Time for Encouraging Women, Not Tearing Each Other Down

It is not usual for Gems, Stories, and Glories to enter the trending arena.  And I apologize for this intrusion.  However, it is important sometimes to step out and fight the good fight.  And to encourage each other.  So with that said, please allow me a few words:

Contrary to the recent allowance of vulgar and derogatory language towards strong women, please never allow anyone to ever call you to “c” word. Not ever! No matter that there is a movement to “empower” women by reducing them to female genitalia, do not keep any male or female in your circle of trusted friends should they ever call you the “c” word. This word is a form of oppression. It is used to send the message to you that you are not more than this, that you cannot aspire, achieve, or become anything other than your designated “place”. And should you try, should you dare to speak out, should you dare to be more visible, this is what you will be thought of, and called. It is a way to stop you. It is meant to humiliate you, embarrass you, defeat you, stop you in your tracks. It is not funny and is never a joke. It is meant to keep you down at the level of what another person thinks is your place in line. Never, and I mean never keep anyone in your life who calls you this. You are more beautiful, creative, lovely, bright, brilliant, intelligent, resourceful, intuitive and impact-ful than you can every imagine! And the latest trend to call or be called the “c” word takes its place right there with other oppressive and negative name-calling words, and you know which ones I mean. Words that have been decimated and taken out of our vocabulary — words that if anyone utters in public — would result in their losing their jobs and respect as human beings. You know the words. And the “c” word is right there with it. Rise up above this and don’t allow it in your life or in another women’s life — no matter her politics. Because then all women lose.



The Glory: Our 4th of July


I get sentimental around the 4th of July.  I remember many of them from my childhood.  There were the family barbecues, and the times spent at the local high school watching fireworks with friends.  Other years involved either crabbing off a dock or spending time with dad while he was flying a model airplane in some field somewhere or, maybe, just fishing in Shinnecock.  As a child, I can see myself running up and down our block with sparklers spitting tiny bits of fire; and, as teenagers, my sister Jayne, our friend Michael, and I chatting away, watching our sparklers burn, while perched on top of the backyard picnic table. Each year, in any way, the 4th was acknowledged.

One July 4th was particularly memorable. It was 1999 and we were vacationing in a charming, peaceful little town in VT. The sun was just going down. Children were running around the freshly mowed field, and adults were strolling with cups of homemade lemonade. Most were wearing white boat hats lined around the brim with red and blue ribbons. Two of our children twirled round and round, arms extended as if to grab the moment – until dropping dizzily to the ground. Another daughter dipped a wand into soapy liquid, blowing bubbles to the sky. I chose to take it all in from the hood of our car.

Soon dusk gave way to the night. Everyone settled down — on blankets, chairs, car hoods — all eyes looking to the stars. A burst came forth, another, another. Some rockets left trails of red, white, and blue behind as they fell back to earth; some flared high, bursting into a thousand fireflies.

Nights like these I hold close. The shutter clicks and another image is impressed into my mind, along with the smell of the grass, the cheering voices, and soon I can’t help but get gushy…

I thank God for America. It is not perfect. We have our issues and problems. But we have hope that they can be worked out to the best benefit of the people. The very idea that this is even possible is due to the sacrifice of the men and women who put themselves out there every day to keep us safe here at home.  Those service men and women, past and present, have fought, sacrificed, lived, died, so that I can have the freedom to have past 4th of July’s to remember, to have a family that is safe and sound, and to have hope for a good future for all of us.

So, these fond memories of July 4th’s gone-by, I dedicate to our military and say