Saturday, July 19, 2008

My Mentors.

My best girlfriend is a lady whose youthful figure and energy speak little of her years... she'd kill me if I told you her age but I am sure to be more than welcome to say she doesn't look a day over 30. She can drink, work or arm wrestle me under the table any day of the week. She is also a lady with manners and charm. She'll freely admit to being gullible, especially when it comes to missing half the sexual innuendos or advances made on her, by both men and woman alike...and yes, there is a story there. She believes in surrounding herself with youth and vitality, hoping to keep up on her own through osmosis. She rides Grand Entry (the girls that run a million miles an hour caring flags to open a rodeo) and her personal motto is "balls to the walls" (I swear she is a lady in all other respects.) She rides like hell and seems to get more done in a day than I do in a week.

I love and admire this woman, she is a valued member of my family. No one could say she had it easy. Her story is just that, hers to tell. I can only attest that she has as good of an excuse as any to be one of those particularly bitter women. She could be resentful, cynical and/or steeped in hatred and regret. She is positive, outgoing and happy. I see how easy it is for a woman to go one way or another. Because of her, I know there will never be an excuse great enough to fall the way of...well, some wicked woman I know. I want to be like her and my mother- A woman that carries a light around her and sets a spark wherever she goes. A woman that is strong and proud, but that acts like a lady.

I am blessed to share my life with more than one exceptional woman over the age of 40 (whoops...I mean 35!). They are my mentors. My mother preeminently. She is gorgeous, carries herself with class and dignity and never hesitates to talk to a stranger (which has become a family joke). Kindness and warmth emanates from her, drawing both family and strangers to her in times of need. Her laugh comes easy and her love, loyalty and fiercely protective nature is unquestionable. She too has a story. What woman doesn't?
As much as my dear friend believes in surrounding herself with youth, I have found that it best to surround myself with women whose stories are already half told. They tend to lend the best advice. Occasionally I find it necessary to make their same mistakes over again, despite the merits of their advice, or warnings as to the inevitable outcome. I find their experiences are an invaluable reference, regardless of how I implement them in my life. "If only I knew at your age what I know now, I would have done differently." I have heard this many a time...more often than not with respect to a great or profound life lesson. Like to look after yourself first so that you are better able to look after the ones you love. They have forgotten more than I will ever know...from how to deal with men, to how to cook a lasagna that will win you the heart of one.... these women have enriched my life immeasurably.

To them I send my love and ardent gratitude.

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