She and a few other grad school friends of mine have been an immense source of support for me during this hard time. They have patiently listened to me while I rant, they have offered kind words, and above all... they have been comfortable with my silence and given me the space to reach out to them however and whenever I have wanted to.
I love them!
Every time I look around the corner when I am lost or scared, there they are.
Rebecca attends this rally and then emails me the next day about running into an organization called the National Lawyers Guild in NYC. It was through their resources that I found Deborah Lagutaris.
When I reached out to Deb, I was beyond broken.
I was tired and I was ready to give up and give in.
I didn't see much hope and I honestly didn't expect much from her.
Now, where do I start talking about Deb?
We spoke on the phone and I explained my situation to her, all the while trying not cry. Deb heard me patiently and said, "I will work on this with you. Please don't worry." She was also honest with me about her fees and made sure I was alright before proceeding further. I then sent her a few documents and she began working on my legal paperwork right away.
Because of my horrible experiences with finding legal help and because of being ripped off by organizations who claimed they could help me, I was skeptical about Deb in the beginning. I didn't tell anyone about her. Not even Rebecca. I even wondered if I had made another mistake by trusting her.
Naivety had me feeling stupid not too long ago.
But Deb was real.
Deb was actually helping me.
She stayed in touch with me for the next few days and held my hand and got me through a significant legal hurdle. Even though the hurdle is somewhat behind me, Deb continues to assist me.
It was an emotional experience.
I am glad she was with me.
Above all, I am glad she is genuine.
When I met Deb, we spoke about our lives and our experiences and Deb also spoke briefly about a significant loss in her life.
We were able to connect with each other through our grief and through many unspoken words.
Deb was there for me at a time when people haughtily turned their backs toward me. She was the one person who was willing to stand by me, listen to me, and make sure she did her best to help me out, like she said she would.
When people are grieving, struggling through a recent trauma, have had a significant loss in their lives, or experiencing any other life altering transitions, there is really not much they need other than a listening ear, a willing heart, compassion, and people who keep their word when they say they are going to do something. I am not sure if this is true of everyone, but it is for me.
Oh...I also need hugs. Lots of them.
I am fragile at the moment, and trust is important to me.
Deb gained my trust and she keeps my trust.
I cannot thank you enough for everything you have done for me and the girls, dear Deb.
Jesse would've loved to to meet you and he thanks you as well.
If you are interested, you can learn more about Deb and her services here http://aardvarklegalsf.org/aa/
Side note: Advocacy is important, not only for yourself, but also for the community you live in. You never know who you will run into and who you might end up helping in return.
Jesse, Priya, Isis and Maya in the belly saying thank you.