Thursday, May 16, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
She survived 8 siblings, cracking her skull open and being blind for a year as a toddler! She has survived a multitude of health issues – from scoliosis to cancer to 3 heart attacks and several other issues in between. Her Doctor once told her she was the healthiest looking sick person he had ever come across!
She has survived 57? years with an easy going (ie: slow moving) Okie boy, (granted he’s survived her as well, lol). Survived raising 3 unique and challenging children. Then had to be caregiver and survive the loss of her adult son.
She survives and makes it look easy in the process. She leads through example with an open, supportive and loving heart.
She taught me self sufficiency, that hard work is paid back in pride of a job well done, that love is offered unconditionally, fully and freely, that there is good all around when you open yourself to it…
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Tracy Harbin shares her favorite "Strong Beautiful Woman"...Auntie Merrilee
Strong, smart, spiritual, creative, loving, expressive, my great Aunt is so many things. She reminds me that I am fierce and strong. She encourages me to push forward and occasionally gives me a life lesson, sometimes subtlety and sometimes not. We are kindred spirits. She was my first hairdresser giving me a perm at the age of four…thirty years later, I can say that I have almost recovered from the event. Rather than simply throwing money in a card for my high school graduation, she took me to the art museum and we kicked around St. Louis for the day. She taught me never to hesitate, both literally and metaphorically. We were crossing a large boulevard, and I wasn’t exactly a city girl then. I had paused and then literally had to make a mad dash across the street. She simply said never hesitate when you do anything. It is some of the best advice I have received to date.
We “bumped” into each other in Paris while I was backpacking across Europe. We never coordinated dates of travel, but I ran into her at the Rodin museum. We took a “tour au Canada” car trip many years later visiting art museums and churches and going to the theater in Toronto and Montreal. One of the best nights I had while living in Rochester was when she and her friends stopped over for the night on their northeast driving trip.
Now that I have moved to Florida, I can take a long weekend to southwest Florida and visit her. I never know what adventure we will embark on next. In the photo, we were enjoying a sunset in Naples.
She has support me in all of my endeavors, including yoga. She was a good sport and attended hot yoga with me one Wednesday night. I might have fibbed just a bit about how hot the room gets, but she survived and doesn’t give me too much grief about the 100-plus temperature, although she mentions it every time I see her.
Even though she is in the beauty industry, she has taught me that beauty comes from the inside. I am so grateful that she is in my life. #strongbeautifulwomen #strongbeautifulwoman
Monday, May 13, 2013
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Around thirty minutes ago I realized that my mom gave me a doctorate in bad-assery. She has always been a free spirit who makes no apologies about who she is and how she feels. That is what I admire most, her fearlessness. You always know where you stand with my Mom. She is the person that will say what everyone else was thinking but were too worried what people would think if they actually said it. You know those comments that make you cringe but secretly you wish you'd had the balls to speak up. Well my Mom has the balls! Ha! Never thought I would document that sentence. She is a tiny, beautiful spit fire hippie (which is a compliment); who raised a racoon as her family pet and raised my brother and me on a beach. She and her four siblings lived on welfare as children of a single waitress. As a natural born care taker my Mom nurtured her handicapped brother all of his life. Even through his adult battle with cancer which he eventually lost when I was twelve. She never wavered through any of her struggles. She was the Mom who rubbed my head and sang to me each night when I was small. The Mom who put my rebel ass in place for many years of teenage angst. I really put her through hell and man she let me have it right back, but she loved me straight through and out the other side. She's the Grandmother who spoils my kids no matter what I say. She held our family together and basically saved my father's life when he was diagnosed with stage four cancer. We had a rough couple of years when I was trying to figure out life. Today I'm so proud to say that she is one of my closest friends and honored mentors.
My love of nature, freedom, peace and creativity comes from Mom. What passion, drive and fight mean to me is represented through by my Mom. She's my Warrior # 1 !!
Friday, May 10, 2013
Be careful not to fall into the deep dimple on Mary Lou's left cheek, for you may miss this strong, beautiful woman. She's quite a chic, intelligent babe of a Mom, with an infectious laugh that raises an octave at finish. I call her Mommy when I dial her iPhone daily, & affectionately ensure she's not driving in order to protect the safety of surrounding drivers. You are welcome Florida.A large round of applause is in order for delivering this 10 lb baby naturally, and giving up a 20 year career teaching in NYC to be there when I came home from school. For being married since the Jets last one the Super Bowl in '69 & showing by action what a beautiful marriage can be, thank you Mommy. For embracing and supporting my meditation and asana practice, albeit quite quirky in your traditional world, let us all say Namaste!To confess, I'm sorry for a few things that come to mind, but not limited to:1. Playing April Fools' jokes on her for over 30 years.2. Screaming into my pillow, and giving her the finger that she was ruining my life in my teens.3. Giving the peas from nightly home-cooked meals to the dogs & eating all the crumbs off the Entenmanns' donuts before putting them back in the frig. "Obviously, the donuts were born that way".When asked: "mom what are you proud of?", she spoke for 10 minutes about her mother. In essence, that's just it. Mom gave me a parchment card with the scripted words "dance like no is looking", when I was a little girl. Who knew today, she led me to find music in everything, and to strive to be a little kinder to every person than seems necessary. Mary Lou is my strong, beautiful women, friend and mother. I love you mom. - Kristin Mary