Today, March 8, 2016, is International Women's Day.
I looked that up on the computer and I'm still not sure what it really is about. It has something to do with "Gender Parity". I had to look that up to and by definition it means:
"The Gender Parity Index is a socioeconomic index usually designed to measure the relative access to education of males and females. In its simplest form, it is calculated as the quotient of the number of females by the number of males enrolled in a given stage of education (primary, secondary, etc.)"
OK, I'm not going there. I'm going where I first thought this was going. I thought this was about celebrating the women in your life who made a difference, proved something, and more importantly deserve to be given the Oscar, or Emmy, or Nobel Prize equivalent award to those who are just plain awesome in their own little circle and made a difference in someone's life.
So the without further ado....
And the Award Goes to...
Nellie Nadine Ostler!
My mom has been on my mind lately. January we celebrated her birthday. Dang! Do I miss her. Then my brother's son's future mother-in-law asked for wedding pictures of his grandparents and great-grandparents. Then my son left on his LDS mission and we were back in Utah, a place my mom loved and I saw all the things my mom use to talk about. Then I went to the doctors and they call me by my first name which I share with my mom. Then to top it off, my daughter tagged me in a Facebook post. This facebook post was one where you copy and paste the message and then tag a few more people. This one is about celebrating when you felt beautiful. She actually posted this picture of me and her.
I remember when I first thought my mom was beautiful. I was doing a 7th grade English paper and we had to interview someone in our family and I don't recall the rest of the assignment. I just remember staring at this photo of my mom and thinking, "Wow, she was very beautiful as a teen."
My mom had me later in life and all my friend's moms were pretty young. They were "hip" and "with it" or at least I thought. I felt like my mom was stuck in the 50's and we were living in the late 70's early 80's and she just wasn't "with it". I actually had to take back that thought. I began to think of my mom as something other than my mom. She had been a teen (maybe she did know a little about teenage angst). She had been "in love" (maybe she did know something about heart break). She had been a student (maybe she did know a little about pressure to fit in or about assignment anxiety). Maybe there was more to her.
And for that she wins the first award in my selection for this International Women's Day award that I'm giving out.
The second recipient isn't a person but a group of people. Granted they all aren't women, but the majority of them are. The award goes to nurses. Today I have the honor of visiting my oncologist for the last time. No, I'm not getting kicked out because I'm cured. He is retiring. We had a lovely chat. He's going to Texas and unfortunately he is taking his lovely wife, his nurse with him. Nurse Sharon held my hand as Dr. K. took a bone biopsy. Nurse Sharon held my hand when she pumped chemicals into my body to kill the cancer. Nurse Sharon called to tell me happy news as well as sad news. Nurse Sharon was there ever step of the way. Today after my chat with Dr. K, I had to have my blood drawn. Nurse Sharon wasn't able to do it because she was administering chemotherapy to another patient. But I heard her words. They were almost the same words she spoke to me all those years ago. But as much as they might be the same, there was sincerity behind them. "Darling, I know this hurts." "Darling, I'm so sorry." "Darling, just hold on." "I'm almost done." "Darling, I know." And she does. She is a survivor herself.
I waited for her to come out from behind the privacy curtain and then I stopped her and told her "Thank you for saving my life." Of course she wouldn't take credit for it, but I let her know how important the work she did and still does is to those of us who don't see a very rosy outlook on life. Today Nurse Sharon and all the other lovely nurses (male ones too) are celebrated because of their undying nurturing care for those who most of the time would rather be somewhere completely different.
Yes, I cried as I sat down in my car. I will miss her and her husband.
And the last recipient goes to my daughter.
I had five boys and then God blessed me with Jessie. I get the "oh, so you kept trying until you had a girl." No, not really. Out of my six children, I only planned my first four. God decided to give me Chris and Jessie.
I celebrate Jessie because I think she is great and I think she thinks I'm great. She keeps me young and she keeps me humble.