My guest today is Debbie Simorte. I found Debbie’s blog, Writing the Life Chaotic, when I joined my first online writing group two years ago. Whenever I need a laugh, I turn to Debbie’s writing. Often, my comments in response to her posts are variations of, ‘So – you’ve seen my small town in action?!’ Debbie’s honest critique of my own writing has made me try new ways of expressing humor while crafting a story. I am grateful Debbie agreed to share a post for my 30 Days of Thanks series. I hope you will take the time to explore her blog or her Facebook page after you read this post.
I’ve had to start over more times than I can count.
As I reflect on those times, although the circumstances were always different, the one constant was that women pulled me from the weeds and helped me through.
Some were already friends, some were mere acquaintances. Sandy Scott was a stranger.
We met at a community center where our preschool-age daughters were taking free dance lessons. We’d slip outside for a break after hearing the same Raffi song for the umpteenth time, and Sandy would excitedly tell me about getting licensed for her home daycare.
I’d been in Seattle for a year, unable to find work, broke, car-less, living with three other adults in order to pay low rent. Back then you snail-mailed resumes and hit the streets to apply for jobs. I could no longer even pay a sitter for a few hours so I could look for work.
I’m not the first woman to find herself in this situation after an abusive marriage—but dang!—freed from one trap only to land in another. One night at dance class, Sandy said, “I’m picking Jess up in the morning, and you are job hunting. I’ll have her back in time for dinner.”
She did this until I landed a job. Then she refused pay for a full month so I could drag a little farther from the weeds.
I’m thankful for all women who lift each other up, and today I’m particularly grateful for Sandy. I think she may have been the first person to say, “Just pay it forward,” and I do, because I remember.
I also remember the grand finale of our girls’ first dance recital. The little ballerinas formed a circle, took each other’s hands, and danced round and round to a song titled “Make New Friends (But Keep the Old).”
Make new friends,
But keep the old,
One is silver,
And the other gold.
A circle’s round
It has no end
That’s how long
I’m gonna be your friend.
Thanks for inviting this memory, and for your friendship, Denise.