Not alone.

by Shae on April 19, 2012

I notice her there outside the supermarket as I’m getting out of my car. I’ve ducked out for one thing, organic maple syrup for our waffles in the morning of all of the damn ridiculous white middle class things to be buying at 8pm on a Thursday night.

She is probably no older than me but she looks tired and she has three kids in tow. Similar ages to mine, but the youngest is not as old as Harper. They have a pram that is heavily laden down.

She stops me “excuse me? Have you got the time?”

I tell her it’s 8pm.

“Oh” she looks down “thanks”

I ask her if she is OK and her lip gets all quivery.

“Well, it’s just, I thought I’d be picked up by now”

I’m out by myself so I offer to give them a ride home. I’ve got the carseats after all and she lives only a few minutes away.

She very gratefully accepts, explaining that she would normally walk but the kids are very tired after a long day and it’s very dark.

We put all of her gear in the wagon and we set off. She asks if we can go through the drive thru on the way because the smallest hasn’t had dinner yet. No problem.

She then starts to talk to me. She tells me they’ve been at court all day because she hasn’t had access to her older kids because she had them so young. Her boy tells me from the backseat how excited he was to see his brother today. She tells me that she has been trying to get her license but she has so many bills and the Dad of these 3 took off and doesn’t help financially. She tells me that she seems to attract only assholes and hopes one day she can get married to a nice man who treats her and the kids well and who will help her.Β  She tells me she hopes to see more of her big kids as she is a good Mum now. Indeed the 3 kids who are with her are all lovely and clearly looked after and loved.

She asks me if I’m “churchy” and I tell her no, but I know what it’s like not to have a car.

I drop her off. The cheap part of town. We unload the car and she thanks me profusely.

I’m not writing this so people think I did anything special. I’d like to think that anyone who could, would make sure a Mother and her kids got home OK? Right? I really hope so.


But I cannot stop thinking about her. I got home and hugged my husband and cried and felt grateful that I have him and we have our life. Even when we were dirt poor we still had each other. When the bank took our first house because we couldn’t make the repayments and we were eating a lot of lentils we still had the love and support of our family and friends as well each other.Β  Sliding doors and all that.


I hope she finds her man. I hope she gets her license. I hope she gets more access to her bigger kids. I hope she can pay her bills.


But mostly I hope she isn’t alone





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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

miss.cinders April 19, 2012 at 9:55 pm

You are such a beautiful person Shae. Your heart is always open to anybody who you see needs it.

I hope she’s not alone too.

I’ve been there [although I have never lost any of my kids]. And it’s hard. It’s heart crushing. It’s like every day you get kicked in the guts when you don’t even deserve it.

You inspire me :)



Shae April 19, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Wow that is a lovely thing to say xoxo


Trish April 19, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I hope she isn’t alone either and she remembers that people (like you) care and she matters.
It was a lovely RAK Shae.


Renee | About a Bugg April 19, 2012 at 10:06 pm

I am seconding Miss Cinders above – you have a good heart Shae.

Life and be such a bitch and even harder if you have to face it alone. You would have made her week.


Megan @ Writing Out Loud April 20, 2012 at 6:50 am

That was a really kind thing you did – that simple action would have made such a difference to her day.

So many things to be grateful for here, too.


Mandy April 20, 2012 at 8:07 am

Shae that bought tears to my eyes. But you are so right. I remember at exactly the same time we found out we were not going to have our first baby, friends of our separated because the wife was having an affair. I remember him saying ‘I really feel for you guys, losing your baby’ but more so I remember thinking, man you have to walk out into that world alone now, me, I’ve still got my husband and more babies we will have / did. Alone is probably the worst feeling ever.


Laney @ Crash Test Mummy April 20, 2012 at 11:12 am

I wish that no one had to be alone. Really nobody should be. I’m glad there are still people like you in the community. If only the rest of the ‘community’ was a little more like-minded.


Miss Pink April 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm

I think what you did was beautiful and this woman will remember it for the rest of her life.


Nic April 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Wow. Off to hug my family, and never complain about what I ‘dont’ have.


kelley @ magnetoboldtoo April 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm

In my head I could hear your voice telling me that story.

In my mind I could see you driving with this woman and her kids and smiling and chatting.

I love that I know you. I love that there are people like you in the world.

I love that you are my friend.


Shae April 23, 2012 at 8:45 am

Naw Kel I love that we are friends too xoxo

Reply April 21, 2012 at 9:39 pm

I have to say that I think the same as you there. I feel for others in worse situations than mine… and I do what I can.
It’s wonderful to know there are others out there who feel the same.
I hope you’re very proud of yourself and can smile.


Naomi Bulger April 22, 2012 at 8:13 am

I had a similar ‘epiphany moment’ last night. All kinds of thoughts and memories rushed into my head just as I was drifting off to sleep and I was just so incredibly grateful for the loving, supported life I lead and especially for Mr B. I woke him up to remind him how much I loved him and how lucky I felt, which didn’t go down all that well as he was already asleep and snoring, but it had to be said.


Elissa Helberg April 22, 2012 at 11:18 pm

And more people felt strong enough to able to approach a stranger we might see that there are more in need of our support, trust and hope. Lovely choices bring us lovely joy.


Laura April 23, 2012 at 11:12 pm

This made me sad! I have been a single mom and I know those battles well and I know those bad choices remain with you always!

But like you said, I to, have an incredible support system. I may not have 100 people to call for help but the ones I do will always always be there without question.


Deb @ Bright and Precious April 26, 2012 at 8:35 am

I read this post the night you wrote it and for some reason didn’t get a chance to comment. Love your kind heart Shae. And love the love you have for your family. x


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