Valentine’s Day is for Girlfriends too!

Posted on

Valentine’s Day is the exchanging of cards and the giving of hearts full of candy to people we love.  That doesn’t only mean with a spouse or partner, well it can mean them, but it can also mean that Valentine’s Day is for girlfriends too!

Mom's favorite - Bleeding Hearts

Mom’s favorite – Bleeding Hearts

I’ve had friends who have seen me at my worst, a BFF who knows the size of my liver, sisters who are friends and friends who seem like sisters since I’ve known them forever.  I’ve had teachers, doctors, hair stylists and yoga instructors who I consider friends because we’ve looked and found the best in each other.  And while defining girlfriends, I recently read an article about the 8 types of friends a woman should have.  Is that all?

My girlfriends have counseled each other, celebrated with each other and mourned together.  They’ve been there to tell me (in a graceful manner), that I’m doing something stupid but they would still love me.  They’ve been there to laugh with, cry with and just be still with.  They’ve changed my surgical dressings, brushed my hair and took me to doctor appointments.  They supported me through major life changes because they know I’ll be there for theirs.  They’ve moved away, but never really do.  And as we always say… husbands and partners come and go, but girlfriends will last forever.

I think of my friends with such awe.  Not on a pedestal, because we all have that occasional ‘fail’ but because they pick themselves up and keep on going without a second thought. They’d be there in a minute, or in my case, a few hours by plane or car and they ALWAYS, no matter how busy or buried with work, find time to talk with me about anything, even a really, really bad haircut.


Valentine’s Day is for Girlfriends too!

A couple of years ago a friend needed some special prayers; I reached out to a few of the women I knew.  That “few” has now grown into an amazing prayer group of 34 women from across the country.   This is a group of women who want to help even in the smallest way – which turns out to be the biggest way, emotionally and spiritually supporting someone they don’t even know.  Most of them have never met, some I’ve never met, but all are cyber ‘girlfriends’ to each other and those who need a little something extra to get them through the day – incredible!

Don’t take your friends for granted even though they’ll probably love you forever.  They’re soft and gushy inside and not always the rock they portray.

My heart does ache a bit as I’ve had to let some really amazing women leave my life because I felt I had failed at being the person they wanted me to be, I had let them down in all my human-ness.  I also needed to let go of some whose drama outweighed the joy.  I am blessed, though, to have learned from the lessons they left me.

So Happy Valentine’s Day and thank you my dear girlfriends for giving me that very special piece of you, like a little piece of chocolate from a heart shaped box.  Your presence in my life has been and always will be — awe-inspiring!!

Grateful for you,


Dear 10 year-old me,

Posted on
50 years ago...

50 years ago…

You are living in a world that seems to be awakening to the realization that humans*, are NOT defined by the color** of their skin.  The 60’s are an era of discovery and you, my dear, will be a teen in an erupting time.  Though mom and dad raised us to be colorblind, our grandparents were raised in a completely different era.  Understanding their history will help you understand those in the future, who can’t see things the way you do.

In this decade you have watched in sadness the death of great leaders and you will observe a war many don’t agree with.  You are going to sit in disbelief at Olympic athletes being killed.  You will watch, with so many questions, the riots over basic human rights and marches on cities that won’t allow certain humans to eat at restaurants, drink out of water fountains or vote.  And you’re going to wonder why, why does the color of skin matter?  How can something that protects us cause so much pain?  You are going to make a promise to yourself that you will always be colorblind and you will teach your children to also see that way.

You will see incredible strides in industry, a human land on the moon, the creation of computers, wireless devices, and incredible advances in science.  And even though such incredible growth in your world surrounds you, the lessons that your world is being given, the lives that are being lost for causes and the ability to forgive — will be forgotten.

It is 50 years later and I hate to share this with you, dear one, but we are still dealing with the issue of color, name calling and the inability to forgive.  Every side on this subject has failed to grow, learn or remember what went on so many years ago.   We criticize a war in the Middle East that has lasted nearly 100 years, but this part of our history seems as if it will go on forever.  Will we ever outgrow the issue of color? It seems we refuse to let it heal so we can grow together, instead of separately.

I still have questions after all these years, the same ones you may be asking yourself after reading this letter.  Why have the deaths, marches and riots, and what they meant to accomplish, been forgotten?  Why is it ok to judge the privileged or disadvantaged when we have no idea of their story, how they got there, what they did or didn’t do and what caused their circumstances?

Instead of instilling pride after all the lessons of the 60’s we seemed to have instilled a sense of entitlement.  So many people, of every shade, believe they are “owed” something, because of century-old injustices.  Instead of moving forward together, we work to keep the mistakes of the past alive.  Instead of celebrating the accomplishments that surround us, the people who work hard, and the people who defend us, we sit and discuss ad nauseam as to what hasn’t worked, what isn’t working, and why we haven’t been given more instead of working harder.  And at the same time we speak badly about those who do work hard and those who risk everything to protect us. Sadly, my young self, the one thing that seemed to bring us all together, every color on the planet, has been tragedy.  Every disaster that has brought sadness and loss — has united humankind.  How ironic…

I’m not writing this to scare you, or make you think that nothing good has happened in the last 50 years.  AMAZING things have occurred, incredible people have done outstanding things and simple everyday people have changed the lives of so many.  I’m sharing this with you so you will stand up to injustice; you will take pride in whatever job you do; you will remain colorblind and continue to be compassionate to those who are less fortunate and cheer on those who are more successful.  And that you, little one, only speak words that YOU would love to hear.

I leave you with two quotes that you may not fully understand at 10 years old, but will hopefully keep you on a positive journey to becoming me…

  1. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. — Anne Frank
  2. I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph. — Theodore Roosevelt

So, dear 10 year-old me,  I leave you to riding bikes, building forts and dreaming, and ask only one thing of you … don’t forget to remember!

Grateful for you,

An older and hopefully wiser – Sheree

* Human – A member of the species to which men and women belong to; a person, viewed especially as having imperfections and weaknesses (Encarta Dictionary: English (North America))

** Color – The property of objects that depends on the light that they reflect and is perceived as red, blue, green or other shades (Encarta Dictionary: English (North America))