Thursday, March 24, 2022

I've Known Some Amazing Women

There have been women who have disappointed me.  There have been women who stunned me with their brash assurance that everything they did was perfectly perfect.  There have been liars and cheats, bullies and brats, self-absorbed walking pity parties whose presence darkened the mood of every room they entered.  

To paraphrase Julia Roberts Pretty Woman, the bad stuff is easier to remember.  Those people have taken up too much space in my brain over my seven decades on earth.  It's time for that to stop.  There are so many women who have been positive inspirations, who have set great examples, who have lived their lives intentionally, with purpose present every day.

Well, maybe not every day.  

I came to this epiphany - that I was focused on things that hold me back rather than those that  move me forward - while saying hello to Opal and Joey one afternoon last week.  I was fretting about something that was long in the past, but which niggles me whenever it pops to the front of my brain.  Opal gave me a look that would have made Lady Jane proud - what are you doing in that mind space  she seemed to wonder.  She went on to remind me that there were many more pleasant places to take my wandering brain.

Lady Jane was full of such pronouncements.  It was never a good idea to repay a kindness with Oh, you didn't have to do that.  She would frown, knit her eyebrows, and remind me either that she did have to do that or that she wanted to do that and either way I should just say thank you and not diminish or exalt her actions.

She was always pressed and put together whenever we got together, because I was going to look at her and she wanted that to be a pleasant experience.  She didn't mind if I came straight from the gym; she often did, too.  But her tops matched her bottoms and her sweater complimented the outfit and her t-shirt showed wrinkles from exercise, not from being stuck in the back corner of a drawer before being worn.

At the end, she was still the same.  Her blanket was pulled up to her chin, nary a wrinkle nor a crease to be seen.  Her hair was brushed.  After she admired the long scarf I was wearing, she directed me to her closet so that I could see how she had her collection of long scarves loosely tied around a hanger.  She knew that mine were probably (definitely) languishing unfolded in a cubby in my closet.  

She wanted me to be my best, and was not above prodding and demonstrating.  

She took care of everything related to her end of life planning.  She wrote her own obituary; chose the card stock, ink color, font, and wording for the card her family would send out;  set the site and time frame for her Celebration of Life (unfortunately, she is not in control of the Arizona Inn's reluctance to schedule large gatherings).

And there was more.  When I finally got to the restaurant to gift our favorite waiter - Brett-with-2-T's -  the wedding stash Lady Jane and I had created for him, his new bride, and his 2nd grade daughter, I worried how best to tell him that she had died.  I didn't have to worry.  She had called him before she died, to say goodbye, to thank him for his kindnesses, because she said it was the right thing to do he told me.

I smiled.  She was a role model for me in many ways, up to the very very end.  She's a much better person to have in my head.


By some strange coincidence, I wrote a similar post in March, 2011.  Here it is - a catalog of good friends.


  1. Most of us are not that good, that put together, that remarkable, but we can certainly admire those who are. They enrich our lives.

    1. I've never known anyone quite like Lady Jane. She was old school and never stopped learning and growing so she was always au Courant and proper.


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