Anita Sheridan Price
We work, drive kids around, fix dinners, do laundry, care for aging parents, make time for spouses, volunteer, nurture and create. How often do we step back and say, “I made a difference today. The world is a better place because of me.”?
Some years ago I was in the check out aisle of a Target store and spotted a box of Barbie Valentines on sale. Thirty two valentines for ten cents! I had no idea why, but I had to buy them. Several months later I would rediscover them in a cupboard, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Valentine, you’re styling!, You sparkle, Valentine! Valentine, U R Cool! I laughed out loud as I signed my name beside the corny lines. Barbie grinned back through her painted smile, holding her head erect to keep her tiara in place. I could have sworn I saw her wink at me. She was in on the joke.
I mailed the valentines to a long list of women: sisters and cousins, old neighbors, childhood friends and girlfriends from high school and college. I saw their faces as I waded into memories drenched in laughter, love and drama. A few days later, the phone calls, letters and emails started coming. I heard voices I hadn’t heard for years, saw the carefully rounded handwriting I remembered from notes slipped to me in Algebra class, and felt my spirits rise along with the names in my inbox. One by one, the women from my past resurfaced. It was Christmas in February!
Last weekend my younger sister chose to celebrate her birthday with the people who have known and loved her the longest: her sisters. The three of us braved the snowy roads for 2 glorious days of sisterhood. We shared memories, a warm fire and chocolate (of course). We set out a glass of wine for the missing fourth sister. “I am never more comfortable than in your presence,” she had said before she left us. So true.
A few nights ago I was fortunate enough to share an evening with eight amazing women. We stormed the local restaurant, calling ourselves the Ladies Lemon Drop Society. The air filled with our stories, humor and kinship as we sipped our sugar rimmed martini glasses or drank tall lemonades. I looked around the table and saw the biologist, the artist, the paralegal, the teacher and the musician. There was the woman who can make a beaded necklace from recycled beer bottles, the mother who composed original music for the school orchestra, the scientist working on a cure for cancer, and the neighbor who single handedly installed a new toilet. We know how to advocate for kids, fight for the environment, make an impressive Chilean cake, get pet stains off the carpet and raise chickens. Put us all together, and there isn’t much we can’t accomplish.
And yet, are any of us ever satisfied with what we have achieved? We work, drive kids around, fix dinners, do laundry, care for aging parents, make time for spouses, volunteer, nurture and create. How often do we step back and say, “I made a difference today. The world is a better place because of me.”?
This Valentine’s Day, I want to say thank you to all the women in my life. Because who embodies love more than the sisters, daughters and mothers?
To me, you are the face of love.
Thank you for making every day Valentine’s Day.
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