When you think of support what do you think of? Do you think of Spanx? Do you think of control top pantyhose? Does it remind you that you need to get a better bra? Do you think of those PBS or NPR fund drives where they relentlessly ask for your financial support? Do you think of group of cheerleaders forming a pyramid? Or do you simply add the word tech and think of tech support? Do you think happy thoughts when you hear the word support? Or do you find yourself longing you had some? Do you think of your family? What about your friends? Don't we all long for support? Some to hold us up? Someone to endorse us? Someone to keep us from losing courage? I don't think support means that everyone agrees with me they just support me. Just like the spanx...they say nothing about the wrongness of their job to hide the shape of the body they just quietly do their job of holding everything in place :) Yes, all my adorable supportive friends you are exactly like Spanx :)
I simply had to blog about support tonight because it has been on my mind a ton lately. I have recently made a painfully hard decision which has been to ask my husband of 25 years for a divorce. It is a long, long story why it has come to this. It is sad. No one can ever know what has happened in anyone's marriage to bring it to this point. And that is pretty much all there is to say.
The point is that after I told my kids and family about my decision I have very slowly been telling other people. Not really sure what to expect as people find out. I went through my list of Facebook friends and chose a few people out who I thought would possibly even care about my life and sent them all a tacky, but necessary, group message and the flood of supportive replies I received overwhelmed me. I basically turned around and fell backward into a group of people hoping that someone would be there to catch me and almost all of them came through. They were not supportive in a "taking a side" way, which I would never want. But just supportive in saying, in a most heartfelt way, we understand about the whole, life is hard thing, and we are so sorry that you are experiencing it too and whatever you need from us we are SO there. Offers of places to stay. Offers of help finding work. Offers of a listening ear. Offers of understanding as some have gone through the same thing. Offers of chocolate. And most precious to me have been the offering of words of confidence in my making choices skills believe me I have wondered often through this process if I really have good making choices skills?
I can not express how incredible it felt to get replies from friends from Washington.... from Indiana....from Kansas...from Princeton....from Utah....from Arizona...from North Carolina just to mention a few places. I wonder if they all thought much about the impact their words would have on me. The gratefulness I feel is so hard to put into words....which must mean something because you all know about me and words :) Not one of these people scolded me. Not one of these people judged me...well at least not to my face. All 42 of them seemed to understand about how hard marriage is and how hard life is. They all longed for me to simply have peace and be happy. And the awesome thing is I know they would all say the same exact words to the other half of this failed marriage if they had the chance. All of them understood, no matter where they lived, that there was no reason to be anything but supportive. I can not stop marveling at this and I am not sure why.
Sometimes I think we think the little things we do in life do not matter but as I go through the hardest most soul searching time in my life I have gained a huge testimony of the effect of teeny tiny seemingly insignificant things like taking the time to quickly answer a facebook message about a friends sad announcement of her divorce.
I have been slowly responding to all the offers of a phone call and it has been so amazing to talk to people I have not talked to in 26 years, or 10 years, or even 5 years and pick up like we never left off. I never imagined when I was in high school with some of these people that 28 years later we would be having these discussions. It fills my heart so much. I can not tell you how much I adore connections and how they make me feel. And how much I need them.
I promise I will never ever ignore a prompting I have to send a note to someone even if I think it will not matter to them and even if I think they may think it is silly because chances are it is just what they needed.