In honor of International Women’s Day: I want to talk about the women in my life who help and expect me to thrive.
- Mama: my mama is my champion and friend. She is my warrior. She also has no time for excuses from me. She raised me to love God, and everyone else. She taught me to be strong, but respectful. Mama raised me to focus on what I can do not what I can’t. She has said a million times: “If you want _________ dream. Go get it.” Being raised and poured into like that my whole life: it matters more than I can express to her or y’all. I LOVE mama, fiercely.
- Granny AKA Lois: Granny is where mama gets it from. She is incredible. She taught by example. She championed my creative outlets and self-expression. She helped me process understanding my condition. She was and is love. “Be brave” she says. Yeah, sure Gran. That’ll be a piece of cake…easy. Nope, not even a little bit. I love you, Gran. You’re my angel and cheerleader, now. I hope you’re proud.
- Aunt Judy and Aunt Joyce: Mama’s sisters and the best aunts I can have. They are very much like mama: no nonsense and lead by example. They are my champions, too. I love them more than they know.
- Margaret: my big sister/other mama/aunt/favorite teacher: you remind me how proud you are, often. Good. My extraordinary life wouldn’t be possible without you in it. I love you so very much.
- Aunt Debbie: my favorite physical therapist. I wouldn’t be thriving if it weren’t for your hard work with me for all those years. You understand the whys of what my body does much better than I do. It helps me to calm down and breathe. Those two things are vital for thriving. I love you. Thank you for still being my champion all these years later. I hope I make you proud. I know changes in my body and CP are inevitable: it’s nice to feel much better…now. The rest? We’ll figure out as we go. That’s part of the reason I’m on this planet: to be a trailblazer who figures it out and passes my knowledge on to others.
- Aunt Jackie: you and mama taught Alyssa and I how to be life-long friends, while being women. Those two can be difficult, sometimes. You are a true condition warrior in your own right. Thank you for loving me as your own family and showing me how its done. I love you!
- My chosen sisters: y’all are incredible. I love how fierce and brilliant each of you are. You stand beside me leading by example. You love me when you don’t have to. I know it’s not always easy. I love you ladies so much…thank you for all of it, every day.
- My female friends: thank you for friendship, support, and encouragement, daily. It means so much to me and I value your presence in my life very much.
- My nieces and favorite 8 year old: I love each of you so much and want you to know you can be anything you want. If you can dream it: you can do it. I’ll help in any way I can.