Friday, October 17, 2008

Fairy Godparents

Yesterday, I was feeling a little overwhelmed, a little down, a little tarnished as I waited in line at the Corner Bakery for my coffee fix, briefcase in hand, preparing for another day of working on the book. As I walked to the counter to place my order, I turned around and saw two ladies that I know—Suzy and Sylvia. And I mean ladies. These women are beautiful, older than me, but not old, oh no. They are thin, stylish, coiffed, handsome. And though I’m sure they’re not always together, in my mind, they’re a pair. They ushered me over to a table to have some coffee and conversation with them and after just 30 minutes, I was a new person. Shiny and enthusiastic, optimistic, excited about my book, my life, and the future, anxious to get to the computer to work, which I did, happily and productively for the next several hours.

Later, when I was telling Carl about my day, I said they were like fairy godmothers, appearing out of the blue, and giving me just what I needed—some warmth, some encouragement, some wisdom, some laughter.

Which got me to thinking about the many fairy godparents I’ve had over the years. There’s Louie, who not only helped me find my first job as a lawyer, but gave me countless sincere and effective pep talks, boosting my spirits to counter the horrors of a long and disheartening job search.

There was Carol, my faithful friend, secretary, and confidant. Who listened, and empathized, but also pushed me to address issues that needed addressing, from my lack of organization to my health problems. It was Carol who started the ball rolling that helped me to regain my health which then allowed me to look at my life, see what was missing, and start following my dream of writing.

And of course, my archetypal fairy godmother, Margarita, my host-mom in Mexico. I could fill a book with what Margarita meant and means to me, and indeed, a character based on her appears in my novel, but for now, suffice it to say that she gave me unconditional love and support from the get-go. She gave me a home when I was in a foreign land. She gave me a family when I was a world away from mine, feeling like a lost orphan. She made me soups and teas when I was seriously ill, willing me back to health. She tried to teach me to cook, as hopeless a prospect as that seemed at the time. And maybe best of all, she showed me that my fumbling Spanish didn’t matter, that I could connect with people, in a real and powerful way without elegant language.

I believe that each of these people were brought into my life just when I needed them, and I am grateful for my ever generous Higher Power for seeing what I needed and providing it. Remembering the gifts of these relationships bolsters my faith that I will continue to receive what I need, that with each challenge comes the support needed to survive it, and even to flourish.

Who are your fairy godparents?


Mr. Ackerman said...

I really like your blog entry because it provides a model for how to appreciate important people in your life who you otherwise might overlook. Who are my fairy godparents? Jessica N. always looked out for me when I first started teaching at Saul High School. She was not only my chaffeur for an entire year, she helped me get a second job to earn more money, and she reminded me of all the little things I needed to do to get through the school year. Also, Mike Lynn provided a model for how to be an excellent teacher and still have time for your personal life. Bill Johnston also looked out for me providing opportunities for work and fun. There are many more people who have been there for me ... I'll do my best to pay it forward and look out for others.

Anonymous said...

FairyGodparents or Angels, it's wonderful to be aware of all those who help us feel good about ourselves and set an example for how to treat others.
You are a wonderful person and I can see you growing into a fairygodmother for others.
love, MomA