Women know women. Most women would probably agree with that statement, for a lot of reasons. On this particular day, however, I feel compelled to write about it.
My friend Beth, whom I met nearly twenty years ago, was one of those people who could see right through you, and read you instantly. We met on my first day of work at a facility where she had already been employed for over ten years. I was there to fill out paperwork only, but she invited me to a luncheon for which she had an extra ticket. During those three hours together, we learned that we had much in common. We were avid sports fans, liberal democrats, University of Florida College of Journalism Graduates and “foodies.” She and I even lived only five houses away in the same neighborhood, albeit at different times in our lives.
We also learned our differences. I love theater and music; she wasn’t a big fan. She adored discussing politics, and because of the great divide in my household, I did not. She collected Beanie Babies to distraction (or at least I thought so, until she gave me one named “Hope” when my Dad was dying); I collected camels and recipes.
After working with Beth for a very short time, she knew me better than I knew myself. In fact, she asked me a question, after working with me only five weeks, which floored me. She said, “Was your father very hard on you?” Yes, indeed, he was. I still don’t know fully how she knew that, even after years of pondering. I can only surmise that it was because of the one great difference between Beth and me.
Beth Amy was a strong, confident, out-going and outspoken woman. She lived her life on her terms. In fact, when she first took ill, she told me that no matter what the outcome, she had no regrets.
I, on the other hand, until most recently, was far from confident and out-spoken. I had a severe problem with self-confidence and self-esteem. Beth probably figured out my personality flaws were a result of a flawed father-daughter relationship. I know that now, and understand my father’s path and accept that people do the best can with what they’ve got. Both Beth and my father would be happy to see the woman into whom I’ve unfolded.
Besides teaching me almost everything I know about Special Events, Beth taught me how to be flexible, to “punt,” as she put it, to stand up for myself, and to not be so hard on myself. She taught me how to laugh at myself. She also taught how to live with myself.
Beth passed away this morning, after a valiant clash with cancer. Beth knew me. I believe she loved me. I loved her.
Because women know women.