Recently, I went to the doctor for my annual physical. As the nurse was going over my history, she said “Wow, your story is similar to mine.” She went on to tell me that she had lost her husband when she was 37 (I lost mine at 35) to brain cancer (colon) and had been happily remarried for many years (ditto). We chatted briefly and went on our separate ways.
If she hadn’t been looking at my history on her computer, she never would have known what I have been through, and vice versa. For the most part, we women don’t wear our scars where they can be seen by strangers, but hold them as badges of honor close to our hearts.
At the core of every woman you see who you think has it all, there is a woman who has struggled, fought and persevered through life’s challenges. No one escapes unscathed. I like to think of us all as superheroes. We raise families, hold down jobs and keep our houses, all while caring for sick parents or children with disabilities, coping with abuse, addiction, depression or loss. We find the courage and strength to get up day after day even when we don’t think we can, when we just want to bury our heads under the covers.
Eventually, the worst passes, the smoke clears, and we realize that we are still intact, in one piece. One stronger, tougher piece. We go about our days thankful for the normalcy, enjoying the cadence of the daily routine, not thinking about our superpowers. It is only when we glimpse the hidden cape of another that we begin to realize how remarkable we truly are.
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