Thursday, March 15, 2012

still shining

Dear Sandra,

I always felt guilty when we joked about you being my Prince George/work mom, but all these years later yours was the first face I saw when asked to write a letter to my rescuer/mentor. 

I've been blessed with a lot of rescuers/mentors/teachers in my life. Parents who provided structure and guidance. Sisters who desperately wanted me to be less of a dork. School teachers who saw enough in me to pay attention. 

You, Sandra, are the person who reminded me to sparkle when all my sparkle was gone. That year after leaving my marriage, starting grad school, and finding myself single with two sons to support at the ripe old age of 30 was the worst hell I could imagine at the time (if only I'd known what was coming!). You watched and encouraged and hugged. You ran interference with our @sshole of a boss when necessary, and you scheduled my students so to minimise the number of idiots in my day. 

And you did so much more than that. Dinner. And listening. And telling me, as someone who had gone before, that the road would get easier. But what really stands out to me, more than a decade later, was one small thing you said when I thought no one had noticed. 

You sat down beside me, or maybe you stood with your hands on my shoulders so I couldn't look away, and you said "sweetie, you have to stop now. You've lost your sparkle." And we started making plans for how I could start living again. 

You pointed out that the boy who got tutoring from me probably didn't really NEED daily appointments, and that maybe if I smiled he'd get the nerve to ask me out. He did, and is to this day one of the most important people in my life. 

You reminded me to start taking care of myself. To have bubble baths. To go out with friends and leave the guilt behind. To create a future that would work for my sons and I rather than feeling guilt for the future I had denied them. 

It was a tough year. And now, looking back, with only the highlights visible in the distance of time, it was one of my favourite years. It was the year I learned to stand tall on my own. The year I learned the value of friendship. The year I learned that when I lose my sparkle, I'm the one who can find it again. And I learned that while mentors and teachers are a blessing, I don't really need rescuing. 

Thank you, Sandra. For warmth and humour and a good solid talking to. 
Scintilla day 2 prompt:

No one does it alone. Write a letter to your rescuer or mentor (be it a person, book, film, record, anything). Share the way they lit up your path.


  1. It sounds like you have a great friend, and that you recognize her for what she is, we don't always, so the fact that you do is a gift in itself. I hope she sees this.

    1. She does now, Jason. I posted it on Facebook & tagged her in it. :D Thanks!

  2. "The year I learned that when I lose my sparkle, I'm the one who can find it again."

    Absolutely brilliant. You've got a very special friend who helped you realize that.

  3. You are so sparkly. And you are one of my very first "followers". I've so much enjoyed coming to know you and appreciate you a great deal. Thank you for bringing a lot of sparkle to my life!

    1. Likewise - you are one of my favourite e-friends and the difference you make for me is one of things that keeps me coming back. :)

  4. I love your sparkle and Sandra sounds like she loves it too; enough to bring it back to you when you most needed it.


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