I had a witty story for you all today, but I can't share it. Not today. Today I need to give a SHOUT OUT to women. Women. Amazing creatures. Strong. Resilient. Wondrous. Today I stand by helplessly as two sisters grieve. One grieves the loss of a child 18 years ago. Although she is likely haunted by that reality as if it happened yesterday. The other grieves the loss of her mother. A mother she perceives did not love her and likely resented her. These women move about their day with their thoughts and their grief - and likely both bearing the heinous burden of self-imposed guilt. Women do that. Kill themselves slowly with self-manifested guilt. I don't know why.
But when I look at these two women, all I see is two amazing, beautiful, inspirational women. Women I have chosen to have in my life. Women whom have chosen me to be in theirs. I have no problem sharing my dirty laundry (or dirty house) with these women. I have no shame wearing a 2-piece swimsuit around them (although maybe they wish I would) - but I know they do not judge me. I know they are women of substance. Of amazing grace. Of preserverence.
I came to know them each by chance and through my kids. The kids that taunt me and ridicule me. They hooked me up with these women. "You'll like her - she's just like you." (translate: she drinks and smokes) And they were right. I did adore both of these women almost instantly. And they let me into their life. They shared with me their story - the pain that haunts them. And with that sharing, I learned that we are all just regular folk. Trying to make something out of our life, without regard to the cards we've been dealt. We are all fighting demons of our own. And when we share our strife with others, we learn that we are strong. And others also suffer. And then we dry our tears and laugh our asses off. Because we're women.
I want to take away their pain today. But I cannot. And for that reason, my heart is heavy. So I watch, helplessly, at how they cope. And I learn and I gain strength and wisdom. And I broaden my appreciation for the strength of a woman.
Tomorrow I will stand by the side of one of these sisters. And I will hold her hand as she bids her mother farewell. And I will facilitate her kitchen for the reception so she can relax and hopefully learn through others that her mother really did love her. But I'll be the one beckoning her to the barn - sneaking her a glass of wine and smokes. Because THAT is how real sisters act.
I love you dear sisters. Thank you for letting me into your lives. For sharing your story with me. For being my friend. I'm sorry for your pain. I wish I could make it disappear. But since I can't - please know that I'm here - bearing booze and other gifts. Oh - and I CAN listen. Just bring duct tape for my mouth and you'll be set.