An Ode to the Women in My Life

I am writing this on International Women's Day, March 8th, which happens to be my favorite holiday. This will publish in March, which is Women's History Month and also my birth month, and therefore my favorite month. For that reason, I think that this week it would be appropriate for me to write something about the women in my life.

I present you with "An Ode to Women."

I remember every time you sat with me.
In silence.
I remember every time we laughed together.
Every slice of pizza.
I remember the time you held me up,
Using nothing but words,
You didn't even need a voice,
Your text messages saved my life.
You told me that I could do it,
That I was doing it,
Even though it didn't feel like it.
And then, when the clouds passed, we celebrated.

I will never forget the endless card games.
JNCO Jeans and stringing up dried cranberries for Christmas.
The wave of your hair and the way our smiles match.
Keeping your secrets, talking about boys.
Asking what it would be like when my period finally started.
Hearing about what it was like to lose your virginity.
You changed my life when you gave me a niece at 3 years old.
I almost died when you almost died.
My heart stopped beating.
Because my heart beats for you.
You are my flesh, my blood, my soul.

Your hands live in my dreams.
The wrinkles around your eyes.
The way your arthritic knuckles rested on your knees.
Soap operas, Sudoku, Songs,
Every moment of fear,
You never even flinched.
My protector.
Safety in every storm.
The standard to which I hold everything else in my life.

And then there is fear.
There is anxiety and crippling oppression.
There is the knowledge that not every woman I meet will empower me.
Some will seek to hold my shoulders down while the water rushes over my chest,
Filling my nostrils,
Slowly drowning me,
While I feel nothing but shame, regret, and my own shortcomings,
We were not meant to be.
But I thank you anyways,
Because the kind of pain you taught me
Is a lesson I will surely take with me forever.

Finally, there is a young woman,
Far away, but somewhere in the world.
A living human reminder,
That sometimes I am the woman who fails,
That I am the woman who has to pick herself up,
Dust herself off,
And do better.
A reminder that love never dies.
Love is like water
It adapts.

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