Women of Tidal

Spread the love

 “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”  Matthew 18:20
Reminiscing about my hometown of Tidal, PA tonight.  Particularly the women of Tidal.  Specifically, my Mom and her friends.  Which, when you live in a village the size of Tidal, everyone is your friend.  I was watching a documentary on Serena Williams.  She talked about how where you’re from makes you who you are.  I am so glad I’m from Tidal.  I have learned more from my friends in that village than I have anywhere else in the world.  So grateful for them.
I started thinking about them because I was helping a friend clean her house after a hectic holiday weekend.  We hadn’t seen each other in a week.  It was a fun way to catch up.   As I was cleaning I started thinking how many times I had seen friendship modeled for me this way.
I think of Neet taking me into her house after I fell and scraped my knee running to catch the school bus.  Helping my Mom make sure I got to school on time.  I think of everyone gathering together to can food for the winter or make apple butter at the church.  I think of Mary rallying the troops to help give my Mom the most amazing birthday.  It had been over 30 years since our family lived there.  I have never seen a better spread than the one the women of Tidal prepared for my Mom that day.
As I reflected on this from a mid-life perspective I began to understand how incredibly special this is.  It’s not something you find just anywhere.  People don’t help people like that anymore.  I barely know my neighbors.  I have met and do know all of their names.  However our schedules are so different, I rarely see them.  None of them come and borrow a cup of sugar.   It’s just not the same.  It’s not bad, it’s just different.
The Tidal women, they are all still a part of my life.  Mary and her husband bought my childhood home.  Just a couple of years ago she sent me the writings I did on the walls of the attic.  My favorite retreat.  Neet still lives in the house beside her at the bottom of the hill, across from Vivian.  Charlotte’s grand daughter now lives in her house.  They have never stopped being my friend.  They never let distance get in the way.  If I need them, I know they are there.
I shared this with my friend tonight.  She made the comment, “It feels good to accomplish something together.”  I immediately agreed, then realized it’s how we accomplish anything, together.  That’s how we accomplish life, together.
We were never meant to do this life alone.  God always intended for us to do it together.  The key is paying attention to who needs help.  People are not going to ask.  Pride gets in the way.  I’m guilty of this myself.  I explained to my friend tonight about the beauty of living in Tidal.  Because it’s so small.  Because everyone knows everyone.  No one needs to ask for help.  They know because they see it.
They saw it when my Dad was taken to the hospital and my Mom needed someone to take care of the kids.  They saw it when my sister battled cancer and needed someone to sit with her at chemo.  They saw it when my Dad died and my Mom lost the love of her life.  They saw it.  They knew we needed help then.  No one had to tell them.
In my life today, people don’t see it.  I don’t know if it’s because they are too busy.  I don’t know if it’s because we live in such a densely populated area it’s easy to hide.  I don’t know why.  Probably because it’s hard to ask for help.  But if there is one thing I’ve learned in my 49 years of life, everyone needs help.  It’s just a matter of finding out what kind of help they need.
I learned that from the women of Tidal.  Women, I’m grateful to call my role models.

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