Sunday, May 11, 2008

Wonderful Women

Pat: met in 7th grade, and stayed friends for...40 years. Pat and I shared an interest in art; we had a lot of classes together in junior high, and went to the same church. From Pat I learned there was Sunday School for kids my age. We joined MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship) and shared weekend retreats, many secrets about the boys we liked, and sometimes feeling unpopular. Pat was well-liked by everyone. AND her dad was principal of our high school.

Kathy: Also met Kathy in seventh grade; probably 1962. After all these many years, we reconnected this past year because of our 40th high school reunion. No, that doesn't work out mathematically. If I met Kathy in 1962, and it is now 2007, but we graduated in 1967...THAT is 40 years, and Ihave known both Kathy and Pat for closer to 45 years, I think. My strong areas were art and literature. Not math.
I always liked Kathy. Unfortunately, Bob made Kathy's life a living hell in school. It was terribly unfair, and I am ashamed that I never spoke out against what Bob was doing to her. He bullied her and browbeat her, plain and simple. I was so afraid of being 'tarred with the same brush' that I never spoke up. I wish I could change that now. I am deeply grateful that Kathy is part of my life now.

Anita: I met Anita when she was a PTA mom at the school where I worked. When she showed up at my church one Sunday, I invited her to teach Vacation Bible School with me. We became close, and she is my sister in so many ways. Neither of us has extended family here in the area, and have adopted each other. Anita put her arms around me the day I learned my mother had died. Many times she has allowed me to shed my tears on her shoulder. And although he is not a woman, her husband Greg has always made me feel like I had someone looking after me.

Gisela: A beautiful German woman, the mother of the man I loved more passionately than any other (except Elvis). Gisela accepted me so that I felt almost part of her family. She was a wonderful, giving woman with a tremendous heart. She gave up her life and home in Germany to marry a soldier and raise his children here in the US. It was such a sacrifice; I can only imagine what it might have been like for her. I know that to her stepson, she was completely his mother. He doted on her and almost worshipped her. She deserved it.

Liz: a work friend who greets me each day with a beautiful smile, and always treats me as if it is a treat to have me working with her. Liz, you are amazing.

Kirsten: a Daughter In Law who is a gift from God. She brings joy to me when I see her with my son, and I see the love between them. She is so tolerant and patient with him, just as she is with those amazing children she has borne. Not much of a talker, but warm and loving in everything she does.

Cassie: my daughter, and my dear friend. I hate how much I have come to depend on my daughter. I want to still be the mom, the strong one who can fix anything, but more and more I lean on Cassie to do the fixing for me. She is so smart and level-headed; she never dithers, but gets straight to the heart of things.

Kathy: the therapist who allows me to cry and be as imperfect as I am. Never judging, but always reminding me to be kind to myself.

Chris: a warm, huggy friend who takes care of me. When I feel afraid, I know I can go to Chris and she will tease gently, offer me a tidbit of wisdom, and remind me that I matter.

Charlotte: as a boss, as a principal, Charlotte is strong but not overpowering. She has a gentle way of telling me when I need to step up.

Tina: another principal, another boss. Tina has had a lot of adversity to overcome, I think, to be in the position of principal. The school she is in charge of is a hard one. I find I may not always agree with the things she does or the decisions she makes, but I respect her position, and do my best to do a good job for her.

All of these women have touch my life over the years. There are many more I have failed to mention. On this Mother's Day, I would like to mention my mom, Gladys, who said to me once, "Sherry, if you love me, please never name a child after me." Mom always hated her name. I don't believe she had a happy childhood. At this point, I should mention her sister, Aunt Helen, who was the Best of the Best. To this day, I completely believe that Aunt Helen prayed for me and is the reason I have made it this far in life. She was my Other Mother; I often wished I could live with her. I always felt unconditional positive love from Aunt Helen. I am so sorry that mom and Aunt Helen are gone. They have left a hole in the world, and in my heart.

1 comment:

Cassie said...

Thank you for saying sweet things about me. I don't think you lean on me more than I lean on you; I think we hold each other up.

I'm not impressed with either of your two bosses to tell you the truth.