“I get by with a little help from my friends.” – John Lennon
I also met a great group of women, all FS board members, who were supportive of me professionally and personally. I am happy to say we are friends to this day. You know who was not part of that group? The executive director. The then FS director was the second worst thing to happen to me that summer and she gets a spotlight for being one of the worst professional experiences of my entire life. Really not good and crazy in a “I’m smarter than everyone even though I’m a complete train wreck and I’m going to blame it all on you” sort of way. She was naaaasssttyyy. It got to the point that I would not talk to her alone. I had to have a board member with me to ensure there was a witness to the conversation.
The FS big event, The Cowgirl Ball, was held October 4. I had worked very hard on the event and put up with more than anyone’s share of bullshit from the crazy executive director (I don’t use ED because that could also mean she needed Viagra, which maybe she did). I couldn’t go to the Cowgirl Ball. I went to the Melody Ballroom that afternoon to deliver wine, give the place a once over and then I had to leave. I needed to be with my family. The event went off without a problem as far as I know.
The Forward Stride Ladies were very good to me.
There is a sort of unofficial club for people who have lost parents. It’s not a “we’re better than you” sort of club but just an acknowledgement that until you lose a parent, especially a parent you were close to, you can’t know what that’s like. Not bragging, just saying.
Our club took on a new member last week when Robin’s (one of the FS Ladies) mother died after a lengthy struggle with Alzheimer’s. I hate to welcome Robin to the club but have assured her that there is plenty of support available whenever she needs it.
Even though it was only a week after Robin’s mom passed, the Forward Stride Ladies had planned dinner at Robin’s for last night and Robin wanted to go ahead with the evening. We all congregated at Robin’s beautiful home and sat in the sunshine on her deck and snacked on Amy’s divine bleu-cheese-stuffed, bacon-wrapped dates and toasted Mothers with our cosmos. Robin cried. And we told stories about our experiences and Robin talked about what she went through last week. No story is ever the same but there are so many similarities. Death is a mystical event.
Robin grilled salmon for dinner. BUT before dinner was served, the six of us met on the back lawn for a spirited badminton match. (It just took me five attempts to spell that correctly.) Yep, a grueling 3 on 3 all out badminton extravaganza. I think the youngest member of the group is 45 and I think only Robin was dressed for this activity. I haven’t had that much fun in years. I don’t remember the last time I ran around barefoot playing a game in a backyard. We laughed and cheated and conspired and cheered each other on. It was a wonderful unexpected surprise and exactly what was needed. I, for one, will never forget it.
Friendship is knowing that you don’t have to do everything and you don’t have to do it perfectly but do something. And if it’s badminton, so much the better.
We have been friends together
In sunshine and in shade.
~Caroline Sheridan Norton