My friend Lucy blogged about playlists yesterday, and it has me thinking. I’ve been working on something music-related for a couple of days now, but it’s not ready yet. In the meantime, enjoy her music!
She constantly amazes me. I can see her now, scrunching up her face and shaking her head and telling me that she’s not doing anything special, but she is. Every day, she lives the dream that I’ve had since I was a child. No, it isn’t a glamorous life, but it’s still a life filled with satisfaction.
She’s a writer. Lucy has published lots of books, and is still going strong. She’s an intelligent, talented, beautiful woman, and I can only hope that when I grow up, I get to be more like her.
It’s Thursday again, which means that tonight is my night to go play with Lexxx. I don’t know what it is about sitting in Starbucks with her on Thursday nights, but for that span of time, I feel more creative, less likely to be an idiot, and… well… like a writer. She’s not afraid to verbally smack me and tell me that I’m being an idiot, and I like that. She’s also pretty good at fixing my problems when I get stuck.
Lexxx is my sounding board and my cohort, and my partner in crime. It is never, ever, ever safe to leave the two of us alone together for more than a few minutes at a time. She shares my love of wine and cheesecake, and when we’re in north Charlotte at the little French place, she’s an evil enabler that lets me buy all those pastries.
I wouldn’t have her any other way. Lexxx’s wicked imagination and sense of humor fuel my own. She lets me be myself and accepts me for it, even with all of my faults. She puts up with me… which is one of the best gifts she could give me.
I am truly blessed to have these two wonderful women in my life, but there is one more that I absolutely have to talk about. When I’m talking about my girls, I tend to save her for last because she has the best story, and in the past ten years, has really taught me the value of both friendship and hope.
She’s a cancer survivor.
Amy married my best friend, and I love them both like family. She makes him happy… and that’s just one item on a whole list of reasons why I love her.
Anyway, they hadn’t even been married a year yet when she found out that she had developed breast cancer. Then she told us, and it devastated Lexxx and me. We were both shocked and horrified. Neither of us knew what to do – we felt like we had to do something… but what? They were in Charleston and we were here.
Through her treatments, she maintained a level of strength and grace that still astounds me. She never once lost hope, even when she was so sick that she could barely move. Even when she lost her hair, she simply threw on a hat and kept going (we tried to tell her that she was cute without it – she has the most perfectly round head I’ve ever seen!).
Even after her surgery while she was laid up in a hospital bed on good drugs, she was still smiling and laughing and showing off what she’d begun to refer to as “Frankenboob.”
Rooster and I married in November of that same year. She had just been cleared, and was even able to walk in my wedding. She had a head full of baby-fine, fuzzy red hair, and she was beautiful.
This year makes four years that Amy is cancer free. Every year with her is a new celebration.
There are so many others as well… women who have come into my life and touched my soul, and made me a better person for it. I don’t have time to name all of them, and I’d run out of space on the internet telling how they’ve affected me.
I love these girls.
But there’s one more I have to talk about, because to not do it would be a tragedy.
She’s my daughter… step-daughter, actually, but I don’t let that title get in the way. I’ve had a hand in raising her for the last ten years, and she’s a part of me. I’ve watched her grow up, become independent, and evolve into the beautiful young woman she is today. She’s so smart…and absolutely a riot when she gets started. She’s open and honest and loving… and no a day goes by that she doesn’t change one more little part of me.
She has taught me patience and understanding. She proves to me every single day that there is still hope for the younger generations. She and I haven’t always seen eye-to-eye, (but what parent/child combination does?) but we work well together. Yes, there are days when we make each other completely batty, but that’s to be expected, too.
She’s like a big ray of sparkly sunshine right in the middle of the room that makes everybody want to smile. The girl has a quick wit and a sharp tongue, though, and she can cut right through a person without even realizing it. I’m glad she can do that, because neither Rooster or I could when we were her age.
This kid has no hope of ever being normal. She has, since birth, been surrounded by intelligent, sarcastic people that have shaped her into what she is today. I feel honored that I can be counted among those people, because without her in my life, it would be a much, much darker place.
I love her, and I want the whole world to know it. I’m proud of her every day, even as I sit here thinking that I need to be thanking her for making me who and what I am.
So there you have it… the four lovely women that make my life complete. I would waste another thousand words talking about my mother, too… but I’ve already told everyone that she’s my hero and why. What more is there to say?