I was reading a book the other day that talked about how important it was to celebrate our birthdays. They are the day of the year that we thank that person for being born, for being who they are, the good, bad and ugly so to speak. If we believe that we are each made unique, then we should embrace all the parts of each other that make us unique, even if we don’t particularly like it. Aren’t these the things that mold and shape us and help us to become who we are?
That got me to thinking, if I had a party to celebrate all the wonderful women that have influenced my life, who would I invite? It would certainly be an interesting group of women. I am not worried about living or dead, whether I even know where they are, I am just remembering and enjoying the cycles of my life and who softened an edge here or sharpened one there.
My mom has to have been the most influential, teaching me right from wrong, how to give and share. And my two sisters are certainly my girlfriends too. Barb teaches me to persevere and Patti teaches me to look at things differently. Aunt Jean made me feel normal and gave me a sense of belonging. I also have two other Aunt’s that made an impact on me, Aunt Mary Louise, who is so very down to earth, she reminds me to be who I am. And my Aunt Mary is the gentlest, kindest soul. I am amazed at how much she has done for others in her life. These Aunts are the ones that I spent the most time with, the ones I know the best.
Kathy and her sister Kay had to have been my very first girlfriends since we grew up together. I cannot remember a time in my life when they were not a part of it in some way. Through them, their Mom certainly had an influence as well. I was up there all the time and talking to her was easy.
In Elementary school, the constant friend was Holly. She moved away after 6th grade. Holly was always a free spirit, the artsy type that danced to her own tune. She introduced me to the Beatles and dancing. I have not seen her easily in 40 years but still miss her. I always said if I ever had a little girl, I would name her Holly. I never did have that girl, but I really would have!
My Middle and High School years were full of adventures with Phyllis and Linda. Phyllis and I met in 7th grade. We had all of our classes together. Linda and Phyllis were best friends so we became a trio. They introduced me to roller skating and we spent all our spare time at Skate City. We learned all about boys and teenage life there. Phyllis was the girl that all the boys followed. She has always had the most beautiful smile. Linda was tough, on the outside anyway. She was a good friend, always more honest than you wanted her to be. She and I competed for Phyllis’ attention a lot more than either of us would like to admit. I learned about being a real friend from these two ladies. I was Maid of Honor at both of their weddings, not because they picked me over the other but because they were fighting and they picked me instead of the other! It didn’t matter. I loved that time in my life. My High School years were the most fun and I cannot imagine them without Phyllis or Linda. Whenever I get a chance to see either one of them I am thrilled.
I have a cousin Karen that I have had a great relationship with over the years. We are the same age and had everything in common. We still correspond with each other, and when we see each other, like we did a few months ago, it is like we’ve never been apart.
There are still many more women for me to share about so I am going to break this into more entries. I hope that you will think of the women that shaped your life. Who would you invite to your party?