Friday, April 20, 2018

...for laughin', for cryin', for livin' and for dyin'...

The bones of this post are from about three years ago, back when Duane had just gotten his first new knee. Some things have changed--children's hospitals no longer accept most of the things stitched with so much love, my friend's sister-of-the-heart has passed away, and my shark-catching grandson turned 16 this week. But, like always, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Just as I was inspired by strong women when I wrote this, I am still--never more so than in celebration of the life of one of those women. Rest in Peace, Barbara Bush. Thank you for everything.

I took Duane to have the new-knee staples removed today. The nurse who removed them is beautiful. Blonde, straight white teeth, and a pretty smile. She's been married a year, she and her husband are buying her grandfather's farm, and she wants four children starting as soon as possible. "Is that crazy?" she said, and then answered her own question. "I don't care if it is. Family's important to me. To us."

Night before last, the U.S. Women's Soccer Team brought home the world cup. With skill and dignity and class.

This morning, my daughter-in-law accompanied me when I went walking. We walked faster because she's younger, and she took time to eat raspberries while I huffed and puffed to keep up. I don't think she broke a sweat, but I love her anyway, and it was fun walking with her. I love my sons for a great many things, none more than the daughters-in-law they brought me.

My grandson caught a shark when he went fishing with his dad and brothers off the coast of North Carolina. It wasn't very big, I guess, but sheesh, a shark. His mother--my daughter--said calmly on Facebook that Connor "saved the boat" and provided dinner. Back in Indiana, I'm shrieking, "It's a freaking shark!" His mother undoubtedly looked up the proper way to cook shark.

On June 9, I went to Walmart. It was raining when I went, but, you know, it rained all the time in June. No big deal. But when I left, it was pouring. I'd been waiting inside the entrance doors for about 15 minutes when a pretty young woman offered to help. I said No, I could wait, but she insisted, and she held her umbrella over my cart and me all the way to my car. Which was way across the lot because I don't search out good parking places. (That's one of the things you find yourself doing when you wear a Fitbit.)

I have a friend who goes with a sister-of-her-heart every few weeks while the sister has chemo. They talk and my friend knits and relationships mesh and tighten at the same time as they wait and hope there.

I have other friends who sew and sew and sew for children's hospitals. Blankets, gowns, cancer turbans, stuffed toys that offer comfort and warmth.

There are so many pictures of guys out there with six-pack abs and sexy stubble and maybe some tattoos and soulful expressions. These are the ones who go on the covers of romance novels and that's fine. Though none of my heroes ever really "fit." They wear shirts most of the time and hardly ever look soulful.

But I've realized as I've sat here that those guys on the covers don't motivate me at all. And much as I truly love them, the guys in my books aren't my inspiration, either.

But the heroines, well, that's another story altogether. Those women I listed up here...and others like them? They're my inspiration. They're the ones whose stories I want to tell, the whole laughin', cryin', livin', and dyin' thing.

How about you? Who's your inspiration?


  1. Love this--Barbara Bush was an inspiration--a truly good soul. Yeah, women are the ones who keep the world turning, no question about that. Frankly, your devotion to volunteerism is an inspiration to're always ready to help and that's a Liz thing as well as a female thing. Hugs, sister!