For the month of November I’ve decided to post each day about a person or people who have influenced my life for good. There’s no way I could include each and every person in one month or even one year, and for that I hope you’ll forgive me. This year, especially, has brought an acute awareness of the kindness and generosity which surrounds me and my kids, so here’s one attempt at giving thanks.
4 – Damn Ladies
It’s like this: If you are one, you know it.
Don’t be fooled by the name, it’s affectionate. Like Ya-Ya. Or The Baby-Sitters Club.
The Damn Ladies is the name of a group of friends, and I don’t even know how many, I’ve had the pleasure of associating with over quite a few years. Even though we don’t have regular meetings as a complete group anymore (which weren’t meetings, but online conversations), I’m grateful for our history and friendships.
I’m not going to identify any of them here by name.
As individuals within the group we vary in age and circumstance; 20s through 50s, I believe. We live in different parts of the country. We’re not all the same in our views and practices of religion or politics or tastes. Single, married, divorced, remarried; becoming moms and wishing to get a break from being moms; births in families; sicknesses in families; deaths in families; tragedy and triumph: so much has happened within this dynamic, it’s kind of amazing.
Most notable to me about this group is how charity has, time and again, turned from talk and support to real-life action (which isn’t to say that talk and support isn’t real, of course, because it is and it is wonderfully valuable, and comforting to have those words). Again—we don’t all live near each other, but that hasn’t stopped us from stepping up when and where it’s possible to provide tangible help. It’s been miraculous to see and be a part of something so…so exactly what charity looks like.
I have been the recipient of the love of this group—as a group, and as individuals—countless times, and in countless ways. They’ve provided for my kids and me when I could not. They’ve stepped in with exactly what was needed, exactly at the right time. During the closing months of my marriage they rallied and checked in and did more than I … well, I’m sitting here crying about it. It was so much. They did so, so much. They saved my life.
Time causes things to change shape, and that applies here, for sure. I’ll always be grateful for these women, the variety, the sincerity, and the smartassery.
Thanks, Damn Ladies. I love you.