Growing up we lived in LA - and I spent a lot of time with my cousin Jim. Jim was a bit older than me and it wasn't long before he was waaaaaaay older. I was still all Barbie's and Pretty Ponies and he was flipping through VW Beetle magazines and arguing with his Dad over getting his license.
As a kid I had little understanding of the idea that one didn't marry their first cousin- unless of course they are a member of the Royal Family or living in Texas (it's legal there... did you know that?) - so.... *I* really wanted to grow up and marry Jim.
Jim was a California surfer boy through and through with his floppy brown hair and year-round tanned skin.... he was my idea of *dreamy*.
Sadly..... Jim didn't grow up to marry me - he married Natalie instead. They had a *wonderful* Boy of their own, almost the same age as mine. I've only met Natalie a few times, and really only once before El Capitan left.
However, after I posted on Facebook that El Capitan had cheated and we were getting divorced, Natalie was one of the first people to text me. She texted me in the morning to see how I slept - give me encouraging words for the day. She would send me funny jokes and say dirty, nasty things about El Capitan and La Novia in an attempt to make me laugh.
Then at night - when most people were busy with putting kids to bed and spending time with their own husbands (understandable... lol) - Natalie would be there texting me to see how I was.
It was truly amazing to me that she would make time for me in her day - never forgetting about me and what I was going through. She was my cheerleader and a hand to hold and a shoulder to cry on.... only a text away. So... yeah - needless to say, I was kind of getting over the fact that she married my "future husband". lol
Last week Natalie posted the photos above ..... her car had been broken into in the parking lot of the school she works at. Worst of all - Her Boy was there and saw the damage and was having nightmares that night about people breaking in and taking their stuff. :(
Natalie's purse and allllll of it's contents: money, gift cards, etc.... was all gone. Not to mention the expense of having to replace the busted out window. She was distraught. I was instantly heartbroken for both of them... what a violating thing for her son to see.
Now.... back up to TWO weeks ago and I was straightening up the garage where some of our stuff is .... ummm artfully stuffed. lolol..... it's supposed to be the "stuff" I thought we would "need", so it didn't go to storage, but it selfishly takes up one half of a two car garage (you don't know want to know how big the storage unit is that the kids and I have... holy f*ck it's massive. sigh....)
Anyhow - it was all leaning and toppling over so I went out there to sort through some of it and keep it form falling over and I found a lot of stuff I had forgotten about, which was funny because I remember keeping ALLLLLL this stuff: it was important! We needed it!
and yet.... most if it I haven't looked at - haven't even *thought* about it for a months now.
Those are some *serious* First World Problems right there.
One of the bags I found had a collection of sweatshirts and scarves and a purse - that had all been hanging on the back of our front door. When I first looked in the bag, it smarted just a little bit. The Girls' Hello Kitty sweatshirt, The Boy's Skeleton sweatshirt.... markers of a time gone by - a time that existed *before* we became a family living in Two Houses.
Whether *I'm* happier now or not.... is irrelevant. It's hard to think about that time - when the kids world was whole and happy and without 'divorce'..... it was a shock to my system to open that back and suddenly be standing back on my living room and seeing those sweatshirts hanging on that back our family's front door.
Also in the bag was a black Coach bag that I had carried at the time. I hadn't had it long - so I pulled it out of the bag in the garage and it was still practically brand new. I loved that bag.... but I tucked it back into the plastic bag with the too-small sweatshirts and placed it on top of a few boxes.
Jenny-Jen-Jen bought me a Thirty One purse for our LA trip in August, and I usually just carry that now....
So... move back up a week to Natalie's post, the first thing I thought about when I saw her car window smashed in and her read that her purse was stolen .... was that *I* had the perfect purse to send her.
The next day I took my purse to the mail place and boxed it up to send to Natalie, but it wouldn't get there in time for Mother's Day - so I posted a picture on facebook for her to see what was on it's way.
I didn't really think about it - I mean I didn't really need the purse, I have one. I wasn't using it - and it's awful pretty... too pretty to sit, forgotten about in my garage.
I was expecting it.... but that same person who had been there for me allllllll those months. All those texts she took the time to send - those were minutes out of every single day - minutes that she spent thinking about ME - praying for me - being there for me.... she gave me soooooo much of her Mommy time and her Wife time and her Working time..... every day.
She was always there for me with her time and her words and her feelings..... all I did was put a purse in a box and ship it to her.... and yet, the next text I got from her said:
"I'm crying too much to text..... thank you."
Turns out.... Natalie had never owned a Coach bag. WHAT?
Now.... *that's* a First World Problem for sure... lololol and one I was *happy* to fix for her.
Then she texted me this: "Wait... do I have to trade you Jim for the purse? I'm not saying I won't be willing, I just want to know first."
Needless to say - Carhartt isn't easily replaceable.... and of course, I'm fully aware now that one doesn't marry their first cousin - but I thought it was sweet of Natalie to offer.
There are soooooo many lessons I have learned in the last year - not the least of which is that *things* don't mean anything. Things are just things.... they fill up a storage unit and clutter our minds .... it's just *stuff*. People are what matter - people who have been there for us and will be there for us - they matter. I can't afford to buy Natalie a new Coach purse, or replace her stolen money or cards..... I think it's very kind of her to accept a used Coach bag and be so f*cking excited about it that she posted on facebook tonight that she just keeps holding and stroking the bag 'because it's so pretty'. lololol
Woman and purses..... lol
There will always be more things..... but there won't always be more people in our lives who we can trust and lean on and find support in. My purse was only a teeny-tiny token of alllll that I owe Natalie.
Even if she did steal my 'future husband'...... lol :)