I am often astounded at how some people manage to do the things they do, to be strong, soldier on, achieve in the face of adversity and to do all these things while inspiring others.
I am incredibly lucky to know many of these people and I am even luckier to call these people my friends. This post will focus on women, this is for a number of reasons, one being the women’s march in London yesterday which I didn’t participate in but would have liked to and the other because some of my closest friends are such an inspiration and all have at times in the last few days made me want to write about all that they do even if they don’t feel they are doing so well themselves.
As so many of you know I have recently had a hysterectomy. This is a huge thing for any woman and I have been so lucky to have had a best friend who went through the same thing not long before me. I watched her suffer for over a year, in pain, in confidence and generally having an awful time. She spent so much longer than I did getting her endometriosis diagnosed and we for months really didn’t know what was wrong.
She suffered illness after illness we now know was bought on by her immune system being so low and still managed to be an amazing mother and hold down a mentally and physically demanding job. My friend has been able to reassure me, to counsel me and to be a rock at times of real need even though she is still recovering herself.
I don’t for one second mean to sound preachy but you have no idea how something major like a hysterectomy will affect you until you have one and actually having someone close who has experienced it has I am quite sure helped me massively.
I saw my friend yesterday and spent some time with her and her beautiful daughter. We talked at length about how our lives have changed and how much our confidence was knocked as a result of our illness. She is now back at work and doing so well and yet still suffering with low immunity, tiredness and that general mum issue of feeling you need to juggle everything and simply not having enough hours in the day.
I have so much respect for her and all she does and I don’t think for one minute she realises just how amazing her journey and recovery has been. Her daughter is clever, kind and a credit to her and her fiancé. I want her to know how proud she makes those around her and how much I appreciate all that she does for me.
Another mention needs to go to another amazing lady who is one of the most understanding and easy going women I have ever met. She raises five children, all of whom are lovely and a credit to her as well as always being at the end of the phone and so often putting others ahead of herself. I often think about how awful I am at the whole grown up mother life and then think of her.
Yesterday was a prime example, she arrived at a soft play centre with three of the five children with her and managed to get everyone a drink, order them food and calmly sit down while I was still shouting at Nate to come and have is drink and him completely ignoring me. I have seen her in some situations that would be anxiety attack inducing and yet she calmly smiles and believes it will be okay.
I don’t think that I have ever spoken to her about anything without her given some wise words or great advice and I honestly don’t think that she realises that she is that person for so many others too.
Another great friend recently had her second baby. She is such an example to us mums because she works, mothers, exercises, has been project managing a house extension and cares for so many others that she often doesn’t have time to even sit down. She never says no and is always friendly and happy. I had the pleasure of her company last night along with both of her little ladies as her husband was working.
We were at another friends birthday dinner and my amazing friend singlehandedly managed to feed her baby, chop up her older daughters food, dance, laugh, engage in conversation and both of her girls are such a delight I am in awe. If I had taken my boys to the party they would have knocked over the DJ stand, blown balloons onto the other tables and stolen the microphone. In short I wouldn’t have attempted it on my own but she did so with finesse, class and patience.
Lastly to my beautiful mum who after a lifetime of looking after everyone else if off on her first painting holiday. It has been so lovely to watch her confidence grow since she retired and took up painting as a hobby. Her work is amazing and I am so proud to call her my mum. She is always there when I need her and although we do clash, sometimes a lot I know that no matter what she will be there and I hope she knows vice versa.
There are many others that I could write about in this point and at some point I probably will but for now I will leave you with this thought:
‘Here’s to strong women, may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.’