Thursday, June 19, 2008

Where the Women are Strong

Fans of A Prairie Home Companion will recognize the source of my title. Although I am not from Lake Wobegon, the women in my family are strong. And I can add amazing, intellectual, creative, and loving. I should also say that other than my grandfather and uncles (by marriage) there are no men on the maternal side of my family. So imagine a family with a strong (understatement of the century) matriarch, three daughters, six granddaughters, and one great-granddaughter. Whew! That's a lot of women. The men and women that partnered into this family should be awarded badges of courage.

With each generation we have found our own voice. I am proud that the six granddaughters have learned from their mothers and grandmother and have forged our own paths. I am reminded with each visit, phone call, and email how well we have survived and thrived.

During my visit to Oregon I spent time (not enough, never enough) with my lovely cousin, whom I think of as my sister. In fact, during our pedicure we were asked if we were sisters and we both hesitated before saying we were cousins. After a period of separation we've grown closer over the last few years, and I am a better person because of it.

At the end of my visit I spent a couple days in the Bay Area and was fortunate to be able to spend a few hours with my cousin Ms. S. And I have to use this forum to say how incredibly proud I am of her. She is starting a new job with a major non-profit where she will be briefing a former VP. Oh, okay, I'll say it . . . she'll be briefing Al Gore. How huge is that? She's a rock star in my book. All that and we had amazing conversation, something that is not unusual when we are together.

Sure, my family is crazy -- and I know I add my own craziness to the mix -- but my cousins never fail to amaze me. We've come a long way baby!

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