My Leap List

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Tribute to the Women in my Life

     Mother's Day always makes me sad for all of the things I didn't have in my past.  Tonight I realized when you don't have a great role model, you have to find your own.  I am blessed with wonderful women that teach me everything I need to know about life.
     My sister Tammy is an amazing woman.  While raising three beautiful, strong and independent young women, she helps run a gymnastics business, writes and performs music, creates original artwork at a glass blowing studio, and still finds time for anyone in need.  She randomly buys candy bars for the cashiers at the store to make their days a little better.  She stops and helps people on the streets and sends care packages to people when they are feeling down.  Although she faces her own demons and struggles, she faces the world head-on and doesn't back down from doing what needs to be done.  I owe so many parts of who I am to her.
     Colleen is my friend next door at work.  I love her strength.  Before I knew her, I didn't have strong women role models in my life.  I saw women deferring to society, men, and what we are "supposed" to be.  I thought strong women were a B word like...bad.  Colleen is a strong woman, but she never abuses her power.  She will stand up for herself and the people in her life.  She stands up for what is right and never backs down.  She adopted a beautiful girl from another country and became a single mother because she wanted to be a mother and wasn't willing to compromise on what she needed from the men in her life.  I am a stronger woman because of her.  Thanks to her, I have learned a woman's strength is a beautiful thing when it is used to change the world for the better.
     Stephanie is one of my oldest friends.  I have always admired her ability to be true to herself.  Even in high school she was able to say what she thought, dress how she wanted, and be who she was without spending time worrying about what the world thought about it.  She is the exact opposite of me.  She is one of the greatest role models in my life.  As I watch her protest injustices for everyone, not just the safe to defend people that don't get you in trouble when you support them, I am awestruck.  When I write here and begin editing myself, I think of her and stop censoring myself.  Watching her put her dreams on hold so she can take care of her ailing parents makes me love her even more.  Steph makes me proud to be a woman.
     I am fortunate to work with Kandi.  She can make you laugh at anything and everything.  She has a special light that makes you feel happy just to be around her.  The kids at school love her, but she never lets them get away with anything.  She is like a Pied Piper.  The kids and adults in school are always flocked around her with smiles.  She goes out of her way to make people feel good.  You might find out later that she was sick or tired or stressed or busy, but you would never know it.  She is totally focused on you in the moment and gives freely of herself.  You never feel like you have been a bother to her.  She inspires me to be a better human being.
     Patti D. is a writer, a mom, a public speaker, a blogger, and a woman extrordinairre.  Every time she goes through a rough time, she turns it inside out to be a beautiful experience to help others.  By sharing her lowest moments, she lends me a beacon to see through my own tragedies.  I have never heard her utter or write a negative word about anyone or anything.  She is always focused on the lesson to learn and the beauty through the pain.  In a torrential rainstorm, Patti would put on her vegan boots and dance in the rain until the rainbow came out.
      Amy M. is my favorite Facebook friend.  This amazing woman saves the world, or at least her small part of it.  She works tirelessly to save lost, abandoned, and injured pets.  She raises money for RAL and dedicates infinite hours to making animals' lives better.  In her free time she helps raise money and awareness for people with cystic fibrosis.  When a cute little girl was struggling in the hospital, Amy stayed with her and gave her cute disguises for her breathing tubes.  Amy gave her a leash for the cute puppy waiting to be hers as soon as she left the hospital.  When she was worried about passing her check up, Amy took her shopping.  They bought matching outfits so Amy could take over if the breathing test was a struggle.  Amy has been through some of the worst moments you can imagine.  Her childhood was a lot like mine, but she shares her past honestly and compassionately for everyone involved.   Amy always looks on the bright side of life, and never lets herself turn bitter and cold.  When winter depression rears it's head, she asks all of us to send pictures every Sunday at 6 to brighten the dark winter nights.  When I begin to feel sorry for myself, I think of Amy and stop.  She is my Phoenix and reminds me I can rise above the ashes of my life.
         My grandma is my role model for grace.  Watching her age has shown me the woman I want to be in the future.  When I start to criticize my gray hairs and wrinkles, I think of her and smile at the woman I see in the mirror.  I want to age with dignity and grace.  The poem "Warning" by Jenny Joseph begins with the lines, "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me..."  This poem has always reminded me of her and who I want to be as a wise woman at the end of my life.
     Amanda is my pride and my joy.  I never knew how wisdom could be held in a sixteen-year-old body.  Whenever I get side tracked and lose my way, she always says the words that lead me back to myself.  She sees through the masks we wear and sees us for who we are.  Then she helps us see the people we are meant to be.  Her life has been anything but easy, but she always comes through everything even stronger than before.  Loyal to a fault, she will never leave anyone behind.  She loves with her whole heart and never apologizes for who she is.  When I am at my lowest moments, she is always there for me and helps me survive to see another day.  Tonight she said, "Without you, we wouldn't have a life, so the balance is still out of whack."  It's true.  The balance is out of whack, but what she doesn't realize is that the balance is mine to her.  She is the one that taught me to LIVE and stop going through the motions.  She brought the joy and the colors to a life that was pale in comparison.  She is the reason I celebrate today.  Happy Mother's Day, baby girl.  And Happy Mother's Day to all of the amazing women in my life.  I wouldn't be who I am or who I will be without all of you. 

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely tribute to all those ladies in your life. It was nice to read someone let people know how special they are to them. Happy Mother's Day to YOU!