Loveys, I have been knocked down by a cold recently. It's basically the flu, but thankfully I had the flu shot so that seemed to curb the worst of it. (I escaped the fever and aches but my head has been a fuzzy cloud and the congestion is killer.) I'm on day four of five of Tamiflu and there is light at the end of this sad tunnel. I feel like this came out of nowhere! I had a teeny sniffly nose (like allergies, which I have constantly) and then I'm sitting on my sofa talking to Nancy, and she's watching while death comes up and hits me, and suddenly I am racked with sneezing and coughing and tears are pouring out of my eyes. And Nancy's washing my dishes afterward, and I'm like, Oh, that's okay, and she's giving me a Look and saying, Um, you're very sick. And she's right. (Thank you, dear friend. And thank you, June, for bringing dinner. For real, my family would have eaten Fruity Pebbles. And thank you sweet friends and family for praying for me while I have been like this.)
Jeff has moved down to the basement while I convalesce (meaning I need sole power of the TV remote in my room). It's been a rough few days at our house. Lily came down with an ear infection and needed antibiotics. But it's finally Friday, everybody can take it easy this weekend. I'm hoping to be much better by Sunday so I can air out the house and wash all the sheets and disinfect everything. I'm so thankful for medicine. And husbands and friends and Campbell's chicken soup. As I was sneezing and wheezing the other night, I prayed for the single moms out there who don't have help when they're sick and still have to juggle. You are awesome women! And I prayed for the kids who are sick and need medicine and love and care. I remember growing up--childhood and beyond--my mom was a great nurse whenever we were sick. It's not like that for every child or teenager. We need each other, lovey. I always seem to remember this whenever I'm stopped in my tracks by something like the flu. On International Women's Day, I was seeing my doctor (a woman, who also treated Lily), greeted by the admin (another woman), helped by the nurse (a man), brought dinner by June (a busy working mama) and cared for by my husband. I was so thankful for every person that day who showed up to help. I needed every one.
We need each other, lovey. Truly. It takes all of us.
Women's Day has passed, and this woman was barely functioning that day, but it was still on my mind. I think I've been lucky with all the strong, female role models I've had in my life. My mother was a working mom and she's the most capable woman I know. My grandmothers (one here and one in heaven) have both been incredible examples of strength and wisdom and endurance and self-reliance. My aunts are all strong, capable women. Many of my college professors who I respected the most and who had so much influence on my life have been women. The first managing editor to hire me was a woman. My book editors have all been women and I've worked with so many female authors and typesetters and copyeditors and designers. All of my babies were delivered by OBGYNs who are women. Even while growing up in a very conservative, small church environment--the women ruled the school (pun intended). Our principal was a woman, many of the teachers were women/moms. Women were running events and organizing the school programs and working together to do so much.
When I was a book editor at a nonprofit organization, the truth is that there weren't that many female VPs. There were a lot of male voices (I'm not saying this was on purpose or terrible, it just was). But I clearly remember sitting in these meetings--long tables, men everywhere. And there at the table, Kelly Rosati. It didn't matter if she was the lone woman (well, I was there, too, sometimes), Kelly's presence made all the difference. Her perspective was vital. And she was (and is) fearless. I was always in awe of her. I have these clear memories of meetings with lots of people, and I mainly remember Kelly. That's why I know and understand that it's important for girls to see women doing things, so they know they can.
This has been happening for me forever. I have artwork hanging in my home that was created by my great grandmother. She was a gifted artist and taught drawing and painting to so many students. I think of watching my grandmother walk through the restaurant that she owned, shaking back her beautiful hair and stopping to talk to customers who call her Mrs. Vela. Seeing my mom stand in front of a classroom of third graders. Shopping and cooking and staying up late with my Mimi, a woman who loved her independence. Learning under female teachers from kindergarten all the way up (the majority were definitely women). The first authors I ever met (as a teenager!) were Terri Blackstock and Angela Hunt. Successful, creative women who write! Gosh, that made an impression on me.
Women can do amazing things. Whether you're a stay-at-home mom taking care of a baby with an ear infection, or the vice president of a major company. Our lives go through so many seasons. And maybe there are moments when we can't do so much, I love how women stand in the gap for each other and help each other when we need it.
And we need the guys too. Jeff is everything to me. My dad was the first person to believe in me and support my love of writing. God uses men in so many great ways too.
But this week was about the girls. I'm so thankful for the women who have influenced me. I'm thankful for the smart, kind, lovely friends in my life right now.
We're gifted in different ways, we bring different things to the table. Womanhood is a beautiful thing. We need each other.