The Unsung Heroes Who Enrich My Life
I was crying, but it was important to me that she hear what I had to share. Even if it made both of us a bit uncomfortable.
Between sobs I confided:
“Kathy, all the years that I’ve come to see you…there were many, many months that no one touched me. There’s no way that you could have known that. [I’d been married the entire time I’d been seeing her.] But I’ve come to realize that I crave touch. The neglect, the lack of physical touch starts to drive a person crazy.”
I continued, still crying really hard:
“I knew at least once a month I would really be touched. Knowing that you would massage my face, shoulders, back, and hands…it kept me sane.”
“I want you to know that I’m getting divorced. And that you’ve played a saving role in taking care of me over these many years.”
“I need you to know how much YOU have helped me. It goes beyond facials! Beyond taking care of my skin.”
“You’ve taken care of ME!”
I’m sure that Kathy was shocked. But she only conveyed serenity and gratitude.
She is a stunningly gorgeous women but her interior beauty elevates her to being one of the most striking humans I’ve ever known.
Humble, patient, gently honest, and unfailingly kind, I’m blessed that I found her 15 years ago.
I never could have guessed that she’d become a confidant — whether it was about my unhappy marriage, my struggles as a parent, vanity about my skin and aging, or dating debacles.
She’s been one of my quiet but resolute cheerleaders all these years!
My pending move brings about many emotions.
But wrapped up in those concerns and worries is my unfailing gratitude for the cast of characters who have intersected with my life here in Austin since I moved back in 2003.
The guys and gals who help me feel special, healthy, and pretty!
It may seem shallow. (In fact, I almost didn’t write this story for fear that I would sound vapid, vain, and superficial.*)
But it’s important to me to publicly acknowledge my glam squad — Alyssa, Carol, Kathy, Rachel, and Jenny — as well as other special people in my life.
These women haven’t just given me facials or peels or pedicures or haircuts.
They have supported me during dark times, some of the loneliest moments of my life.
With family over 1000 miles away and most of my closest friends nowhere near Austin, I’ve only had the smallest group of friends locally. And of course I’m SO grateful for my dear local friends!
But the truth is my support team expands beyond the typical definition of “friends.”
On the one hand, I’m horrified to acknowledge that I have a glam squad. Heck, I was a tomboy till I was about 12! I’m a minimalist with my make-up and hair.
But, yes, I have my vanities, too.
And I’ve assembled the most amazing group of women who celebrate my desire to be true to myself while fighting aging at least a smidge!
Over the past 15 years, they’ve given me advice about healing from my divorce, listened to my parenting woes, encouraged my writing on Medium, and commiserated regarding my dating foibles.
The truth is…I have these unsung, unlikely heroes in my life who hug me, who ask about my son, who hope that I’ll find a great guy, who sincerely want the very best for me.
Supportive folks exist everywhere!
My chiropractor who has set me up, listened to my life’s woes, and shared in dating horror stories.
He aligns my and my son’s backs, keeping us feeling better and headache free.
One of my favorite people in Austin is the owner at the Seven-Eleven on Far West Boulevard. He gives me free Cherry Cokes! He gives me a sweet hug and big smile whenever I swing by. Even though he’s busy, he always takes time to chat with me.
I bring him and some of the other workers homemade treats and chocolate from my European travels. And in return I get cheerful greetings, laughter, and genuine friendship.
The fabulous ladies, especially Tina and Lindsay, at Lilly Pulitzer at the Domain. Chelsea at Coach at Barton Creek.
I openly acknowledge that fashion can be frivolous and indulgent.
Nonetheless, these women have been incredibly supportive of me!
Tina has helped me with many life changing decisions, including my upcoming move to Mississippi.
All of these women know my sense and style. They want me to look pretty…and more importantly feel beautiful!
I always feel better after seeing them. Every. single. time.
Don’t we all have people who aren’t family and aren’t even friends per se who bring joy to our lives? Who take care of us? Who make our lives better?
Granted, your people might not be estheticians, pedicurists, and fashion experts.
Maybe they’re co-workers or neighbors or the barista or your running/yoga/workout buddies or pharmacist or the delivery guy.
It doesn’t really matter who your team includes.
Rather, it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate them. To recognize the beauty that these people give to our lives!
My life has been enriched by a diverse cross-section of people. Over the years I’ve told them that I appreciate them.
I’ve never taken them for granted, but now that my time in Austin is drawing to a close, I savor my time with them even more.
None of these amazing people are on Medium, so I’m not even sure if they’ll read this story. But maybe that doesn’t matter either.
There’s a deep satisfaction in publicly acknowledging the wonderful people in my life…
And beyond that, hoping that my story today might resonate with others.
Maybe you’re blessed with unlikely heroes like me. Or maybe you ARE one of those cheerleaders for someone else.
If you’re really lucky, you have unsung heroes AND you’re someone else’s unsung hero!
I hope you’ll share in the comments section the unexpected people who make your life better!
*This story by Jonathan Greene compelled me to write this story despite my reservations. This message and the people in this story matter to me!
Until her 40’s, Bonnie’s worst nightmare included writing and sharing personal stories publicly. At her friends’ suggestion, she bemusedly started Bonnie’s Mixed Tape on Medium in 2017. She remains shocked that anyone reads her stories and that P.S. I Love You, the Writing Cooperative, Redoubtable, and the Ascent have published her work.
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Thank you for reading this story
I know you are busy and have lots of ways you could be spending your time. You using your time to read my work means the world to me — my sincerest thanks!