From Daryn Kagan’s latest column — I don’t agree with her reflexive takedown of the Forbes “100 Most Powerful Women” list, but I do agree with her perspective on how underappreciated many everyday heroes all around us who set powerful examples are:
Powerful, I would explain to them, is my friend, Melissa, who went to the doctor a few months thinking she had pneumonia, only to find out she’s facing Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer. Powerful is watching this Steel Magnolia fight back with a smile on her face and a determination not to be fooled with.
Frankly, if I was cancer, I’d be afraid. Very afraid.
Powerful is Melissa’s mother, Gloria, who is right there by her only child’s side. And when she’s not, it’s because she’s caring for her husband who has Alzheimer’s.
How do caregivers like Ms. Gloria get up to face each day? This is the kind of power that now leaves me in awe.
Powerful is my sister-in-law, Sara, who powers through life with Crohn’s Disease, not knowing when this awful disease will choose to upend her intestines and her life with wrenching pain.
Powerful is my sister, Kallan, Sara’s wife, who has dedicated her life to her love for more than a decade. When Sara hurts, Kallan hurts.
Powerful is my friend, Kate Fletcher, who channeled her grief of losing her husband into creating a home for orphaned girls in Kenya.
Hey, Forbes—powerful is my neighbor, D’lynne, who just delivered a healthy 9 lb. 2 oz. baby boy.
I’m the stalker neighbor who invites herself over a few too many times, just to have a chance to hold this miracle. And as I do, I marvel at how in the world did D’lynne know how to make a kidney, an eyelash, a brain, for heaven’s sake!
Dear Reader, something tells me you know the kind of powerful woman I’m now fascinated with.
I imagine, there’s even a good chance it’s you.
You, who also gave birth to a wonderful baby.
You, who are raising a child with special needs.
You, who held your parent’s hand until their final breath.
You, who picked yourself up off the floor after that gut-wrenching death or break up.
You are among those who make up my “Most Powerful Women” list.
Go here for the full column.