Last Thursday, we sat in a stuffy, overly hot and overly filled windowless room to write about women. The women we admire, the women we wish to become, the women we wish to emulate, the women who raised us. Women who honor their lives, who author their lives, who tell the stories of their lives. We were inspired by the poem, “Imagine a Woman (Patricia Lynn Reilly) and many incarcerated women chose to start their writing with a line from that poem.
At the end of our 90 minutes together, we had 17 pieces ranging from letters to deceased great-grandmothers, to poems naming powerful women influences in our lives that included aunt and sisters, to gratitudes for mothers we had missed growing up, to a memorial for a dear service provider recently deceased. They were equally powerful and heartfelt. Many women teared up while reading. One woman, new to the circle, wrote movingly about herself as a woman moving on her own behalf. [As an aside, at the end of group she shared that it was a huge challenge for her to enter the circle. Now that’s self-advocacy in action!]
The writing shared here was chosen for today’s post because of its open-hearted admiration for a woman who followed – her daughter. ED writes, “I, as her mother, aspire to be more like her.” How this resonates with me! Perhaps it will with you, as well.
The woman I most admire is my 30-year-old daughter, a beautiful soul named Tonya Lynne. She is the epitome of goodness. Tonya is the mother to her children that I never was to her and her 15-year-old brother, Dallas. Tonya . . . also known as PIGLET . . . is sweet, kind, funny, strong, smart and very diplomatic. Some of her good traits, I grudgingly admit, she did get from me . . . such as strong and funny. I am those things, at least that’s what people tell me . . . but, who believes a bunch of cons? Ha Ha. If the judge had believed us, we’d be in different places right now. But, I digress.
Tonya is so much more than I ever dreamed she would be. She has wisdom beyond her scant 30 years and, as I said, she’s diplomatic . . . so much so that she can be ready to boil over and if you’re the subject oaf her annoyance, you’ll think she’s inviting you to an ice cream social. She doesn’t raise her voice, she doesn’t make a scene. She states the issue and how to resolve it. I admire that because I throw chairs and smash plates. I get loud. It never ends well. Tonya doesn’t spank her kids, she sets boundaries and somehow my adorable grandsons know not to cross them. It never ceases to amaze me. She’s bold without ever being overbearing . . . How does she do that? I’m as subtle as a tornado on a Sunday picnic, hurling flatware and leaving bodies in my wake. Piglet is an amazing creature and I as her mother, aspire to be more like her. I’m proud to call her my daughter . . . and my friend. She’s truly amazing.