I'd like you to spend a few moments and reflect about the "women" in your lives, be it your mother, your sister, your wife...
Let me tell you why I'm asking this of you...
Today I received 3 messages; two of which left me rather sad and upset, and one which I feel carries quite some weight and deserves deeper reflection....
On Facebook I learned that one of my friends had lost his mother on Christmas Day.
Although I don't personally know my FB friend or his mom, I have always appreciated his input and comments, and felt rather upset when I read that his mother had passed away on the very day we all expect people to be enjoying that special day together in the family fold.
A further e-mail advised me that a friend whose mother had been taken ill a couple of months ago, had in fact passed away on Boxing Day. I remember our friend writing to us a little while ago sharing with us his joy and delight at the prospect of being able to have his Mother back home before Christmas - she was getting better! Sadly her heart could not cope with things...
And then I found a further e-mail, this time from an old school friend of mine, who sent me a few kind words with her New Year's wishes and explained why she had not been in touch for some time. Her husband had dumped her during the summer after 30-odd years of marriage. He'd found the "younger and newer" model. Many years ago he'd done something similar, but she'd forgiven him... and the promises made then were obviously forgotten this time round. Despite all the pain and anguish, my friend is still able to find goodness and love within herself...
What really made me think and reflect was the attachment to her message - I have translated it from Dutch. It appears that the original message was in French - Author Unknown, but I cannot confirm this. Still, take a few minutes to read this note and give it some thought.
I dedicate this message to all the Women who need to find that "special person" hidden inside...
"Do not worry if you cannot give your children everything that you dreamed you would.
Just give them the very best of yourself."
One day, a lady, called Anna, went to have her driver's licence renewed.
When she was asked what her profession was she hesitated and pondered the question.
She did not really know how to profile herself.
The official insisted: "What I need to know is whether you work, whether you have a job."
"Yes, of course I work!" Anna replied, "I'm a mother."
"I'm sorry, madam, but we do not consider that to be an occupation, so I shall write "housewife", the official said coldly.
Martha, Anna's friend, heard about this incident and thought about it for a while.
And then one day Martha found herself in the same circumstances, applying for a new driver's licence.
The female official before her appeared confident, efficient and very experienced.
The form to be filled in was long and seemed endless to Martha.
The first question was: what is your occupation?
"I am a graduate in Child Development and Human Relations" Martha answered without hesitation.
The official looked baffled and astonished, and when asked again, Martha repeated her answer word for word.
Having written this answer on the form, the young official then asked Martha:
"Would you mind telling me what you actually do?"
Without blinking an eyelid, Martha calmly and serenely replied:
"I am developing a thesis, a long-term project, both inside and outside home."
"Exactly what work does this involve?" the official curiously enquired.
Martha paused for a moment, pondering the question and then replied very casually, with her family on her mind:
"I am in charge of a team and have four very different projects on the go. I work full time, without a schedule and exclusively. The requirement is 14 hours per day, but it also happens that I'm on call 24 hours a day!"
As Martha continued to describe her responsibilities, she noticed that by the time the form was completed, the official's voice had acquired a much more respectful tone.
When she returned home, Martha was welcomed by her team: three girls aged 13, 7 and 3.
And when she went upstairs she could hear her latest project, the six month old baby, produce a totally new set of gurgling sounds.With a big smile Marha picked up her baby and held it close in her arms. She tought about the beauty and sheer majesty of motherhood, about her never-ending responsibilities and the endless hours spent doting on her charges.
"Mommy, where are my shoes? Mom, will you help me with my homework? Mom, the baby wont stop crying. Mommy, will you come pick me up from school today? Mom, can you take me to my ballet class? Mom, can you buy me ...? Mom ...?"
Seated on the edge of her bed, Martha was thinking, "If I'm a Graduate in Child Development and Human Relationships, then what do grandmothers qualify as?"
She soon thought of a suitable answer.
Grandmothers would be Senior Graduates in those fields.
And Great-grandmothers Senior Executive Graduates.
Aunties would be Assistant Graduates.
And all other women, mothers and wives would be Graduates, specialised in the Art of Life Improvement.
In a world where increasing importance is attached to titles and diplomas, where more and more targeted specialization is demanded in any field, it will pay you to become an EXPERT IN THE ART OF LOVING AND SHOWING AFFECTION!
Send this message to all the women you know.
Show them that at every moment of the day someone is thinking of them.
Make a woman smile and be happy ... today ... and always ...
Above all: BE HAPPY YOURSELF
With this, accept my very best wishes for a wonderful and fruitful 2011...
May it be bigger and better in every aspect than you could possibly hope for.