Sometimes when people take time to share, the results are inspiring.
Every once in a while, a sparkle of light shines through the clouds. In the midst of a trying deadline, an email arrived from a reader. She shared why Tidewater Women means so much to her, and her words made my heart sing. I hope she doesn’t mind that I include an abbreviated version of her letter below.
Good Afternoon, Ms. Sijswerda,
I was tickled and taken aback when I stumbled upon your column entitled “Safe Harbor,” celebrating 20 years of success with your magazine, Tidewater Women.
I’ve been a single mom of three lovely daughters for over 15 years. When I first happened upon Tidewater Women, I was newly divorced and had been temporarily separated from my job.
Coming out of a local convenience store, I saw a magazine rack. The title of your publication got my attention…..Tidewater Women. I grabbed one and took it home, and to my surprise, it opened a door to stories of women in Hampton Roads, just like me, making strides and moving forward.
The activities and events calendar made a huge difference in my life. It gave me, at a glance, a list of things going on around my community that I could participate in with or without my daughters. Instead of searching for things to do, staying secluded, and hiding from the public, wearing the stigma of being another black female with children—divorced, I saw an opportunity to gain quality time with my daughters; to create memories; to crawl out of my shell and align myself with others; to chat, exhale, share, and face together the everyday occurrences in the lives of women.
As time would pass, the girls grew up and my life has gone in many different directions. With many ups and numerous downs, I find myself in a place where my gifts and talents are now making room for me. Or should I say, I’m realizing them and making room to share them with others!
Today, as I write, I marvel at the fact that a shy little country girl, a lover of words, conversation, family, community, and fashion, would be called to write, forever changed by these gifts and talents that I believe started to stir as a result of the time I spent picking up and reading Tidewater Women.
I salute you and thank you for making a difference in my life as well as my future!
If you’ve enjoyed Tidewater Women over the years, please share your story. I’d love to know how TW has impacted your life. I’d also like to personally invite business owners to consider advertising with us. I know you have many choices regarding where you spend your marketing dollars, but when you support Tidewater Women, you are lifting up and encouraging women like Jaé and countless others who find inspiration and courage to keep moving forward in the pages of Tidewater Women.
Without our advertisers, your hands would be empty right now.
Thanks so much, Jaé, for writing your letter and sharing what Tidewater Women has meant to you over the years. Thanks to all of our readers and advertisers. With your help and support, we’ll be around for years to come.