Reader Encounter #3

By: Feli Sebastian

I hosted my first book signing on a crisp, chilly but sunny September morning in the front yard of Labyrinth House on Monroe Street in Bloomington to honor the organization and bring my journey full circle. Since COVID-19 cases were on the rise, my audience was limited, and we were social distancing.

After my siblings and I finished setting up, my first group of friends and supporters arrived. Everyone was so happy to see each other and catch up with one another’s lives because we had all been isolated for several months.

Spread out on the sidewalk and on the street, I was able to mingle and chat with each one, many of whom I had not seen since Labyrinth Outreach was turned over to YWCA four years ago. It filled my heart to have so much support.

My supporters formed a line, and I signed their books. I knew each one by name until a couple in their mid-30s stood before me.

A little embarrassed that I could not remember their names or their faces, I had to admit that I do not know them. Timidly I said, “You’ll have to forgive me, but I can’t remember your names or where we met.”  

The woman replied, “We have never met, and you don’t know us.” She continued, “We are your neighbors. We live next door to Labyrinth.”  

Then she motioned for the man behind her to come close to the table and introduced her husband. “We saw all these people coming here and wanted to find out what was happening,” she added.  

“We saw your banner and heard you talk about the women.” And with a smile, she added, “We came to buy your book and support the women.”  

I was so touched by her words, my eyes watered. I would have given her a big hug but COVID spoiled the moment.  

I had many high points that day and my encounter with this supportive couple continues to warm my heart.  

I’m so grateful to each and every reader and supporter of Labyrinth.

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