love wins

In an email from my mom not so long ago she praised my writing and mentioned that she didn’t know how I did it.

Besides making me smile all day (I like praise from my parents…it makes me uncomfortable, but I like it), it made me think.

I really don’t think I always had this talent.  Or at least it was just waiting around because my life was way too boring write about.

Until recently.

As in the past six years.

I’ve been blogging for almost four years and until I decided to talk about my depression, all my readers were friends and family whom I begged and harassed to read my blog (I am sure most of them do NOT miss the mass emails of PLEASE READ MY BLOG).

And then I started sharing about our other hardships:  Cort’s job loss, my over-commitment to jobs, Cort’s dad’s death, his grandpa’s death, our miscarriages…

There are my stories to tell now. And I love to tell them because not only have I found some much-needed support, but I have been able to honestly talk about things other people can’t.  I have been a voice for the silent.

But those stories are sad.  And it is draining to put myself out there with them.

And sometimes those sad stories get the best of me.

And they take over my brain and make me feel useless and overwhelmed and hurting.

They open a door for depression to creep out of its locked cage and seep into everything I do, whispering about my inadequacies, poking at my doubts, pouring salt into my already bleeding weaknesses.

When this happens? I fall into a big, dark pit and I can’t get out…

…until something happy happens.

And I don’t mean happy like me winning a Mod Tots giveaway (which I did…and yes, I am happy.  In fact I was sweating and shaking I was so excited).

Or happy like getting paid for my writing…writing that means so much to me.

Or happy like getting asked to contribute to someone’s blog or finding that someone is recognizing you on their blog.

All of those things are awesome.  They are huge.  I am blessed beyond words.

But somehow?  That big deep hole in my heart?  Needs something more.  Something bigger than me.

I have to do something to get out of the hole.  Nobody can pull me out.

Today I did that thing.

I am the senior class adviser at my school which means I am in charge of making sure seniors who wish to participate in the graduation ceremony order their caps and gowns.

Even without all the “extra” stuff, the basic package is still almost $50 with shipping and tax.

Did I mention I teach in a Title 1 school?  Not many of our kids have $50 lying around.

For the most part, the company that we go through works with them to get a payment plan together.

Today, though, another teacher and I were helping a senior get his stuff together.  A senior who has been through more in his 18 years than I can ever think to go through in my whole life.

I don’t want to go into specifics, but he has to work and go to school and support himself–completely.  As in living accommodations, bills, groceries, transportation–everything we as adults do.  Plus he NEEDS to finish high school.

He is a GOOD kid.

He doesn’t need to be saved or bailed out.

He needs to be loved.

Today another teacher and I bought his cap and gown.  He doesn’t know one of the contributors was me.  He doesn’t need to know.

I looked him in the eye and told him it was taken care of by someone who loves him and wants to see him step across that stage.

He asked me to tell the person thank you…and that he wouldn’t let him/her down.

Even if he doesn’t graduate and my money goes to an empty cap and gown?  that is not the point to me.

The point is that he felt love today.  because I know some days he goes without feeling any.

And doing that?  Giving my heart to a boy who just needs the love of a mom?

That pulled me out of my funk.

I’m back.


speaking of my writing, I am really excited about this big announcement at the Red Dress Club.

We are starting a memoir writing prompt each Friday (with a link up on Tuesdays).  Since the majority of the writing I do is memoir-style, I hope you will all enjoy my contributions to this.

And for those of you with a blog?  I hope that you would join in.  I would love to read your {true} stories!

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. I love this, Kate. Sometimes blogging is a double edged sword; you need it to get the poison out of your soul but bringing it out sometimes starts the downward spiral. I get it. As a anxiety/depression/PPD/A ridden hot mess, I totally get it.
    What you did for that boy was so awesome and I’m sure he’ll remember it for the rest of his life. Sometimes it’s the little things that keep us out of our hole. Good for you! 🙂

  2. I love that you did this. This totally warms my heart.

  3. Isn’t it amazing what giving love can do. That was a wonderful thing you and the other teacher did. I’m sure it’s something he’ll remember always.
    More hugs your way!

