The strongest people I know have always been women. When I say that I think to myself, is that a little misogynistic? Do I think women are supposed to be weak therefore I think they are strong when they are just like anyone else?
I certainly don't mean it that way. I've always had better relationships with women.
Of course, this starts with my mother, anyone that knows anything about me knows I was and still am a mama's boy. Even before I was born my mother had been through a lot as a very young woman. We spent more time together than my father, and I did. Mom and I had a very strong bond that even in death has not been broken. She often comes to me in my dreams to comfort me or even fight and argue with me.
My Great Aunt Goldie, she was like my nanny when I was very young. She is the one that taught me not to say yeah, and please, thank you and that ain't ain't a word, to respect my elders and other little life lessons. Her sister my Grandma Ruby, now she was a broad, a tough broad. She too faced difficult times in her first marriage, but she got out. She had to see her only child; my father die before her, something a parent should never have to endure. Her second husband Grandpa Harry had Alzheimers and that really took a toll on Grandma.
Most all of my friends in high school were girls SHOCKER RIGHT? Maybe it's a gay boy thing but Ive always gotten along better with women.
I've had mostly female bosses, my first job when I was barely 16; I worked for Arlene Gellerman. Arlene brought out the creative and artistic abilities within me, taught me about Jewish traditions, and some of the fun Yiddish words, and yes she even enforced some of the stereotypes of Jewish people. I would sit and talk with Arlene for hours, even when I wasn't working. There was Roberta Tripoli, who was my second boss then eventual roommate. Karen Korpi, who was my mentor in the day spa industry, I worked for her at Murad then she went on to become the Vice President of the Spa Division for Ritz Carlton Hotels.
My best friend for many years Cheri…well I suppose you can guess she's a girl too, now she's more like my sister because we get on each others damn nerves sometimes.
Now I gotta tell you about Mynde. Ive written a blog about Mynde before, talk about tough! Often she is the first person I call or text with news that I once would have called mom to share with first. I've also learned that just because someone is strong for themselves doesn't mean they have enough strength for everyone all the time. But Mynde pushes through and is always there for anyone that needs her. Mynde's mother Carol recently lost her son. Again a parent should never have to out live their children. Carol and I aren't super close, but I have to say from my perspective she has been pretty tough throughout her son's illness and now his passing.
Not only is Tina Turner my all time favorite singer in all the land, but she is so inspirational and has such a peaceful state of mind. From her childhood all through her adult life she endured many obstacles, even being homeless for a very short time. She was stripped of her dignity and stuck in a marriage with a man that regularly abused her. But she got OUT! She transformed herself into the Queen of Rock and Roll!
Her music career has changed over the years and the work she does now is even more inspiring to me. It brings me peace and balance through Buddhist, Hindu and Christian music and prayer mantras
I imagine we all have our breaking point. I don't know that my mother would have ever been the same if I had passed before her. The list of tradgedies my mother faced in her life is too long to list here. I imagine if she lost me that would have been her breaking point. Im glad I lived to hold her hand as she took her last breath. I finally got to be the strong one for her.
So here's to all the lovely ladies in my life, if you were not mentioned here, it doesn't mean you aren't on my mind, it just means I need more coffee.