survived at all.
This is the point where you came into my life, Jamie, and made all the difference. I remember from the very beginning how much effort you put into writing supportive comments on my posts, posts where my daily struggles played out across the screen begging for someone to listen and care. You kept telling that it would all work out, that everything was going to be ok. Pollyanna mentality indeed, and that was just what I needed at the time, someone who believed the cup was half full and would continue to fill if I'd just hang in there!
It was a very lonely time in my life, the loneliest. Often I would go home from work on Friday night and not talk to another living soul until I returned to work on Monday mornings. But I knew I could turn to my computer and pour my heart out to my blog friends, and you'd be there for me, and help me make sense of all the stuff I was going thru.
Of course the message that stands out most clearly in my mind, was your intuition that things were going to change for me in a big way and that someone named John would be involved. And who did I meet just one year later... John... the man of my dreams, the best of the best! Wow!
I find myself wondering how you kept yourself from just saying "suck it up Josie", "get over it", "move on". It's probably what I would say to someone who was experiencing one emotional crisis after another in her life and had no sense of where to go next or what to do to make things better. But you didn't, you believed in me, you inspired me to believe!
Who would have guessed then how much your own life was going to change in the next three years... major medical issues, debilitating pain, children going thru personal struggles, a marriage coming apart, and a job you had for years that suddenly wasn't there anymore. It seemed so unfair, and still does, that someone who tries so hard to help others had to deal with so much crap in her own life all at once! But even then, and even now... you do it with grace, with more acceptance, more humor, and more determination than I could ever hope to manage in my own life.
I realize now, that's the way it so often is... that the ones who have experienced the most, suffered the most, and endured the most, are the same ones who reach out to help pull others out of the muck and get them back on the road of life!
There is not a day that I stop by your blog that I am not reminded of the resilience of the human spirit, and that this is the kind of person I would more like to become. If you can find reason to push on, to keep on trying, and above all, to keep on believing that life is good, then so my dear friend, Jamie, can I!
Because you walked with me thru some of the darkest times in my life, you will always have a very special place in my heart, and I will continue to pray that God blesses your life in ways you have never dreamed possible!