A Selfless Act
by Patty McCarthy
You don’t realize how much you need and miss your family until your marriage falls apart and you are provinces away with your children. Life throws us some major curves at times; Lord knows I’ve been given my share of them over my lifetime. In March of this year, I filed for divorce, and in June, I made the difficult decision to sell my home, quit my job and move back to my family for the love and support I so needed to make it out of a terrible situation.
I had worked with a 22 year old girl, whom I will call Tamara. We had worked together for 2 years but it was the last year of our working relationship that we began to become closer friends. She looked up to me for guidance and I loved her ‘tell it like it is sarcastic attitude’. Her Mom began working at the same establishment around the time our relationship began to blossom. We all developed a new found friendship and began socializing outside of work. The news was difficult to share. They of course were happy that I was going to move and be closer to my loved ones but were grieving for the loss of our day-to-day interactions and my hilarious antics that brought smiles to their faces and the music of their laughter.
As the weeks ticked by and moving day was getting closer, I began to dwindle my to-do list down. I sold most of my paper scrapbooking supplies because there was no way I could take them all with me. After all, they hadn’t’ been touched in years. Professional mover costs would be high enough without all that extra added weight. Tamara and her Mom, Lisa helped in this regard too. They bought scrappy supplies and spread the word to their friends about the goldmine of goodies that I had for sale. $1400 and a weekend in the heat later, I had accomplished what I’d set out to do. Now, it was just endless boxes to pack .
August arrives and I come home from my last day of work to a phone call. My driver was calling to give me a time and exact date when my furniture would be picked up. I was glad in one sense because I knew all the harassment, fear and anger would be almost behind me and on the other hand a sadness that I was leaving some dear friends behind. Where had the last 6 months gone?
The time had come, August 12, for me to say my goodbyes. The furniture has been loaded and will be heading down the Trans Canada very soon to its new destination. I stand on the sidewalk looking at a few of my friends who have come to say goodbye and give me one last hug. I had tears in my eyes and I was so determined not to cry until Tamara asked if she could unlock my truck. She told me that she had a St Christopher to hang around my rear view mirror to keep my boys and I safe during our 3400 km drive across Canada. I was so taken aback by her love and caring. As I sit and write this I have tears running down my face thinking about how she gave up her only silver St. Christopher medallion on a chain to give to me. I stroked and held that medallion many times over the course of my travels and I felt so at peace knowing that I’d be safe. The trip went off without a hitch, I arrived home on my birthday, of all days, and was reunited with my parents. My furniture arrived a few days later and everything was still intact and unbroken. How could I be so lucky? AND my house sold!
I sit here every once in a while and look back on where I’ve been the past 8 months. The emotional roller coaster I’ve traveled and the strength I needed for my children. It is a miraculous thing that we women have such inner courage and even with daily struggles we still manage to come out on top, day after day. Faith can help to accomplish some pretty amazing things.
I don’t remember the last time I attended church but I thank my lucky stars every day for the people that I have in my life. I do chat regularly to the ‘big guy’ and thank him for blessing me with such amazing friends. I know that sometimes I think that it is a miracle that I’m still standing but I know deep down it is because I’m a survivor and that I have such amazing people like Tamara and Lisa in my life who have loved me unconditionally.
Today, the St. Christopher still hangs in my truck exactly where Tamara put it those few months ago. I’m constantly reminded of her selfless act and the bond of our friendship that can never be broken even though we’re miles apart. The memory puts a smile on my face and warms my heart.