I wasn’t thinking of telling the women I’ll meet in India about what I thought of as my tenuous connection to them until my friend Cathy convinced me of it power.
It was the night I left my ex-husband. I was staying at a friends house and I had left him a note, saying I wasn’t coming back. I was terrified. Not of physical violence, but of the psychological and emotional impact the 22 year marriage left on me.
That night I lay in my friends guest room not knowing how I would get through the night. I had the book Sold, by Patricia McCormick with me and I started reading it. I would finish reading it the same night.
It’s the story of a girl kidnapped and sold into prostitution in India and how she escapes.
What I remember most about the book is when she made the decision to take the help that was offered her from rescuers she didn’t really know if she could trust or not. She was all alone in her decision and knew that if she was caught trying to escape her life would be even worse than it had already become.
But she took the risk, did what she had to do and did escape her captors.
Her story gave me courage. If she could go through the horrors that she did and still trust someone to help her and save herself, surely I could get out of a marriage that no longer worked for me.
I was thinking my story trite compared to the stories of the girls and women I’ll be meeting in India. But when Cathy explained how empowering it is to inspire someone just by being who we are and living the lives we live. I got it. And if the girls and women in Kolkata knew they had an impact on women in America to live a freer life, I imagine, it would only make them feel better about themselves
And I get that. It’s how I feel every time I get an email or letter telling me that I’ve inspired someone to do what the really want to do or create something new.
So when Jon came up with the idea of having people from our blogs send messages to the women I’ll be working with in Kolkata, I thought it a wonderful idea.
Because I was already thinking of all the donation and beautiful words I’ve already received and that I can take some of them with me to India to let the children and women there know about all the people, so far away, who really do care about them. The people who want them to have lives that are meaningful and happy. Who want to help.
And it seems this is another way to do it.
So if you’d like, you can send a message or card directly to the women and children of Kolkata that I’ll be working with and I’ll make sure they get them.
You can send them to me at PO Box 205 Cambridge NY 12816.
This isn’t about money, you don’t have to donate money to do this. This is about making a connection between people. About people from very different places inspiring and supporting each.