Understanding that a mom is always a working mom – can you imagine being a working mom without a job? This past week one of my closest friends lost her job – not due to any fault of her own, but nonetheless the rug was pulled out from under her leaving her feeling scared and alone.
All l I could do was listen, comfort and tell her what I know to be true – because I’ve known her a long time – that she will land on her feet. And that after curling up in a ball under the covers for a few mornings, she’ll get up and put it back together. Because that’s what she does.
In fact, that is what all my friends do. They face controversy, pain, conflict, illness, and any size problem you can imagine with courage, dignity, honesty and sometimes plain old shit for luck. And they never back down.
There is C, whose husband has a progressive and terminal lung disease, leaving her at 46 to make decisions no one ever wants to make but certainly not at 46. Lung transplants, oxygen tanks, handicapped accessible parking, living on one income, and losing her husband and daughter’s father -her life with her husband that once seemed not to have an end, compressed into the next 5 years.
There is A, who you all know from previous blogs continues to tenaciously battle lung cancer at age 45 – whose story she and I once discussed telling together but who can’t do it because it’s too sad a story to tell right now.
There is M, who had breast cancer at the same time as her sister in law and mother in law.
There is E, who had back surgery and then contracted a staph infection. She is losing weight (something she once struggled to do) hand over fist because the antibiotics are making her so nauseas and she can’t even consider coming back to work for another month.
There is J, who has a good job yet desperately wants more challenge in her professional life. But she is stymied by fear and uncertainty as to how to achieve that and still balance her commitment to social justice, her children, and her family.
There is L who has faced unimaginable exposure, scrutiny, and personal attacks on her character, professional qualifications and personal life.
There is J, an only child of a single mother who is battling cancer for the second time with a daunting prognosis.
And the common denominators for every one of these amazing friends is their courage, their “this sucks but I’m going to get up and face it another day” attitude, their enviable good nature, their astonishing resourcefulness, their strength, their willingness to reach out, trust and get support from friends, and their ability to endure the vulnerability that accompanies the unknown. And one more thing – their uncanny ability to face their problems while continuing to care for and nurture those who matter in their life – whether it’s children, parents, pets, partners, friends or some combination of all the above.
I love these women. I am happier and more fulfilled because of these women. I am blessed to call these women my friends.
And while I take for granted their ability to rise to the challenges of their lives, not a day goes by when I don’t smile a little brighter knowing that I am surrounded by such strength. And not a day goes by when I don’t feel blessed to have them in my life. And not a day goes by when I don’t hope that when faced with adversity of such proportions, I too will rise to the bar they have set.
And if that isn’t enough, every one of them is a shit load of fun, funny and goofy that rounds out my gratefulness. Just sayin…..