Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I Know The Way Out

Instead of joining my family for Purim seudah this year, we went to a close friend who had invited us. Turns out that she wanted me to meet one of the other guests, a woman with three small children who had just moved into the neighborhood after getting a divorce. Because I had been in that exact same situation a few years ago, my friend was hoping that I could find a way to help this woman get through this difficult time in her life.
Luckily, I found her to be smart and pleasant to talk to. She is very upfront about the challenges that she is facing, and she is open to making new friends and accepting help. We exchanged phone numbers, and I plan on giving her a call in a few days.
The thing is, I know just what this woman is going through. I know how hard it is to start over again with 3 little children and no money. I know all about the guilt that a mother feels when she realizes that her children will be growing up without a father around. I know what the endless sleepless nights are like, worrying about the bills and the kids and whether you have the strength to do it all alone. And I know how hard it can be to ask for help even when you need that help desperately.
I remember a story that was told on The West Wing:
A guy falls into a ditch and he can't get out. He looks up and sees his old friend walking by. "Hey, buddy" he calls. "I'm stuck in this ditch. Can you help me?" The friend says "sure" and jumps down into the ditch with him. "Why did you do that?" the man exclaims. "Now we're both in the ditch!" "Yeah" says his friend. "But I've been in this hole before, and I know the way out."
I do know the way out. I just hope that I can turn that experience into words of wisdom that will help this very nice but overwhelmed woman reach the finish line.


Leora said...

Good for you, Raizy, to be there for this new woman friend. I hope for the best for her and her family.

Ezzie said...

Chana (CuriousJew) recently posted that clip. It's one of the most memorable lines, and so perfectly said. Good luck and good for you...!

Anonymous said...

I am sure you'll find ways of being part of the comfort she needs, precisely because you've been through it all.
You are also living proof that it is possible to get out of the ditch.

Baila said...

It's always nice to help someone going through something you have survived. It's Paying It Forward--hopefully you had someone helping you out....

RivkA with a capital A said...

I remember that scene!!

It is so great that you are able to help this woman.

I know how valuable it was to me (in completely different circumstances) when people, who were in the same situation as I found myself, called me to check up on me and offer their wisdom.

I am eternally grateful to two women in particular, one from the first time I was diagnosed and another from the second. They called me; they checked up on me; they helped me. And they did not expect anything in return (which was good, 'cause at that time I could not give anything in return).

I felt so blessed.

Tizki L'mitzvot!!

SuperRaizy said...

I hope that I WILL be able to help her. I haven't actually done anything yet.
As Baila and RivkA mentioned, I was very lucky to have a bunch of people who were there for me when I needed them most. I am very happy for this opportunity to "pay it forward".