Her Name Was JOY

As she stepped inside my home tonight, I could see she wasn’t in a hurry. Seemed to want to linger a bit. Came to pick up a beautiful angel snow globe I sold her on a local mom to mom sales site. For the last month, I have been committed to purging anything that was not a necessity or held an emotional attachment.

I kept the cash from the sales in a bowl and little by little I had been donating it one fashion or another to someone in need with a gift card here, groceries there, gas money for a guy I knew was looking for work. Sometimes, I would feel compelled to give the items away, instead of selling them.

The woman stepped into my rotunda and looked around. Complimented my home, inquired about a couple of other things I had listed too. While I searched for them, she asked if I had any Christmas decorations I no longer wanted.

She explained, her sister was struggling and could only afford stockings this year for her kids. They didn’t have decorations.

Me? Christmas decorations? Um, yeah, just a few!

Invited her out to my garage and let her peek into one of my four huge red and green bins. Told her she could have a couple of things right off that caught her eye, “Give me a week, and I’ll have some more…no charge.” Delighted, she was sweetly surprised, sincerely appreciative. “Why are you selling things? Do you mind me asking?”

Kept it simple- gonna be an empty nester soon-downsizing. Feels good to pass things on that I no longer need. We stood in my garage and chatted for an hour. Discovered my new friend has seven children. Blended family. Took her four years to get the courage to leave the first marriage. Took a year longer for the tears to come.

Realized she had been living in a numb state so long when she started living again; when she began to feel, the floodgates opened. Emotion took control.That’s what happens: You live a certain way for so long, you don’t realize you have stopped feeling altogether. Once you begin to feel again, you can’t go back.

Our stories were similar. I adored this woman’s, open heart. Suggested we have lunch. I wanted to see her again. I inquired which church she attended? Her answer prompted a smile. Knew there was something “sisterly” about her the minute we met. Warm. Like, family. She made me think…

Here are some things that I know for sure:

We women need each other.
We women need each other’s attention spans.
We women need each other’s consideration.
We women are trying in our own ways to be a “proper wife and mother.”
We women listen and we understand.
We women get we need to talk it out.

You know, I set about to clear out my cabinets last week to lighten the load; simplify my life, maybe take the money and lessen the burden in somebody else’s life.

Suspected it would feel good. But now I know for certain it was more than that; there was a significant reason that woman was drawn to my home tonight. She needed to talk, connect. Be heard. Understood.

And I needed to make a new friend.
Tonight, that friend’s name was JOY.

How perfect is that?

Photo Credit: acidpix Flickr via Compfight cc

Categories: Friends + FamilyWomen's Issues + Awareness

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Renee DeMont

Renee DeMont is a SURVIVOR. She was born into poverty; spent much of her childhood homeless, living on the streets of Los Angeles, and in foster care. Renee learned early on: life is about adapting to adversity. The greatest gift she ever received? No one expected anything from her. By 18, she was ready to experience life on her own terms. First one in her family to attend college. After college, her focus and determination earned her a spot working at Paramount Studios, on the #1 show in television, "Cheers". At 29, Renee gave entrepreneurship a go and began a Biomedical engineering business out of her garage. Twenty years later, that risky venture grew into 8,000 square feet of success. She broke the cycle of poverty that plagued her family for generations. Recently, Renee turned fifty, filed for divorce (he declared WAR), and trudged through a debilitating nervous breakdown. Through therapy and writing, she reclaimed her sanity. Sold her half of the business to the ex, and now she has clarity and choices. Renee is personally and financially independent. With her new found freedom, she chooses to write in a sincere effort to reconcile her past with her present. Hopefully, through this cathartic process, the second half of her life will be led by her soul's desire, rather than by the fears and doubts of her first half. Currently, she lives in South Orange County with her teenage son and daughter, and her high maintenance yet lovable dog, Joe. Soon to be an empty nester, she plans to downsize the big house in the OC bubble, for a bigger life in the real world. Her days are spent gently launching her almost grown children into adulthood, and passionately penning her memoir. In the mean time, you can find her essays on pain, positivity, and empowerment at: onedropofgrace.blogspot.com

  1. Oh Renee,

    I loved this piece, so full of tenderness, compassion and emotion.
    Beautifully written, and timely. What a perfect piece to fill the heart with ‘Joy’
    during the Holiday season. Thank you, and bravo for downsizing.

    X Jackie

  2. Deep sigh…Renée, this a heart-warming story of why we DO need each other. Yes, I believe Joy was brought to you (and your very warm, compassionate heart) for a reason. THIS is the reason for the season. Love–D.

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