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A Support Structure and the Story Behind it

Wista Waldroop
Tahlequah OK USA
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 37 No. 5, October-November 2001, p. 105

We were on the edge of the room so our table did not have very many people, just five of us: Kathy Triick, Edna Meeks, Wista Waldroop, Suzy Landreth, and Christina Vinters. We were surrounded by empty tables as those table members moved up to join other tables. We stayed in our empty corner of the room because we had bonded!

Our table was assigned the question, "What does support mean to you?" We tossed around the question, all the while individually playing with the craft materials provided on the table. Then I began to get a mental picture of "support" using the pipe cleaners and the paper cups to create a bridge of some sort. I convinced the others that we could do a better job of illustrating support if we really built something than if we just talked about support and wrote a summary on paper. In real life, "support" consists of many facets; there is no one thing than is more important than another. In working together to build our structure, we illustrated this concept. We each worked separately yet together; we supported each other.

Since I am not artistically inclined, I was the main gatherer of craft materials from the empty tables around us. Each table held a variety of craft materials to help inspire creativity: construction paper, pipe cleaners, play dough, and stickers. 'We had no scissors or glue or tape and had to improvise.

As our bridge formed, we discussed other ideas about support. We ultimately answered the question "What does support mean to you?" with a visualization built with teamwork and support of each other's ideas. Our story went this way:

The blackness illustrates the time before a mother finds LLL; she feels unsupported in her choices and alone in a cruel world. Then she climbs the steps and makes her first venture onto the support system of LLL. As she walks along, she is supported by our bridge of information, and kept from falling into the "shark infested bottle waters" below. As she walks along with other mothers, babies, families, they keep each other going the right direction on the bridge, heading for the light at the other end. Then they reach the "utopia of LLL," where there is light and color representing all the information and support that LLL has to offer mothers. And that is how we see support!

Wista Waldroop of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, USA has been an LLL member for 23 years and a LLL Leader for 21 years; she is currently Division Leader Department Coordinator for the USWD (United States Western Division). Kathy Triick, of Mayville, Wisconsin, USA has been an LLL member for 19 years and a Leader for 16 years; she is currently ALLA (Area Leaders Letter Advisor) for the USWD. Suzy Landreth of Lincoln, Nebraska, USA is currently ACL (Area Coordinator of Leaders) for Nebraska, USA. Edna Meeks, from Houston, Texas, USA is a 20 year LLL member, a Leader for 19 years, and is currently Division Coordinator of Leaders for the USWD. Christina Vinters lives in Toronto, Canada and has been a LLL Canada member since the birth of her son, Niko, 18 months ago. She has just recently become a Leader Applicant and is also volunteering with LLL on the Chaordic Initiative.

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