In celebration of International Women's Day the team asked me how I would like to commemorate it. Last year I wrote about women that inspire me. Women close to me who I really admire, women who have and continue to have day to day challenges but rise above adversity and get on. When I wrote the post Mum lost Dad a short time before. He died very tragically in a car accident. Her heartbreak was palpable. She did not want to go on. A year on and she is doing OK. She has a small group of friends and family that watch out for her and simply listen. The grief is still there but she is managing it and in her words "gets on with it" not without the help of a few "good women".
Growing up in Ireland I recall hearing my Mum refer to another woman as "a good woman". For many that may seem somewhat generic, however as I grew older I became increasingly aware that being called "A good woman" by another woman means so much more than what the words might suggest.
So what defines a good woman? I have given this a great deal of thought in the past weeks in preparation for this post.
My first stop was Mum. My question to her, what defines a good woman ? Her response was very simply a woman that helps other women without any agenda. She helps without judgement. She listens. She does not ask questions. There is no drama. No sensation.
I thought back to when my marriage failed. I was devastated. The circumstances were difficult. I was the subject of gossip, stares and whispers. I was on my knees with the grief of losing my family and the prospect of raising the 3 boys alone. I recall one day post school drop off. I was in the supermarket and I felt an hand gently touch my arm. A lady whose face I knew faintly but had never spoken to looked at me in the eye and quietly said - are you OK? Apparently I said nothing but acknowledged her and walked on. I was broken. She did not give up. She found ways of quietly coming into my life and slowly I got to trust her and speak to her openly. She had no agenda and the one thing we had in common was a broken a heart. She had no judgement. No questions. She merely wanted to help me heal. We in fact helped each other heal and 12 years on Ann is one of my best friends and epitomises all the qualities of "a good woman".
I could write for hours about this but suffice to say a woman is a good woman because her soul is good. Her soul is open. She holds no judgements. No jealously. She is kind. She is empathetic. She is trustworthy. She helps expecting nothing in return and most of all she respects and admires other women.
On that note I will finish with the famous Madeleine Albright quote :
"There is a special place in hell for Women who don't help each other".
Happy International Women's Day to ALL you "Good Women".
Lots of love
Ps. I should add, broken hearts mend. It just takes time and of course a few good women xx