Sunday, August 11, 2013

193: The Self-Empowered Woman: Women in Our Lives

Dear Followers,

In light of the unexpected challenges I've faced  the past month, the following story (sent by my good friend Donna Agins--who flew 3,000 miles for a long-delayed visit only to see me propped up in a hospital bed recovering from surgery--and slightly edited by me) seems to be a good reminder of how important the women in our lives truly are.

A young wife sat on a sofa on a hot humid day, drinking iced tea and visiting with her mother. As they talked about life, about marriage, about the responsibilities of life and the obligations of adulthood, the mother clinked the ice cubes in her glass thoughtfully and turned a clear, sober glance upon her daughter…'Don't forget your sisters,' she advised, swirling the tea leaves to the bottom of her glass. 'They'll be more important as you get older.

“No matter how much you love your husband, no matter how much you love the children you may have, you are still going to need sisters. Remember to go places with them now and then; do things with them. And remember that 'sisters' means ALL the women...your girlfriends, your daughters, and all the other women in your life, too. You'll need other women. Women always do.”

“What a funny piece of advice!” the young woman thought. “Haven't I just gotten married? Haven't I just joined the couple-world? I'm now a married woman, for goodness sake! A grownup! Surely my husband and the family we may start will be all I need to make my life worthwhile!”

But she listened to her mother. She kept contact with her sisters and made more women friends each year. As the years tumbled by, one after another, she gradually came to understand that her mother really knew what she was talking about. As time and nature work their changes and their mysteries upon a woman, sisters are the mainstays of her life. And after more than 60 years of living in this world, here is what I've learned:

Time passes.
Life happens.
Distance separates.
Children grow up.
Jobs come and go.
Love waxes and wanes.
Men don't do what they're supposed to do.
Hearts break.
Parents die.
Colleagues forget favors.
Careers end.
Illness comes to visit, and sometimes it stays.

Sisters are there, no matter how much time and how many miles are between you. A girlfriend is never farther away than needing her can reach. When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you have to walk it by yourself, the women in your life will be on the valley's rim, cheering you on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley's end. Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk beside you....Or come in and carry you out.

Girlfriends, daughters, granddaughters, daughters-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, Mothers, Grandmothers, aunties, nieces, cousins, extended family and friends—they all bless our lives! The world wouldn't be the same without women, and neither would I….When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we would need each other. Every day, we need each other still. Pass this on to all the women who help make your life meaningful. I just did.

Looking forward to your comments…

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