Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Amazing Women

I'm very lucky in many ways, one of which is the number of amazing women that I know. I've just finished reading a book, admittedly a rather trashy chick-lit, about women living in the American prison system. Although it's a work of fiction the author did an immense amount of research to make their experiences as real-to-life as entertainment could make. The book also has a list of suggested reading for anyone interested in learning more about American women's prisons. I've looked up a few of the publications listed and I have to admit it's been fascinating, if sad, reading.

But I digress. It got me thinking about the women I know, and how many of them are truly amazing. I can't and won't give you an exhaustive list, but I do want to share with you the ladies who have had a big impact on my life. Please, indulge me. And if you don't want to know, stop reading. What can I say, I'm feeling mushy.

First, of course, there has to be my Mum. I give the word a capital because I think it's worthy. This lady has worked hard all her life. First the farm, then as a nurse, then as a mother, and then as a single mother, raising two children while dealing with a marriage breakdown and having to get herself back into her old profession. At every step of the way she made sure we had everything we needed and as much of what we wanted as was possible (and good for us!). Beyond our childhood she has been there to help, support and guide us, right there behind us in whatever we decide to do. Even if and when she thinks we're making a mistake she lets us, and is right there for either support or congratulations when it's needed. It sounds corny, but every day I try to live in a way that would make her proud of me.

I met Vicki when she was in a long-term relationship with my paternal gene-donor some 20 years ago. She became my adult-friend, someone I could go to if I felt I couldn't talk to my mum, and I firmly believe every teenaged girl, or boy, should have someone like that. As I've matured the friendship has as well. She attacks life with a wonderful smile and such a positive attitude, it's an inspiration.

Sarah is someone I've known for well over half my life. We may not speak every day, or every week, or even every month, but I know that she's there. She's seen me go through good times, bad times, and everything in between. Even when half a country separates us, she's been there. She is intelligent, funny, sarcastic, and knows exactly what a good friend is, and how to be one.

Then of course there's Diana. Talk about an amazing woman. I won't divulge personal details, but her strength and courage in making a better life for herself and her children is inspiring. I met Diana after she'd made that decision, and seeing her overcome every obstacle that's been put in her path, and seeing her come alive, has been wonderful.

And let's not forget Mel. I met Mel when we were both applying for the same job, and she won it. That was quite possibly the best thing that could have happened. While I was handing the job over to her I started to realise exactly how lovely she is. Out of that experience I gained a friend who is also a wonderful lady. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mel, she is simply an amazing and beautiful woman.

Naturally there are many more ladies I could write about here, these are just the first to spring to mind. I love that my life is filled with strong, intelligent women. I think I have excellent taste in friends!