  4. This brought tears to my eyes. You are wonderful, glad we’re friends, friend.

  5. You.
    You’ve done something great here!
    More than you will ever know.
    You’ve made a huge impact on him.
    And he on you.
    Well done.

  6. Love that. And especially love that it’s brought your happy back.

    Also really excited about the memoir prompt.

  7. Beautiful. Simply Beautiful.

  8. THIS is the reason we teach (though lately, it has seemed like the snow days are.). Thank you for doing this. Thank you for showing love to someone when they needed it. And, thank you for posting.
    I’ve been in a funk lately and I feel like I’m slipping back into a depression hole. I think this post was just what I needed.

  9. Somehow I know that kid will instinctively pay it forward. Your act of kindness and love will more than likely have long lasting and widespread effects. And while I am not currently depressed, I have been before, and I know that sometimes a simple act such as this one really does begin to turn the tide.

  10. What a great thing you did, Katie! You are awesome!

  11. You remind me of a teacher I once had…I missed most of my Senior year of HS. Needeless to say I had a ton of work as well as my Senior Project. I wasn’t really living anywhere and had no place to really call home. At graduation girls had to wear dresses, I was working to support myself and there was NO “extra” money for a dress. So this amazing teacher took me out of school one afternoon, we went and had lunch and then we went shopping! We bought my graduation dress. To me, to this day, it is still one of the most precious gifts I have ever received from someone. I will forever remember the kindness of a teacher who didn’t have to buy me lunch or a dress. I still have the dress (I can no longer fit into it) however, it is one of those things that I will never git rid of, it means way to much to me. I think that teacher’s don’t truly understand how far a simple act of kindness goes in a student’s life. For that I thank you!

  12. You are amazing – a wonderful writer, parent, teacher, and friend. It warms my heart that you and your colleague were able to reach out and touch this student with what seems like such a small gesture.

  13. Such a wonderful thing you did. Things like this, people like you are waht’s good in the world. 🙂

  14. I am a new reader to your blog, and I just wanted to say what a beautiful post this is. My Mom was a guidance counselor in a school that had families from less than fortunate backgrounds, and to this day, we still run into children in the mall that thank my Mom for our hand-me-down clothes, etc… A little bit goes a long way. That is awesome that you helped that student!

  15. Ohhh…this is so awesome! I’m getting all teary. I’m a sucker for things like that. I’ve tried to do things like that for people when I can, too. Because people have been there for me when I needed it & I know how very much it means.


    I blame the pregnancy hormones for the tears. Ahem.

    Also? The memoir posts on TRDC? That’s exciting! I can DO that! I’ve wanted to participate for a while – this writing thing is something I want to develop & take more seriously – and that gives me a more comfortable starting point. Yay! 🙂

  16. And what a come back it is!! This is a touching story and it will stay with this young man for the rest of his days…

  17. You are a beautiful caring soul my friend. XoXo

  18. That was great! I know I have often realized that I need to get outside myself to get over my self. I don’t know if that makes sense? I am not saying anyone doesn’t need meds or counseling or all of that. I am just saying that making a difference in the life of someone else resets our view and our attitude and you did that!

    so YEAH! BABY! YOU WIN!!

    that is all

  19. you make me happy today!

  20. All I can say is…WOW! Good for you. That is an awesome thing you did. Inspiring actually.

    I’ve been reading your blog for some time now, but this is my firt time commenting. Love your stuff.

  21. Totally brought tears to my eyes! What an awesome gesture & so cool of you to do.

  22. This is beautiful, and such a fantastic example of how when we help others, we also help ourselves. You’re clearly a special person and I’m looking forward to getting to know you better.

  23. Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.

  24. You are a good person. That boy is very lucky to have someone who cares about him. I know the feeling of doing good for others.Everyone should open their hearts to others. I really enjoyed this post!

  25. Kate you have a HUGE heart. It makes me happy to hear about people doing nice things for others without looking for any glory for themselves. I am glad that I have had the opportunity to become your friend and not just your best friend’s sister.

    Love you and your wonderful little family,


  26. You have an amazing heart. I worked in a school where the kids don’t have a lot of extra anything, so it’s nice to be able to give anonymously so they feel loved. How incredible.


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