March is National Women's History Month and the theme is Women Weaving Stories of Women's Lives. I'm sharing the story of a different woman from my books every day in March. Meet Janet (Hope) DeMarco.
Hope. We all need a little hope now and then. I, however, needed a lot. Have you ever had the experience of having your buttons all pushed at once, your last nerve stepped on? Well, you've heard all the cliches used to describe that moment when you decide you are through. You're not putting up with things the way they are for one more minute. It was an unfortunate series of events that led me to quit my job, change my name, color my hair and resign from my family roles.
I even posted a letter of resignation. And since other women have read my story, they've told me how much they'd like to post the same or a similar letter. I encourage them to do so. It was very freeing for me. Well, here--you'll see what I mean. (Of course, it was a shock to my husband and two teenagers.)
I quit. Effective immediately, I am no longer the cook, laundress, shopper, housekeeper, chauffeur, landscaper or resident problem-solver. Oh, I’m also not the banker or the ATM. I am, however, the instructor. Classes will begin tomorrow and seating is limited, so you should sign up early.
A cooking class will be conducted at five-thirty sharp. Bring your inquiring mind and appetite. A cook book will be available. On Saturday, I will offer two sessions—general housekeeping and laundry. Supplies will be provided. However, if you are attending the laundry session, please separate clothing into lights and darks and bring those with you. This class begins at nine a.m. in the basement.
Housekeeping will commence at ten, once you have mastered washing machine settings and drying times. Rubber gloves are recommended for those who have delicate skin or have had expensive manicures recently.
Other workshops, such as money-management, will be scheduled as needed and announcements will be posted. Don’t be late and get left out in the cold.
Janet R. DeMarco,
Wife, Mother, Person
(not necessarily in that order)
I took the name Hope. I didn't know why at the time, it was just a name I'd always liked. I needed to remake myself. I became a blonde. And I met the most interesting woman--Joy. We joked at times that we just needed one more person--Faith--to round out our trio. Joy had every reason to not be joyful and yet she'd made peace with herself and her life. Not everyone understood Joy's decisions. Even I had a hard time coming to terms with the way she lived. She was a complete conundrum to me, but she taught me so much about being true to oneself even when that makes no sense to everyone around you. Because in the end, you have to make sense to yourself. I went on a search for hope and became Hope. As an added benefit, my husband learned to cook, my kids learned to clean, and my son will make some lucky woman a wonderful husband one day. And my daughter is already asking those important questions I waited years to ask. Yes!