When I go on my Solo Journeys each year, I pray before I leave that God will “bless me and the people in my path.” I never know who those people will be, but when traveling alone I know that I’ll depend on others along my way, and they may need that same support from me. One year, it occurred to me that I should apply this same concept to daily life, seeing it as a ‘journey’ instead of just a day. This week I needed lots of support from people along my way to move forward with publishing my memoir.
On Monday, after panic set in when I realized I needed another source besides Amazon for books for my upcoming launch, a friend suggested a printing company that’s in my area. She eased the way for me by sending them an email ahead of my call. Later in the week, I met with Mitchell from that company who listened to my ideas and patiently explained terms I’d never heard like ‘bleed’ and ‘perfect binding.’ He helped me with transferring files and technical steps that are not easy for me but everyday for him in his ‘deadline driven industry.’ How grateful I was when he quickly put in calculations to determine trim size and applied my bar code to my cover. After our meeting, I felt the first level of relief by handing him the job. Full relief will come when I have the books in hand!
Months ago, I decided I wanted to ‘Go Home to Launch’ my book. The people who’ve supported me since childhood, my home community and especially my church, should celebrate with me. I called a woman whom I’ve known since then, LaVerne who is the leader of the Shallow Well UCC Women’s Fellowship group. She was enthusiastic and suggested ways they could help.
“The women would be glad to provide foods for your reception,” she said. “Why don’t you come and tell us about your book at our next meeting and we’ll ask for food donations.”
Last Tuesday night I attended that meeting. I knew most of the women and it felt so good to be back there. Since I was ‘the program’ I shared with them how Psalm 40:1-3 had been central in my memoir, the scripture that helped me through my dark days of cancer and a toxic job. The women were very quiet and I knew that several of them had recently gone through cancer treatment and others had lost their husbands–their own ‘dark pits.’
After I spoke, I thought I’d leave so they could continue on as usual. But they were having a Grandma Shower for a couple of the women who were sitting by me and they asked me to stay. In fact, LaVerne presented me with a grandma gift– my first bibs for Baker that tout the importance of Grandma or ‘Grammy’ as I’m called.
The floor by our seats was covered in blue, Baby Boy gift bags since all three of us had grandsons. I was reminded of May of 1978, when the church gave me a bridal shower–the room filled with the circle of women I’d known since I was a girl. Then, like now, they were a gracious group.
LaVerne told the group that she’d said they would support me by providing some of the refreshments. She circulated the sheet and I was pleased that so many women signed up. It was gratifying to receive their support, to know they’re behind me and will help that day. When the meeting ended, a couple of the women came up to me and talked about their recent experience with breast cancer. I’d been away for a while, but it didn’t feel like it because I was back home. I didn’t tell them that at my launch, I’ll read about Shallow Well UCC from a portion of the Preface that starts with how I came to faith in God as a girl in that church. Knowing they’re behind me will make the Launch easier.
Another big task before I publish my book is to get this site ready so that readers can easily access my memoir. I recently set up my Book Giveaway for subscribers and I had some technical issues that reminded me that I need help. I was concerned when a few weeks ago I learned that my go-to person was going to Abu Dhabi to cover Special Olympics right when I needed her to put the links in for book purchase sites. Fortunately she referred me to Trudy who would be able to do the things I needed.
On Thursday after I finished with the printer I left that industrial park in the city to drive to Trudy’s home office in the country. It was situated on a wooded hillside that overlooked a stream with a covered bridge. The sun shining on the springlike day lifted my mood that had been sagging due to the gray wet winter and spending so much time inside working on the book. We sat for hours in her loft, making most of the needed changes and getting to know each other. I’d been impressed by her weavings and other art and while she was working through a problem I took a break to explore her gallery that was just down her driveway.
Being in the gallery was like entering a fairytale world, the colors of the fabric art a delicious feast for my eyes. How I needed those moments away from my entrapment in tasks.
Late that afternoon, we finished what we set out to accomplish and toasted our progress with a glass of wine. I’d thought I’d leave our work session straight away to get home to the next task. But it felt right to take a break and relax for a while. When her husband came in to join us, she introduced me as her “client and her new friend,” this person in my path.
Looking at Trudy’s weavings, the colors and patterns it seemed to me that it was like the experiences of my week; the people in my path all added their unique color that together was forming a beautiful tapestry of support. How grateful I was for each of them.
How About You?
How have you been blessed in the past week by the people in your path?
Site for Trudy Thomson artwork: