Every woman knows there’s nothing like the sisterhood, especially in times of crisis.
This week one woman in a mid-north town in New South Wales discovered this for herself, when her friend presented her with the most incredible gift.
Mother-of-three Jess Palmer learnt that a fellow school mum, and a friend of three years, had woken on Saturday morning to be told by her partner that he was leaving her and her two children.
Speaking to Mamamia, Palmer explained what happened:
“My friend was completely in love with her partner. They had been together for about eighteen months, and we all thought he was her ‘penguin’, because she’d met him after a bad marriage and he made her happy.
But on Saturday morning, he got up early for work and said to her before he left, ‘I can’t take this anymore. I’m leaving you and the kids’.”
Jess got a text message from her devastated friend, who was concerned more for her daughter, nine, and son, seven, than she was for herself.
But that’s what concerned Jess the most.
“I thought, she’s got to look after herself. She won’t be able to look after the kids if she’s a wreck. And so I wanted her to know that I’d be there for her no matter what.”
Determined to show her unconditional support, Jess decided to send a ‘break up survival kit’ – but an exceptionally personal one.
She went to Kmart to grab everything she needed, and then went home to write a beautiful, heartfelt note to accompany it.
When Jess presented the gift to her friend yesterday, she told her, “Read the note first.”
The note started, "To my beautiful friend," and explained in detail what every item in the kit was - and what it represented:
"Face masks - to hide from the world when you need to.
Candle - to light up the darkness.
Bandaids - to remind you the hurt will heal.
Rubber bands - to help you bounce back.
Gum - to remind you that we will always stick by you.
Mascara - because he made your eyes run.
Glitter - to add some sparkle back into your life.
Paper clips - to hold everything together.
Book - to transport you to another world.
Shampoo - to wash that man right out of your hair."
Jess then posted a photo of the note and the basket in the Kmart Mums Facebook page.
"I was teary writing the note - it took me a couple of goes to do it," she admitted.
"But I wanted to share it because we shouldn't be tearing each other down. I wanted to inspire other women to help build their friends up. Because relationships end all the time, and we have to be there for each other."
And how did Jess's friend react?
"She was overwhelmed with emotion. She cried tears of sadness, but I also think tears of happiness that someone cared that much," Jess said. But the amazing friend didn't think twice about her actions.
"I don't see it as going above and beyond - that's what friends do."
The post was liked in the Facebook group 5000 times, and received more than 300 comments.
One member wrote, "That’s what a true friendship is about. So lucky to have a friend like that one in a million."
Another noted, "It's women like you who help women move forward. You are a gem."
There were also comments from women who had been in a similar situation:
"There needs to be more people in the world like you! It really is the little things that count.... I lost the majority of my friends when my son died, nobody knew how to deal... All I needed was the little things that show you care :)"
"What a blessing, my partner left me with two girls at home after 15 years together and we were shattered, I think what you have done is beautiful, so lovely to know that someone is thinking of you when you're facing challenges!!"
"I was left with $50 to my name and a four year old. His father then came and took my car away ( I eventually got it back) and not ONE of my friends came to my aid. You are wonderful."
We agree that Jess is wonderful, indeed.