I was over at the Drug Mart this evening, picking up all the last minute, "Mom, I need this for school this week!" stuff, when I saw a notice on the board.
Taken, from my car, in this parking lot Thursday around 7:20: My laptop case, containing a Dell laptop, all my school binders, my wallet, my house keys, my insurance card, my kids' birth certificates, their school pictures from this year. Please; you can keep the laptop and the money, if that's what you want, but I cannot replace these other things and they are no use to you. Please. I need them back. I'm a struggling single mom. Cut me a little slack, will you?
Then, a name and a phone number.
When I gave birth to my daughter, K, I had a terrible time with post-partum depression. It took me by surprise, really. I'm not the depressive type. However, hormones can do some seriously crazy stuff sometimes. I remember my OB, Jeff, (a good friend and still a close colleague) said something that has stuck with me ever since.
"At least you're not alone. Can you imagine if you were single and having to go through this? Christ, I get girls come through here and I see them...I know when they leave the hospital, they have that look in their eyes, like, 'Oh my God, how am I going to do this?' And I worry about them; I really do. I have nothing but admiration for single mothers."
I remember at the time, I thought Jeff wasn't really being all that helpful for me. But PPD is short-lived in those of us who are lucky, and the lesson has given me perspective I wouldn't have had otherwise. Part of that still resonates with Jeff's words, especially tonight.
Gayle. Her name was Gayle. I sort of want to call the number and just get her address and send her some money. Just to help. I wonder if she'd accept it from me or if she'd think it was a scam of some sort. In any event, I'm feeling lucky as hell this evening. My life could have been different. I could have made one different choice or could have met a few different people, and I could be raising my kids in a crappy little apartment over by the Drug Mart, and I could be alone and struggling and being robbed of the few things I have. I could be leaving desperate notes on the bulletin board.
There but for the grace of God, go I.
I'm going to say a little prayer for Gayle this evening.