To all the strong women present with me today: It’s the wee hours of the night, and I’ve been awake for awhile already — first, because Lila has been pushing her little strong legs deep into my ribs (I think she is quite ready and willing to come out — curious, unafraid, determined). Second, because by my nature, there always seems to creep in some nagging thought or some little regret (often in the middle of the night).
Even though blessing upon blessing spoke to my heart, calmed my mind, and comforted my spirit, in the dark of the night when I wished I were sleeping came these thoughts…“Do they know how thankful I am?”… “Did I show how grateful I am?”...“Why didn’t I play for them that other song that speaks to the wonder that all women are? Like it does for me, that song surely would have spoken to each of them of my gratitude for their strength and support.”
Then, wet with tears from the anguish of some undone task, I found my hands running through my hair feeling the smoothness and not a single tangle… and it was then I noticed that my tears were not tears of regret or sorrow, but tears of thankfulness and comfort…tears of joy that each woman present with me today knows that if she asked me to come and untangle things for her, or wash and massage her feet as a gesture of deep respect, or offer a symbolic gift that lies possibly so deep — or possibly so close to the surface of who I am — I would come. I would know what it meant to that woman, that I came for her.
Thank you for holding me in your arms…it helps me know what my children know when I hold them.
Thank you for all the parts of you that I know about now because of the symbolic gift you shared. And for leaving those things with me — not only because they make my house more of a home, but because they draw the word “thankful” from my heart each time I see them.
Thank you for being my family — my tribe. It seems beyond words for me to express what it feels like to be included.
And lastly, thank you to all the women along my ancestry or otherwise, who have found themselves awake in the night, succumbed to the call of some task, and finished that task with enough time to crawl back into bed and maybe get some more sleep. I feel included in that lineage too…this letter was that task.