"Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy. "

12 April 2010

A hot pink paperweight

In college, I worked in a pub. It was a small little pub with yummy food and great beer. It had a decent lunch crowd from the local businesses and was usually busy for dinner with live music at night. I really enjoyed working there and quickly became friends with some of the regulars. One such regular, I think his name was Pete, was a writer. He would come in a few afternoons a week and sit at the tall round table in the back and write and sip on a beer. We'd chat for a few but usually I just let him write. After a year or so we got to know each other pretty well.

One day after saying our usual hellos and bringing Pete a beer, he handed me a hot pink painted stone with the words "You are the strongest woman I know" on it. He said he got it at an art fair with some friends and just felt that I needed to have it. He wasn't quite sure why, so he held onto it until he had a good enough explanation. He said he was inspired once by me to write a poem about a woman struggling to keep her farm. He had a vision of me with an infant in my arms and a toddler at my side, standing on top of the hill of my farm, overlooking the land and knowing that I could weather the storm ahead. A vision of a strong woman, a vision of a nurturer, and a vision of me.

Throughout a lot of my life, I didn't associate strength and motherhood. I pushed away a lot of the 'softer side' of me and embraced the more independent side which for some reason didn't mean 'motherhood' to me. I think only now do I recognize that I can be both strong and soft at the same time.

One of the ways I feel this softness, comfort and care is through organizing a support group for women and their partners experiencing trouble building their family.  I've met some amazing women going through the same thing and not only feel strength from them, but also the confidence to nurture. Nurturing is not a word I had associated with myself, but I'm slowly feeling more comfortable in that role.

So, last week, I asked B to come to group w/ me.  Partners come once in a while, but I don't ask B a lot because he's just not that much of a talker. He was a trooper last week as the group. He sat there for the whole 2 hours, and said maybe 2 words. He absorbed and listened and just was there because I wanted him to be. Sometimes ya take one for the team, huh? So I was surprised the next day when I got an email from B. (see below).

In these simple moments I know 2 things:
1) I am the strongest woman I know who is living my life.
2) I could never go through this journey without B. He's my strength.

email from B:  
I wanted to send this so that it wasn't just something that I though about but never said. I only wish that someone else hadn't given you the little pink rock with the same sentiment already, but you are the strongest woman I know. Watching you lead the group last night reminded me of what I may have taken for granted lately. You carry an extremely heavy burden, but do so with such dignity and grace that you deserve to be, albeit maybe quietly, recognized for all that you do in this journey. Not matter what happens in our baby quest, I will always respect and admire the path and stance you have chosen. I am fortunate to have you by my side.

I love you wife.


  1. OMG this totally made me cry! People see your strength and are inspired by that! I certainly saw right away, even through words before we even spoke. B saw that in you a long time ago and continues to be inspired by you. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story and the touching words B wrote. You've got yourself a good man there. You guys are each other's rocks on this journey.

  2. What a wonderful story and touching e-mail from your loving husband! Thank you so much for sharing. How marvelous that you inspired someone and he gave you something to remind yourself of your strength. I can totally imagine you in that scenario, for some reason with a strong wind blowing through the prairie.

  3. Tears here too...He's suuuuchhh a keeper! Maybe he should consider starting his own support group for DH's supporting women? You are a strong woman, and you will be standing on that hill with that toddler and infant at your side and in your arms K.

  4. Getting support is very important, I'm glad to hear you have that covered - both at home and in the group.

    (Arrived from the Crème de la Crème list)

  5. You and your husband are both gems. I'm glad you have each other.

    (here from creme)