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Archive for the ‘Women’s History’ Category

International-Womens-Day-2013

Photo courtesy of http://www.levo.com.

Today is the International Day of Women, and so I thought I would mention just a few of the women who have made a major impact on my life. Of course, this is going to leave out a lot of women I know and consider important to me (that’s all the women I know, or have known over the years), and for that I apologize. However, this post would be really, really long if I named them all. 

Going back to the beginning there was my mother Sheila, a beautiful Irish woman if there ever was one, who loved life and her children with equal measure. Her faith engendered mine, and it was she who introduced me to interspirituality and showed me my path to enlightenment. And there was my grandmother, Violet, whose image of a strong, competent business woman I admired then and continue to emulate today.

With the first job I had in the corporate world my supervisor’s name was Sheryl. I did not know much about Sheryl, except that I could see she was quietly making her way in the (man’s) world of finance and big business. I admired her management style—quite different and much more effective than any of the male supervisors. Sheryl was also the first woman I knew who had breast cancer. This was back in the early ‘70’s, way before women’s issues were openly discussed in public, and her willingness to candidly share what was going on with her showed a strength and determination I remember and admire to this day. Sheryl showed me how to walk my path grace-fully.

My first real mentor was Priscilla, my advisor at Prescott College. Priscilla came to me during my darkest days, and her loving kindness sustained me through a period when I felt I had no one else. Her wisdom kept me hanging in at a time when all I wanted was to let go; her support kept me looking for a way back. And it was Priscilla’s probing insight that helped find my path again. “What will it take to make you happy?” she asked me. My search for the answer to that question has given my life purpose ever since that day. If I had to narrow my list of important people in my life down to just one, that one would be Priscilla.

Nowadays Leslie keeps me on track. Mentor, spiritual director, colleague, friend – whichever hat she’s wearing Leslie is my rock. If I am happy, she’s happy; if I am sad or angry, she is still happy! And she does her best to show me how to regain my equilibrium and get back to a state of . . . well, if not joy, at least contentment. My path is smoother and moving along a lot faster with Leslie on it with me.

So many others I could name. My mother-in-law Tee–open-mindedness and unconditional love personified. Karen, whose willingness to let me join her on her path showed me where mine lay. Jeanne, who walked with me so we could laugh and cry together for a little while. My sisters-in-law Tina and Theresa, who for me exemplify living a life of love and compassion. My sisters at One Spirit and One World, my priestess sisters, and all my many sisters who reside in my world. Historical women, contemporary women, feminists, teachers, friends, family. All those women authors whose writing guided me, uplifted me, taught me, and gave me light along the way. All the unnamed and unknown women I meet every day, whose lessons go unacknowledged but not unappreciated. They all are sisters, my friends, my mentors and teachers; they all are valued and cherished.

international-womens-dayPlease know that I know this above all else: I would not be who I am now if not for all the people in my life. But it is especially all those wonderful, supportive, lovely, and irreplaceable women I have known over the years—named or not—who have made my life richer, have taught me the meaning of living with grace and love.

This is the International Day of Women. Don’t forget the women in your life.

Many good thoughts and blessings,

This Old Crone

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My name is Chris Kell, and I am This Old Crone.

Life is about stories, and the purpose of this blog is mostly just to let me talk about my experiences, express my thoughts, and share whatever wisdom I have gained over the years. If anyone out there in webland reads what This Old Crone writes, I will feel blessed. If anyone is actually interested enough to respond, I’ll be ecstatic. My hope is to create a forum where other people — other Crones — can feel comfortable telling their stories and sharing their own hard-won wisdom.

I think it is appropriate that I’ve started This Old Crone now. It is International Women’s Day, and since March is Women’s History Month, I will start by focusing on women: those I’ve loved, those who have been important to me, and those whom I want to know more about — women whose stories I want to share with you.

The first Crone I want to introduce is my mother-in-law. Miss Tee was a true Southern lady, gentle, polite, and loving. I never heard her say an unkind word about anyone. She always supported me, and made me feel like I was a part of her family.

Miss Tee

The first time I met Miss Tee was awkward. My husband-to-be, her son, had not really prepared his family for me. He was in the process of a divorce, and his first wife had been close to his family. They did not quite know what to do with me. But Tee welcomed me warmly, and included me as part of her clan. From that day on I adored her.

Through the years we became close. It was Miss Tee who came to help when our children were born, who passed on favorite family recipes, taught me how to cook “Southern style.” She never forgot a birthday or anniversary and came to visit often; I always looked forward to her arrival. And boy, did she love her soaps! It was as much fun catching up on her TV family as it was listening to her read family letters while telling me who each member was, how they were related, and all the little details that made me feel like I was one of them.

Miss Tee took care of her mother Lizzy until she passed on (a story for another time), and I looked forward to when I could do the same for her. We were ready and eager for her to come live with us and had it all planned out; she would move in right after Christmas. Sadly, Tee never made it, as she became ill and made her final journey a couple of months later.

I miss Tee more than words can express. I am sure you all know the feeling. She was my role-model, my surrogate mother, my friend. Thinking of her now still brings tears along with all the fond memories and happiness for having known and loved her.

Blessings,

This Old Crone

*My thanks to Crones Counsel for the definition of “crone”.

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