I needed you, and you came through


A lot has happened this fall that I never expected, and pretty much everything in my life has changed, is changing, or has been thrown into question. (see post about the end of my marriage) Some days, I’ve cried so much that I didn’t have to pee in the morning.

What can I be thankful for beyond mere survival?

But tomorrow’s American holiday of Thanksgiving has got me weepy with gratitude. Because of what feels like a throng of supporters.

Some people I knew would help. My parents have given me support both financial and emotional; they bought me a new bed, my dad came with me to meet the lawyer, my mother keeps loading me with food, and she spent a day crouched down in my garden to help me weed. My in-laws slip me grocery store gift cards, get piles of stuff for us on CostCo runs, and deliver delicious home-baked goodies. My siblings (both biological and by marriage) have been wonderful. My bookclub ladies gathered around me one Sunday morning instead of going to their churches with their families; they brought me dinners, weeded my garden, and continue to send me encouraging notes and little gifts. My two divorced friends have commiserated with me and given me the benefit of their experience. My kids have been ridiculously good to each other and to me.

And then there’s my church. We’ve only been there a few years, but they are my true church home. There have been so many notes of support, hugs, prayers, blessings, dinners, gift cards and money given to us (both by people who sign their name and by people who want to remain anonymous), so many coffees with my pastor, and two powerfully good prayer meetings with women in the congregation. People took over some of my volunteer duties until I could take the helm again. And my ribbon dancers continue to bring me joy.

Then there are the notes from people in my wider social group, the flowers left on my doorstep, the dear notes and gifts from some of my friends’ parents, from friends of the family, from uncles and aunts and cousins. And the kind notes from you, my dear readers, after I wrote about the end of my marriage.

In include in this litany, the people who’ve stuck by and supported my husband through his deep struggles.

Not to mention the friend who has given me work, and hope for a full-time job in the future.

And the whole insane Kickstarter thing in the middle of all this upheaval: the 215 backers who supported our book for adopted and fostered kids and their families, and even more who shared the project with their networks.

I’ve been overwhelmed by support. And now I’m overcome by gratitude.

In fact, this might be my most grateful Thanksgiving ever. At the same time, it’ll be my most difficult Thanksgiving: I’ll be spending the day with my husband and his family (and a dozen other people). It’ll be fine, it’ll probably even be good, but my anxiety is ramping up. So if you’re in my throng, please send me prayers or good vibes, as you’re inclined.

This fall, I really needed help, and you came through. You are a pillar. I am grateful.


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10 thoughts on “I needed you, and you came through

  1. Loving you from the distance of geography and time, Natalie. I, too, have been going through a rough time (nothing like what you are moving through) and I’ve felt incredible gratitude for the community that has gathered around me, including AAC folks, long relationships now. Yesterday’s yoga meditation/prayer was for seeds of joy to be nurtured in those we love–so I am praying that for you right now.

    1. Thank you, Rebecca. Luckily, life isn’t a competition over who’s going through a tougher time… I love that yoga meditation/prayer. So good.

  2. Dear Natalie,
    I’ve been quietly sending you love and prayers, and, now, giving up on my intention to send you real physical mail (the note cards have been riding the train with me to work & then back home again for a month now … ) for the moment, I am sending you my love here, with a full heart. Wishing so much that we lived closer, that I could simply sit with you in support (and bring the occasional meal — if not on the scale that we sometimes aspired to on Eureka Street). Holding you in the light (as my Quaker friends would say). much love,


    1. You are so very lucky your church has been supportive of you! My church abandoned and admonished me during my divorce…blessings to you.

    2. Thank you, Rose. I actually think you were praying earlier than anyone — the shawl that you made for me and sent me still gives me spiritual chills when I put it on <3

  3. Natalie, I’m delighted to hear your world has been rich with support, but knowing you the little I do, I’m not in the least surprised.

    Have a happy Thanksgiving. We’re already done with our celebration but I’ll be holding you in my thoughts.

  4. I’ve been thinking about you during this difficult time. I went through a divorce three years ago and it was a painful experience, but I am so much healthier now. I know it’s tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but things will get better. Hang in there.

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